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Calypso founder Christiane Celle is back on the retail scene with Clic Bookstore & Gallery.
Still tied by a noncompete agreement, she has turned her attention to photography and art with a shop at 189 Lafayette Street in New York. In February, the plan is to open a 2,000-square-foot gallery around the corner at 255 Center Street. The New Museum, La Esquina owner Serge Becker’s new Cafe Select and the Jil Sander store are helping to attract more people to the area, which happens to be where Celle lives.
In late November, the first overseas outpost opened in St. Barths, which was where Calypso was started in 1992.
This summer Clic Bookstore & Gallery will bow in East Hampton and in Montauk. A Hamptons regular and mother of two windsurfing and kite surfing sons, Celle said she likes summering there but needs to work. “I’m not the kind of person who can do nothing. I need to work,” said Celle, whose husband is photographer Antoine Verglas. “I have always collected photography and art books, and I’ve always dreamed of doing something like this. But with Calypso, I was always too busy.”
In April — seven months after Solera Capital LLC bought the majority stake in Calypso Christiane Celle — Celle exited. What started as St. Barths boutique had become a 34-store, $60 million operation. She still owns 47 percent of the company, with Solera Capital LLC owning the other half. Both parties clashed about the company’s future direction, and a legal dispute has not yet been resolved. “I have no interest for them to fail,” Celle said.
But Celle is “someone who does not look behind” and is focused on her new venture. She already arranged for her friend Patrick Demarchelier to do a book signing in the St. Barths store late last month. Steidldangin Publishers will release the book, which is named for the photographer, in the U.S. in February. But Celle already has it in her St. Barths store.
An exhibition of Andy Warhol’s Polaroids and a surfing one by Tony Caramanico, a former Peter Beard staffer whom Celle met years ago in Montauk, debuted in late December as well. Clic published a volume of Caramanico’s work to coincide with the exhibition’s opening, a combo Celle plans to continue to do.