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Described by award winning journalist India Knight as 'the ultimate boutique', Collen and Clare brings effortlessly chic collections to our three locations in the East of England. Offering an exclusive range of Womenswear, Menswear and Beauty, our flagship store in Southwold has been an essential part of the high street for over 15 years. Gaining a cult status with loyal customers visiting from around the UK for it's curated edits of niche and big name designers including S'Max Mara and Barbour. After expanding in 2013 with two new stores in Burnham Market and Aldeburgh, we launched and now bring our unique mixture of Menswear, Womenswear, Beauty and excellent customer service to our customers around the world


Vanessa Collen

Vanessa is Suffolk born and bred, growing up on a farm minutes from Southwold. With a degree in Management Science from Loughborough University she was drawn to the bright lights and big city of London for an early career with US investment bank JP Morgan.

After a decade of travel, working in New York and Europe, the big skies of Suffolk beckoned and a childhood dream to open a clothes shop in Southwold became a reality. Today she is Managing Director of Collen & Clare.

“The ethos of Collen & Clare remains the same today as it did on opening - to offer an edited selection of great clothes in an environment that is utterly relaxed. The people who work with us all have amazing stories to tell and heading up the team is the biggest privilege as we continue to grow and hunt for the next great brand.”

Morgan Elliott Richards

A Yorkshire gal with a fashion degree from Trent Polytechnic, Morgan moved to London to work at the BBC as a costume assistant before moving to the big screen.

Here she worked alongside some of the biggest names in the business in her 20 years as a costume assistant and designer, fitting out the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnny Depp,  Angelina Jolie, Russell Crowe, Kenneth Branagh, Donald Sutherland and Tom Hollander to name but a few.

After working on location around the world, from the UK to the US and Kazakhstan, she moved to Suffolk and in 2009 she joined Collen & Clare. She now shares responsibility for the buying with Vanessa and oversees the merchandising of all stores as Head of Retail and in her own words she “buys and sells a lot of clothes”. 

Morgan not only has an amazing eye but remembers every item a customer buys and enables them to build brilliantly working wardrobes season after season.


  • Founded in 2002 by Vanessa Collen and Clare Adkins (now retired), Collen & Clare opened on the High Street in the charming, quintessentially English seaside town of Southwold
  • On Valentine’s Day 2004, we moved to the current (much larger) premises in Market Place, continuing the fashion story first started in the 1800s by Henry Moss, who traded from the same premises selling drapery, groceries and provisions
  • In 2014, Clare retired from the business and Vanessa was joined at the helm by one of her loyal customers and former head of marketing at Marks & Spencer, Steve Sharp, who took on the role of Chairman
  • On Valentine’s Day 2014, we opened in the heart of the idyllic seaside town of Aldeburgh in a former contemporary art gallery, offering a modern and chic space perfect for showcasing an edited selection from our womenswear, accessories and beauty brands
  • In May 2015, we opened the doors to our Burnham Market store, based in the beautiful 18th century building that was home to the former Grooms Bakery, strategically positioned on The Green opposite Burnham's acclaimed hotel, The Hoste
  • In October 2015, we launched our website, bringing our unique mixture of brands and customer service to customers worldwide
  • In 2017, we celebrated 15 Years as a leading independent store.
  • In February 2019, we made the Sunday Telegraph Stella magazine's highly coveted list "Britain's 50 Most Brilliant Boutiques".
Courtesy of Southwold Muesum
Courtesy of Southwold Muesum
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