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What’s funny about the term “basics” — when used in the context of shopping — is that it rarely actually refers to something basic. “Elevated” is often shimmied in as a prefix, forming a new umbrella phrase that includes very not-basic things like cashmere T-shirts and other non-essentials whose price tags run into the hundreds.
In fashion magazine vernacular, the new womenswear brand Becken is a line of elevated basics: simple tops, bottoms, coats, and dresses made of high-quality materials and small details. But instead of using the b-word on its website, Becken opts for “polished,” which actually makes sense. Much of the debut fall collection is workwear, and most of what isn’t is still carefully tailored. (The brand’s casual wear still looks expensive, too.)
The fabrics and details, though, are what makes Becken special (you can see the spring collection — which includes lighter linen trench coats, poplin dresses, and silk tanks — up close here.) The intricate stitching patterns, secret side slits, and unexpected hems aren’t really noticeable on first glance. For some people, those details don’t matter at all — who even sees, let alone cares about, a hem?! — but for a specific subset of shoppers, that’s what makes a pretty but somewhat plain $250 top worth the splurge. That’s the customer Becken’s after.
This season, the brand tested out a pop-up shop in New York City in the former home of Zero + Maria Cornejo — a corner shop in the West Village that Becken’s Laura Siegel said it had been eyeing for years. But the line is in no way exclusive to New York: the robust stockist page includes boutiques in states like Kentucky, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Colorado, Michigan, and more.