July 26 2014

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34 posts tagged "Dover Street Market"

World of Interiors: Dover Street Market New York’s Designers on the Spaces They Designed for the New York Megastore


The many different edifices—many designed by Rei Kawakubo—of Dover Street Market New YorkTomorrow, Dover Street Market in New York opens its doors to the public (including that very committed member of the public who has been camped out in a pup tent on the corner, reportedly for days, waiting). The multibrand store, owned by Comme des Garçons, stocks both the full range of Comme des Garçons labels (which are many), and lines that Rei Kawakubo and her team select and buy for the store—with the sphinx-like Kawakubo often doing the buys herself.

The concept of shop-in-shops at multibrand retailers is nothing new, and many department stores have concessions piloted by individual designers and labels. But few give so much freedom to so many as Dover Street Market. (“We don’t go in for brainstorming,” CdG CEO Adrian Joffe put it dryly to last year) The result is that walking through the seven stories of New York’s Dover Street Market—or riding up in the glass elevator that was commissioned for the space—is a varied, eye-popping, and often surreal experience. Brands are grouped together in unlikely arrangements, decided by Kawakubo. On the seventh floor, Prada sits next to the skate brand Supreme, the Japanese line Visvim, and near André Walker, the cult designer coaxed out of semi-retirement to design a new collection for the store. And because most if not all of the labels are given license to design their own spaces and fixtures, going from one to the next, even over a distance of only a few feet, can feel like traveling between dimensions or falling down the proverbial rabbit hole. (This is not even to take into account the stairway, designed by the architects Arakawa and Gins, which somewhat resembles a birth canal and is reputed, according to a Comme representative, “to reverse your destiny.”) And this is before you account for the artworks commissioned from the space, including three artist-designed pillars that evolve as they cut through the seven floors, a sound art installation, a mural and more.

The result is a store that is completely unlike all of the existing shopping experiences in New York. But for every person disoriented by the experience, there is likely to be another delighted by the creative chaos. “It’s not overthought. I feel sometime shopping environments can be overcalculated—it’s nearly forced, duty-free luxury,” said Jonathan Anderson, who created the first branded space he’s ever done in the history of his J.W. Anderson label for the store. “I don’t think luxury has to be determined in that way. I think luxury is about the arrangement of ideas, not necessarily the finish.” spoke with several designers who created their own spaces—and in many cases, exclusive product—for Dover Street Market New York.

Dover Street Market New York opens tomorrow at 160 Lexington Avenue, NYC.

J.W. Anderson

J.W. Anderson's space at Dover Street Market New YorkAnderson, the London-based designer who was recently named creative director of Loewe, was inspired to build his space out of children’s foam-rubber play blocks, all in a shade somewhere between sky and Yves Klein blue. He’d seen children playing with them in a park in Venice, where he’d just returned from his first vacation in seven years when Joffe asked him to do a space on DSMNY’s fifth floor. “They’re from America, weirdly,” he said. “The company did them exclusively in different shapes for us. It was quite fun, actually.”

Dover Street has been a longtime patron of Anderson’s collections, which are also stocked in its London and Ginza, Tokyo, stores. Kawakubo herself selects the pieces to carry which often, thanks to her off-kilter eye, end up being exclusive to DSM. “I always like watching her edit. I love her commitment to fashion, buying from other brands. You have to be on a very different plane to able to do that,” he said. “I think that’s what’s so exciting about the relationship between Dover Street and Comme des Garçons. I think it’s such an interesting exercise, and that’s why there’s no compromise in the buy, there’s no compromise in the store shopping experience.”


The Supreme space at Dover Street Market New York

“Supreme is a hard brand for people to categorize,” said founder James Jebbia. “DSM does a great job at taking the best brands in the world and mixing them in their store without categorizing them.”

All that is to say, Dover Street let Supreme be Supreme: graphic, in your face and immediate. Jebbia commissioned Weirdo Dave (né Dave Sandey, but also known as Fuck This Life) to create a large backdrop mural of found images, which has a Tumblr-ish spark. (A few yards away hangs Visvim’s cozy hanging quilts.) How much interaction did Kawakubo have with the space? “Not much, really,” Jebbia said. “Rei let us design the space how we wanted, but she looks at and approves every detail. If she didn’t like something, she certainly would have told us.”

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Japanorama! Isetan Is Headed for NYC


IsetanWe here at are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Rei Kawakubo’s New York Dover Street Market, which will open its doors on Saturday. But according to WWD , the Big Apple is in for yet another dose of Japanese retail bliss. Isetan, Japan’s largest, and possibly coolest, department store, is opening a pop-up in Soho. The shop will bow at 47 Greene Street and is slated to run from February 6 to 13—launching just in time for fashion week. Isetan comes to us by way of the Cool Japan campaign, an effort by the Japanese government to help brands get global exposure. Kansai Yamamoto (i.e., the designer who created David Bowie’s famous striped jumpsuit), Mint Designs, N. Hoolywood, and Yohji Yamamoto are just some of the labels that will be available. All we have to say is, Arigato.

Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sacai Gets a New Nook


Chitose Abe in Sacai's new Dover Street Market space

Chitose Abe launched Sacai fifteen years ago. So it’s undoubtedly come as something of a surprise, after all this time, to find herself touted a buzzy up-and-comer. But there’s no doubt Sacai is having a moment: No less an eminence than Karl Lagerfeld recently called Sacai “the most interesting current brand,” and Abe’s show in Paris for Fall ’13 won a rapturous reception. Pieces from that collection were hanging at Dover Street Market in London, where Abe could be found putting the finishing touches on the new shop-in-shop she launched on Saturday. “I’ve been doing this long enough. I have my own way of working,” Abe said, when asked how she was handling the fashion spotlight. “I don’t think the attention is going to affect me, really. Certainly not the way I design.” That said, the shop-in-shop launch would seem to be another advance for Project Sacai: Total World Domination. Though small, the space is the brand’s first dedicated retail outlet outside of Asia. And as Abe pointed out, it gives her the opportunity to more fully express the ethos of Sacai to customers. The unusual shelving units, for instance, were created by the Japanese artistic collective Gelchop, whose whimsical ready-mades echo the Sacai principles of hybridization and collage. To wit, the piece that Abe pointed out as her favorite from the new collection is a double-breasted overcoat with a leather biker-jacket bib sewn onto the front. Edie Campbell wore it in the show. “I love authentic clothing, garments with a tradition,” explained Abe. “But I have to make these pieces authentic for me. So I combine things. I create a new volume, a new idea.”

Photo: Andrew Woffinden

Phoebe English’s Dover Street Galaxy


Phoebe English's Spring 2013 collection and Dover Street Market installation 

From the Keith Haring installation to a giant Barbie display to entire worlds created by Tim Walker, Gilbert & George, Chanel, and Lanvin, the windows of Rei Kawakubo’s London concept boutique Dover Street Market (which is slotted to open in New York later this year) have become somewhat of an institution. So when the storefront is lent to a young designer, it’s a veritable rite of passage. Earlier this year, rising star Simone Rocha built an Irish wilderness behind Dover Street’s glass facade. And today, Phoebe English—a 27-year old Central Saint Martins graduate who won the coveted L’Oréal Professional award upon her graduation in 2011—takes the stage, mounting her first project for the shop. “They were my first stockist,” said English, who’s now been selling at Dover Street for four seasons. “We’ve been working on this for a long time. And it’s been very challenging because it’s such a different thing than putting together a collection.”

Phoebe English's Dover Street Market window 

English has a penchant for combining unexpected materials in her wares—synthetic hair and strips of rubber, for example. So naturally, her installation, a giant, ethereal icy-blue orb that combines shreds of fabric and glass beads from her Spring ’13 collection (above, left), follows suit. “It’s a bit of a play on contradiction. I liked that the solidity of the sphere contrasted against the irregular textiles and beads,” she explained, noting that her sculpture had an intergalactic inspiration (“I quite like planets and stars,” she giggled). As for why she decided to forgo a clothing-based display, English offered, “I felt that it would be too literal. Dover Street is such a creative garment-based space already, and it felt right to push my creative thought in a new direction.” English’s windows will be on view through May 29, and her Spring ’13 collection is available now at Dover Street Market’s London boutique.

Photo: Courtesy of Phoebe English (Spring ’13 collection and interior image); Courtesy of Dover Street Market (installation exterior)

Palmer//Harding: Beyond the Shirt


Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding launched Palmer//Harding four seasons ago as a line that strictly offered shirts. Since, the London-based Central Saint Martins graduates have won NEWGEN sponsorship (they presented on schedule at London fashion week for the first time this season) and their constantly evolving range has been picked up by high-profile retailers like Dover Street Market, Fivestory, Louis Boston, and Moda Operandi. Looking at their Fall '13, it’s not hard to see why. The collection—their most comprehensive to date—features clean, voluminous blouses with long, sometimes floor-length trains, sculpted skirts, and shapely jackets in adventurous textiles (the most exciting of which was a “tarred” wool that Harding likened to antique leather or a “sticky cinema floor”), and sharp black trousers.

In case there was any doubt, the designers have made it clear that they can do more than just shirts. Heck, even the shirts are more than just shirts. One cotton poplin oxford looks simple from the front and then, surprise!, it’s backless. Some styles came with intricate embellishments on the sleeves, collar, or waist, and other silk/cotton voile versions incorporated gentle pleating to achieve a fluid femininity. “There are 15 different shirts in the collection. The shirt is still the star,” said Palmer. Harding added, “We just wanted to show people more of our mood, and our world, and we needed the separates to push that.”

Photo: Courtesy of Palmer//Harding; Set design by Thomas Bird