When I moved back to Bend from the Valley two years ago, I was baffled that I couldn't find a single local store that sold my favorite comfy summer shoes, TOMS. The search eventually led me to Vanilla, a shop in the Old Mill that is a cornucopia of stylish apparel—men's and women's brand-name shoes, shirts pants, outerwear, and hip athletic wear without being too stereotypically Bend (cough— Patagonia puffy coat). I found my pair of TOMS and an armfull of other items in just a few minutes of perusing the store.
Vanilla is anything but what its namesake implies. It's stuffed with brightly colored garments, premium denim, and surf, skate and snow brands. Owner April Lawyer keeps her stock hip AND comfortable, a rare combination in the fashion world.
Apparently, I'm not alone in my admiration for the "urban boutique." This year Vanilla swept the Source's apparel category, winning both Best Men's Clothing and Best Women's Clothing. (BB)