A Home Away From Home For Alexander Wang—Not To Mention His Many Fans-------
Yesterday couldn’t have been more ideal for Alexander Wang to introduce his first flagship store to the world. With a bright and clear weather report, a rather heavenly sunlight streamed through the massive windows into the 3,500-square-foot space, and it was warm enough for a few fans to gather on Grand Street and gawk as the designer chatted with journalists.
Wang was, of course, inspired by the airy nature of the Yohji Yamamato store that previously occupied the space, and he had a couple other favorites to inspire him as well. “I respond to a store like Barneys where it’s very breathy and you have these sophisticated installations, but there’s still humor,” he said. “And the old Helmut Lang store on Greene Street was pretty iconic to me. I just loved the gallery feel of it.”
In fact, like Lang’s store, the front area here, which has a ceiling-high black metal cage and marble display cubes, is reserved for installations, exclusives, and special collabs. Currently the cage is covered in baby’s breath (yes, baby’s breath, get into it), the so-wrong-it’s-right idea of florist Jeff Leatham, who worked with Wang for the opening. Inside is the Betony Vernon jewelry that came down the runway a few days ago.
Designed by architect Robin Kramer, the chilly white marble interior is warmed up by touches of glowy antique brass, inlaid in those marble cubes and long tables. And there’s an inviting carpeted square of relaxation in the center, dominated by the by-now world- (or at least blog-) famous black fox fur hammock. (The black leather lawn chair there might not be as sexy, but it’s also quite cool.) “I knew I wanted it to feel like our living room, just a place where people can hang out,” said Wang. “I don’t want it to be such a strict retail environment. I want people to feel like they’re coming to my apartment to shop.” In a way, they are, since decorator Ryan Korban is the aesthetic force behind the store as well as Wang’s home and showroom. And in that vein, Wang also personally chose the playlist for the first week, a mix of the Pharcyde, vintage Dr. Dre, Dru Hill, and Die Antwoord.
With all of his lines and accessories on display, including a capsule of five black leather pieces made expressly for the opening, consider it a full immersion in Wang world. As for those fans, since Wang’s studio and apartment are both minutes away, and his brother lives right upstairs, they can expect to see him there pretty frequently.
Alexander Wang is now open at 103 Grand St., NYC.