NOHO — It's just a year since clothing and lingerie designer Julie Erinc and her husband opened their first boutique on Lafayette Street at Bond Street, but they're already building a clothing empire soon to be seven stores strong.
Erinc and her husband Metin — who have launched the shops BrowNY International, Designers' Collective and pop-up Hip Hop USA on the same Lafayette Street block in the last year — recently added a fourth store to their growing NoHo empire: the women's clothing and jewelry boutique 51.
The shop, which opened around the corner from the Erincs' other three stores on Wednesday, sells new and vintage clothing and jewelry sourced from as near as the Lower East Side and as far as Turkey, from where Metin Erinc hails.
"We sell an eclectic line of clothing and jewelry," said Julie Erinc, who is already planning another three stores.
"It's high-quality pieces that are casual, girl-about-town, comfortable and chic."
Brooklyn resident Marlena Ortiz, 28, said she loves the vintage clothing at the Erincs' other shops and is excited to have a new spot.
"I'm happy to have a new place to be inspired," she said.
Pratt Institute student Emily Raddant, 20, said she liked being "transported into a different era" through vintage clothing.
"It's nice to get a break from new things, even if that view is totally romantic," she said.
The 51 Bleecker St. store, which gets its name from its address, was the former home of the furniture and design shop Elan, which closed at the end of February after 23 years in business because of a rent hike and the hit it took from MTA construction, its owner said.
Erinc — who designed for companies including Urban Outfitters, Free People, Anthropology and Dillard's for 35 years — and her husband, a former wholesale clothing seller, moved to the Upper East Side from a farm in Oxford, Pa. a year ago.
They opened the vintage and international clothing and home decor store BrowNY International at 345 Lafayette St. shortly after their arrival in the city.
Erinc said she wanted a place to sell the items she had collected for the past 35 years, plus her own designs.
"I decided I'm no longer going to be selling to the big stores," she said. "I'm going to be selling it all myself."
Erinc, 56, and her husband thought right away that they would need more than one store to be able to turn a profit, she said.
"One store really isn't a business. It's a hobby," she said.
BrowNY, which is named after the Erincs late terrier Digger Brown, gained its second store in January. Designers' Collective, at 341 Lafayette St., sells the work of aspiring local designers.
The Erincs' third shop, a small pop-up store sandwiched between BrowNY and Designers' Collective, opened as the custom-painted sneaker and cap shop Hip-Hop U.S.A. in April and will stay at least through June, Julie Erinc said.
She and her husband, who met in business school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said they aim to open an additional three stores in Manhattan, preferably in NoHo.
"NoHo is very artistically inclined," Julie Erinc said.