Curated by the Retail Design Institute, America’s leading authority on creating compelling and inspiring selling environments, we got the inside track from Ray Ehscheid on New York’s hottest store concepts.
Here is part one of a two part series, as we round-up our picks of the new store formats which are redefining store space and push the envelope across retail and retail design for 2019, across several sectors of retail – from fashion and beauty, to homes and interiors, to food and drink – all the way to emerging retail trends, including cannabis commerce and gender-free fashion.
10 Corso Como, Seaport
This concept store from Italian fashion icon, Carla Sozzani, takes New York luxury fashion outside the confines of its traditional Fifth Avenue home and over to the East River.
Just one block back from the shores of the Hudson River, 10 Corso Como brings a blend of art, food and fashion, all curated by Sozzani herself, to the former Fulton fish market buildings.
Mackerel has made way for Masion Margiela, and instead of perch, Prada, as luxe-couture collections are displayed among art designed by artist, Kris Ruhs, and a sleek restaurant takes centre stage in the courtyard.
This is a destination retail masterclass set on a speciality retail stage, where serious fashionistas can shop, culture-vultures can soak up the atmosphere amongst the art, or darlings that dine can dwell.
Gucci flagship, SoHo
Gucci has torn up the ‘luxury’ fashion retail rule book in its latest flagship store in New York’s Soho, which opened in May 2018.
It’s departure from ‘stuffy’ high-end retail environments, which distance the customer from the brand according to Marco Bizzarri its CEO, is about creating an engaging and inspiring space that’s both shoppable and Instagramable and makes shoppers want to come into store.
Central to the retail design of the store, which sees bright colour displays and comfy sofas dotted about the 1,000 sq ft space, is the level of customer service it offers shoppers via it’s army of Gucci ‘connectors’ – store associates who have been hired for their brand story telling ability who offer 1-2-1 service.
It blends apparel with its own bookshop and uses AR technology to help shoppers customise products, from handbags to sneakers.
Rowing Blazers, SoHo
The preserve of preppy fashion lovers, Rowing Blazers, as the name suggests, was set up by ex-American rower, Jack Carlson, to pay tribute to the Ivy League sport.
It’s pop-up in SoHo boasts a vintage vibe, with an old-school foosball table and retro coke vending machine, set alongside weathered rowing oars and squash racquets mounted on the walls, while rows of polo shirts, rugby tops and, of course, blazers – from striped to piped – sit amongst antique looking writing desks and trunks.
Rowing Blazers keeps its store feeling fresh via its extensive collaborations with other brands and collections – hosting pop-ups within a pop-up, to make it a multi-label retailer.
Its latest brand hook-ups include sportswear from Nantucket Red and Eric Emanuel as well as vintage watch brand, Wind Vintage.
Roman and Williams Guild, SoHo
From an interiors perspective, there no doubting Roman and Williams Guild’s design credentials having been designed by the same duo who decked out The Standard hotel on New York’s High Line.
This design emporium is another example of blending retail with other mixed-use spaces, with the store acting as a design installation, library and restaurant as well as a selling space.
It walks a fine line between fine-dining eatery and retail space, with everything you sit at – from tables and chairs – eat off, including tableware, glassware and cutlery, as well as the lighting installations and textiles, available to buy.
Such is the extent of the premium homewares on offer, diners-come-shoppers can choose from over 40 pieces of furniture and 15 piece of lighting, offered as part of the collection.
Check back to see part 2 of our top store concepts redefining New York’s physical retail space, coming soon!