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July 23 2014

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EXCLUSIVE: A First Look at Rachel Comey’s Crosby Street Digs

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Rachel Comey

“I’ve been in business for fourteen years without having retail [space], and people were always asking me, ‘When, when, when, when!’” Rachel Comey said of her eponymous line. But take heart: This coming Thursday, Comey’s first boutique will bow at 95 Crosby Street. (An exclusive first look debuts here.) While offering a physical shopping experience is a boon to any brand, Comey’s designs have a particularly personal quality to them (and a particularly devoted fan base) that makes this step feel especially warranted. “I’ve been so focused on product development; that’s been my interest and there’s so much to learn and do there all the time,” Comey mused. “But now putting the collection in an environment suddenly seemed like a really nice step.” When a spot previously inhabited by a carpet shop opened up (on a block that manages to feel worlds from the crush of tourists just over on Broadway), she bit.

Comey

The space, with all of its exposed beams and generous skylights, is something of a unicorn among Manhattan real estate. All that was left to do was imbue it with some of that ineffable cool which has made Comey’s clothes so beloved among editors and hip celebs (think Maggie Gyllenhaal, Parker Posey) alike. After a full renovation, the resulting boutique is an artful mishmash of sensibilities, colors, and textures, a fitting complement to the designer’s collections. Minimal brass racks are juxtaposed against cream stucco walls, and registers reside atop the “Pac-Man,” a round, pink-shag-upholstered island. Of her choice of flooring, Comey said, “I like the permanence of concrete and the masculinity of it. I was trying to play off of some of those things that I find interesting in clothing, too—like the feminine and the masculine, the hard and the soft—and trying to create a house for the clothes that feels inviting but also elevated in some way.” Gesturing to a couch in burgundy leather, she added, “That’s kind of the feminine, naughty element. There is this hard stone travertine and aggregated concrete, and then these soft, plushy, sexy sofas.” Particular care was also taken to showcase her cultish footwear range, displayed atop a piece Comey refers to as the “concrete floating box,” placed under one of the skylights for a touch of added impact. Back in the dressing rooms (just beyond chartreuse curtains), shoppers will find niches stocked with some of the brand’s best-selling shoe styles.

Comey

Apart from visually offering up a bit of her line’s ethos to customers, Comey had another goal in creating the new space: “This is very ambitious, but you know when you go to a really great restaurant with your friends and it’s one of those nights that makes you remember or realize why you live in New York? You’re like, ‘Sigh. I’m so glad I live here. New York is awesome.’ I kind of want the store to be a place like that, you know?”

Rachel Comey opens at 95 Crosby Street, New York, NY, on June 12.

Photos: Gus Powell

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