Yes, it's open, and it's a five minute walk from the Gloffice. Which is why three separate pilgrimages have already been made by various staff members—and this week was only the soft launch.
Wednesday afternoon, founder Ben Gorham (read his The Professional here) was there to walk us through the space—a long, beige marble dream of a space that, if you position yourself just right in the entryway mirrors, reflects the Céline store across the street, making it the one place in New York you'll never want to leave.
'It was really about finding a place where all the categories could come together,” Gorham said about the space. It's not his first store—he opened a small flagship in Sweden a few years back, but it's about an eighth of the size of his new Soho digs. “Wholesale, department store, collaborations...a lot of these things are often very segregated, so I wanted to make a place where they could all be experienced together—especially the things that aren't available through anyone else,”
One of those things is a friendship knife Gorham designed with M/M Paris. It's dull, like a butter knife, with a substantial amount of heft to the handle. Presented in glass case along with a coin (the superstition about knives continues), it proves that Gorham, first and foremost, is a creator who spends his time thinking up beautiful things and then making them happen.
Nowhere is this more obvious than with Byredo's leather collection, which was launched in February at Barneys and is on full display throughout the store, stretching along the southern wall the way to the back room. “It was something that took us two years to do, and we really needed to do it on our own,” Gorham said—a narrative that could describe everything he's produced thus far.
And then there's the perfume (of course). They're all here, along with the bath oils, body lotions, and metal-tubed hand creams in their own metal contraptions [photo 5] to ensure optimal product usage. But the store isn't overly scented, funnily enough. The candles are kept in glass homes to maintain both their integrity and your ability to continually smell everything on its own to your heart's content. Nothing about the shop is cloying or overwhelming. It's all simply there for you, so you can experience it as you please.
But what's really exciting is what's next: “We're working on some color cosmetic references,” Of course, that's all he was allowed to say about it for now. So until there's another update, we'll be here waiting with bated breath, smelling like Bal d'Afrique.
Photos by ITG.