Prior to opening downtown’s new accessory haven, StyledLife (Gaviidae Common, Mpls., 612-746-5400) owner Kevin Quinn spent nearly twenty years in the fashion industry, more recently tweaking some of the Twin Cities’ finest closets as a private wardrobe consultant. “We don’t need another pair of black pants,” Quinn pleads. “We don’t need eight new ready-to-wear outfits each season. What we need is to start looking at our closets differently.” This sensibility inspired Quinn to open his luxury accessories boutique.

As evident in the arrival of mass-market accessories stores, consumers are realizing that one of the freshest—and most economical—ways to keep up on fashion is to update accessories. The problem, Quinn found through his work with clients, is a local void in one-stop shops for stylish, high-quality accessories for both men and women.

StyledLife aims to fill this white space by offering a selection of men’s and women’s accessories, including leather accessories from Botkier, Lambertson Truex, and Kooba. In addition, Quinn offers a superbly edited collection of mint-condition vintage—ties and fedoras for men, handbags and jewelry for women—and his own line of American-made, Italian-leather accessories.

For Quinn, this is the modernity of fashion—it isn’t about how much stuff we have, but how much we enjoy it and how well we wear it. The best part, he tells me, is helping his customers see themselves and their wardrobes differently through accessories. When Quinn secures a braided patented leather belt around my waist, and my face lights up at the sight of my elongated silhouette, he smiles wide and says, “We’re not solving world problems here. It’s just fashion, but that is exciting!” 

What We Love:

* Men’s ties, cuff links, pens, and leather accessories from Dunhill. It took Quinn more than a year to secure this luxury brand from London.

* Leather belts with vintage compacts salvaged from Germany and fashioned into clasps.

* Brightly colored, alligator-skin cuff bracelets for men and women designed by Quinn.

* Mo851, the line of unadorned, supple leather handbags and accessories from Montreal.