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August 22 2014

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5 posts tagged "BOFFO"

Michael Bastian Has Seen the Future of Retail, and It Includes Hay

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Michael Bastian's New Store

Is hay underused in retail contexts? Michael Bastian—who opened his first-ever retail store, a pop-up in conjunction with Boffo’s Building Fashion program, this week—is making the argument. Bastian partnered with the New York- and Guadalajara-based architecture firm Bittertang to realize a space out of which to sell his Fall ’13 range, inspired by the same creepy New England-gothic vibe that seeped into the collection. For Fall, Bastian had looked at the paintings of Andrew Wyeth, like the famous Christina’s World; Bittertang’s Michael Loverich and Antonio Torres did, too.

The lithograph that inspired the opening room of Michael Bastian's pop-up storeThe result is at least equal parts installation art and shop. From the outside, at the new SuperPier on 15th Street and the West Side Highway, it’s not even clear that the Bastian store is a store; it looks like an enormous mountain of hay. Once you enter, via a small passageway, the opening room doesn’t even have clothes: Its wax walls, which give off an evocative smell of beeswax when the weather is warm, enclose two tiny, twisted twin beds and not much more. A lithograph of two unseemly brothers—who look ready for a playdate with the twin sisters from The Shining—is suspended in the wall.

“You can go anywhere, to any shop, and you’re bombarded with merchandise,” said Loverich. “People don’t really give you an experience at all. Michael was really specific about wanting people to step in and be transformed.”

“All the commerce is kept in the back,” Bastian confirmed, gesturing past the hand-knit curtains of black feathers. “I think this is the future of retail—you have to give people a reason to come in, other than ‘This is just a bunch of merch, pull out your credit card.’ You can buy anything online. You don’t have to get out of your bed [for that].”

Michael Bastian's New Store

In the sinister back room, there is plenty of merchandise from the Fall collection, including, most tantalizingly for Bastian fans, runway-only pieces such as hand-knit Ouija-board sweaters and the Stubbs & Wootton slippers Bastian commissions for his shows. It also includes a few Bastian touches that will be exportable when he does open his own permanent store, like the rail dividers inspired by the backs of Windsor chairs. A permanent store is in the future, Bastian said, though no timetable has been set. That should give a new generation of bees plenty of time to get to work on the next four hundred pounds of wax.

Michael Bastian is open, through November 24, at the SuperPier at Hudson River Park, 15th Street and the West Side Highway.

Ohne Titel Bows At BOFFO

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“We’re trying to create a place for our label in this whole world we exist in, and this is a great step,” Alexa Adams, one half of the design duo behind Ohne Titel, told Style.com at last night’s opening reception for her BOFFO pop-up shop downtown. (While the flash shop opened December 1, she and Flora Gill decided to wait until all the cool kids came back from Art Basel in Miami before officially celebrating).

Ohne Titel is the last label to showcase its clothing in the BOFFO space at 57 Walker this year. Like the five previous designers in the series (including Nikki Dekker and Maayan Zilberman of The Lake & Stars and Nicola Formichetti), Ohne Titel was chosen as an up-and-coming talent by the BOFFO board and given a choice of artists and architects to collaborate with on the space, which has been transformed into a customized pop-up store through December 14. “We immediately related to EASTON+COMBS in our appreciation for color, undulating forms, and surface texture,” Adams said. The EASTON+COMBS-designed installation features tomato red colored aluminum tiles patchworked together with acrylic ornaments, from which hang the clothes from Ohne Titel’s Fall and Resort collections. Also in the mix is their first-ever handbag (a slim, unisex tote), men’s T-shirts (also a first), and a special-edition basic dress cut from Supima cotton (every BOFFO designer is asked to create something using the fabric).

Ohne Titel pop-up shop, 57 Walker St., NYC, open through December 14.

Photo: Courtesy of Ohne Titel

Gold Star

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“It’s all metal—it feels like one big piece of jewelry,” jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth tells Style.com of her 57 Walker Street pop-up store, which opens today. The L.A.-based designer teamed up with architect Marc Fornes to transform the 1,800-square-foot BOFFO Building Fashion space, previously home to Nicola’s by Nicola Formichetti , into a glimmering and lavish retail shop to showcase her latest designs. The space is complete with golden latticework etched with stars from the ceiling to the floor and a living wall. “I thought it would be funny to mix something organic with something very modern,” Neuwirth explains.

She also planted moss and branches next to her new opal and sapphire creations, along with her signature long gold chain offerings. “A lot of them are pieces that people haven’t seen yet because I’m always creating one-of-a-kind things,” says Neuwirth, whose work is a favorite among the likes of Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, and Iman. The store opens today and remains open for two weeks.

Photo: Evan Joseph

Mirror, Mirror, On The (Shop) Wall

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Tribeca’s first “mirrored cave/performance space” touches down just in time for New York fashion week. It’s the new pop-up shop from Nicola Formichetti, the Mugler creative director revealed last night at BOFFO’s annual benefit. The New York nonprofit runs the Building Fashion program, which connects designers (those without retail spaces of their own) with architects and provides funds and space for temporary, week-long stores. (Last year, the project brought Richard Chai, Waris Ahluwalia, Siki Im, Simon Spurr, Heather Huey, and Supima to a secluded space in West Chelsea; this year, Patrik Ervell, the Lake & Stars, Irene Neuwirth, and Ohne Titel, along with Formichetti, will set up shop in Tribeca.) BOFFO’s designers past and present crowded the benefit last night, which honored fashion’s favorite stylish architect, Peter Marino. “This year is just another example of how much architecture and fashion can achieve together in collaboration,” Spilios Gianakopoulos, the chair of Building Fashion, said of the new participants. “Looking at the proposals [from architects], it’s just overwhelming what can be done with a lot of creative vision. We had over 300 total proposals for all five designers”—including, he added, 120 for Formichetti.

What will you find there? “All of the designers I collaborate with,” the designer revealed. “It’s a kind of shop/museum kind of thing. Stuff from Japan, special pieces, panda bears…” And, it should go without saying, Mugler as well. Of course, the “performance space” designation beggars the question of whether Mugler’s biggest fan, Lady Gaga, will put in an appearance. No word from Formichetti, though he did let slip that he’s off to the heartland today to shoot her latest video. “Nebraska,” he revealed. “Where’s that?”

Photos: Clint Spaulding / Patrick McMullan

Karl, Kidman, Elbaz, Et Al. Design The Latest Japan Tees, And More…

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Uniqlo is the latest company to get the creative juices flowing for Japan. The retailer has tapped friends and collaborators like Karl Lagerfeld, Lady Gaga, Nicola Formichetti, Nicole Kidman, and Alber Elbaz to design a new series of tees to benefit the Japanese Red Cross. That’s Lagerfeld’s (left), which retails for a mere $19.99. It’s the most affordable Kaiser you’re going to get until his Macy’s collection finally hits stores. [WWD]

Speaking of Formichetti, the stylist and Mugler creative director has just been announced as one of the designers for BOFFO’s new season of Building Fashion, which allows those without freestanding stores to create pop-up retail spaces. Last season, Waris Ahluwalia, Richard Chai, and Siki Im created their own shops at BOFFO’s west Chelsea space; this season, Formichetti, Irene Neuwirth, Patrik Ervell, Ohne Titel, and The Lake & Stars will make their (temporary) mark in Tribeca. [Boffo]

It’s hard to miss Topshop’s towering Soho flagship, but it’s easy to miss its latest addition—a secret shop inside, where collaboration collections from Meadham Kirchhoff, Pamela Love, and Ann-Sofie Back will be on offer. Happy hunting. [Racked]

And today in collaborations: Christopher Kane x London taxis? Odd but true—the London-based designer has adapted a starry print from his Resort ’11 collection to “wrap” London’s iconic black cabs. [Vogue U.K.]

Photo: Courtesy Photo