Proenza Schouler PS1 bags

A Store Is Born: Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler's first store delivers on everything the not-so-young brand promises. For the two-story boutique on the Upper East Side, the duo imported a disparate, downtown aesthetic, complete with raw concrete, exposed beams, metal shelving, and a graphic triangular motif. Just because the store sits in the vicinity of Gucci and Cartier doesn't mean it shares any pretense of luxury.

What Proenza Schouler does share with its neighbors is price—one reason Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough chose to open their first outpost uptown. For a brand so enamored with "cool" silhouettes, i.e. scuba and samurai, customers might be surprised how in keeping some of the styles are with the area. Colorful collarless wool jackets and oversize crocodile PS1 satchels are perfectly polished, leading you to wonder how a leather jacket or printed crop-top from the same collection would fare.

That's the appeal of Proenza Schouler. The label doesn't traffic in prosaic categories like "uptown" or "downtown." All it needs is a little concrete to break the mold.

Proenza Schouler, 822 Madison Avenue, New York City

Jul 16, 2012 10:34:00
Azzedine Alaïa & Stephanie Seymour, Guggenheim, 2004

Plans Afoot for an Azzedine Alaïa Store in Paris

While most houses are still downsizing in this slow-motion economic recovery, Azzedine Alaïa is making bold expansion plans. Always one to buck a trend, the reclusive Paris designer who models can't help but fawn over is planning to open a grand Paris flagship near the tony Avenue Montaigne in spring 2013.

We tell you this now because it’s a highly unexpected move, as Alaïa has not operated his own store since 1992. In fact, he’s renowned for eschewing the usual obligations of the fashion world: placing glossy ad campaigns, keeping an online presence, staging regular fashion shows. Instead, he's chosen to carve out a creative path on his own terms.

It’s a strategy that's paying off. Plans for the new boutique—which would replace his current Marais headquarters—hint at opulent luxury, with five stories, a showroom, office space and a courtyard garden. Nothing is too big for the diminutive dynamo.

Jul 09, 2012 15:10:00
Alexander McQueen Miami

A Store Is Born: Alexander McQueen Miami

How many references can you pack into the design of a store? A lot, if it's Alexander McQueen. Architect David Collins describes his inspiration for the new Miami outlet—now officially launched, following a soft-launch earlier this month—thusly: “It’s about McQueen as a point of view, the idea of making a dress out of razor clam shells or sheaves of corn, the manipulation of nature to make ornament. We were thinking about eroticism and sexuality. Everything is exaggerated and very slightly distorted.”

Creative Director Sarah Burton goes on to say, “It’s very McQueen to see something from a distance and think it’s one thing and then to look up close and discover something else." Here are some of those other things you'll discover, in order of increasing perversity: Rorschach ink blots; flora and fauna, real and imagined; references to Francis Bacon’s paintings of Popes; the architecture of Antonio Gaudi; wall impasto consisting of wings, leaves, shells, cactus flowers, mushroom gills, and seahorse tails; gazelle-hooved and monster-clawed furniture; and finally, tiny skulls and grimacing gargoyles.

The above motley crew of the magically macabre marks the beginning of a new retail concept, to be rolled out to other McQueen stores. Something wicked this way comes, to a mall near you.

Alexander McQueen, 9700 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, Miami

Jun 21, 2012 11:29:00

A Store Is Born: Acne

This was the scene last night at the launch of ACNE's shiny new flagship in Soho (33 Greene St). Inspired by the simplicity of the Gustavian period of Swedish design, Jonny Johansson said, "When I am in New York, I really feel that historical references are very visible, so when designing the new store, I wanted to take a very Swedish slant on history and environment." Which explains the green carpeting, symbolizing the island of Stockholm, surrounded by a bluish wall of mirrors—a suitable backdrop for the label's breezy, enormous culottes and caftans for spring.

Jun 08, 2012 12:50:00
Zadig & Voltaire, The Mark Hotel

A Store Is Born: Zadig & Voltaire

The tweed-and-pearls set may want to let their helmet hair down and clear out some closet space, because there's a new, edgier kid on the Madison Avenue drag. French label Zadig & Voltaire have brought their downtown aesthetic uptown with a sprawling new space on the ground floor of The Mark Hotel.

Founded by Thierry Gillier in 1977, the brand is inspired by all things rock 'n' roll, but in that louchy Parisian way. At the new store, you'll find skull and angel prints mixed with updated basics in luxe materials like cashmere, silk and leather, providing welcome contrast to the neighborhood's stiff suits and Bergdorf perms.

Zadig & Voltaire, The Mark Hotel, Madison Ave & 77th Street, NYC

May 29, 2012 11:25:00
Stella McCartney

A Store Is Born: Adidas by Stella McCartney

Between this weekend’s Memorial Day summer kickoff and the impending London Olympics, ‘tis the season for getting in shape. For Londoners, getting fit is about to get more fashionable with the launch of the first standalone Adidas by Stella McCartney shop, opening Saturday. The 800-square-foot, two-story shop will be located right next to the designer's main store on Fulham Road in the Brompton Cross area. Along with the Stella McCartney for Adidas line, the store will also carry replicas of the McCartney-designed Olympic uniforms for Team Great Britain.

May 25, 2012 19:57:00
Alexander Wang, Beijing

A Store Is Born: Alexander Wang

China has just gotten a lot more Wang for its buck. The New York designer with family in China has returned to the old country with a shiny new store in Beijing, the first following the opening of his flagship, studio and showroom in lower Manhattan not long ago.

Designed by architect Joseph Dirand, the fully customized space focuses on raw materials with an emphasis on marble and bronze, beginning with a monolithic marble wall cut from one stone that dominates the store. Meanwhile, a mirrored bronze prism bisects the upper floor, where a geometric concrete sofa with goat hair sits.

Further cementing himself in the Asian market, starting today Wang will ship throughout the region, including China, Hong Kong and Japan (in partnership with Yoox). This is on top of 14 planned openings across Asia by the end of the year, in key cities such as Shanghai, Seoul, Bangkok and Singapore.

Alexander Wang, Sanlitun Village, Chaoyang District, Beijing

May 15, 2012 16:13:00
Nicopanda at Lane Crawford

A Store Is Born: Nicopanda

Nicola Formichetti descends on Hong Kong this week to kick off a month-long pop-up shop at Lane Crawford, a recreation of his Nicola's store in New York. Shoppers can ogle at Lady Gaga costumes on display, as well as an array of products—dolls, notebooks, umbrellas, prints—built around the Nicopanda character. The wide-eyed bear is already so popular in China a welcoming committee greeted Formichetti at the airport. Hello Kitty can't be everywhere.

Nicopanda lasts May 1-30, Nicopanda Invasion Party on May 4 at the IFC Mall location

Apr 30, 2012 11:27:00

A Store Is Born: Fivestory

Claire Distenfeld and her father, Fred, cite an impressive list of old-school family-run retailers—i.e. Rowland Hussey Macy, Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale, Herman Bergdorf and Edwin Goodman, Barney Pressman—as the inspiration for their tony new Upper East Side boutique, Fivestory.

Never mind that it's actually two stories and those two stories combined could barely fill out one corner of Barneys, or that its already-famed shoe garden isn't a garden at all but a back room with an as-yet-waterless fountain. It's still a very noble start, especially when you consider they managed to get Comme des Garçons on their men's racks, evening out an otherwise uptown-y roster. Plus we're suckers for circular entryways, green velvet walls and the promise of "couture tailoring."

Last night's small and suitably civilized launch party drew a discerning crowd of editors, stylists, and the usual sauced scenesters who had plenty of high walls with which to steady themselves. They probably felt more at home at the comparatively freewheeling dinner at Mr. Chow, the original on 57th Street, that followed. That's where the DJ, living up to the restaurant's 70s heyday, put on Bryan Ferry and we, too, became "slave to Veuve."

Visit Fivestory

Apr 19, 2012 20:32:00

Sign up for our Email Newsletter,
“A Little Hint”