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After months of frenzied anticipation, the Isabel Marant store in Soho—the French designer's first in the U.S.—opens today at 2pm. We stopped by this morning for a preview and discovered that it's pretty much worth the hype. For one thing, the clothing—little woven jackets, multicolored skirts, chunky jewelry—is gorgeous. There weren't a ton of shoes or bags, but the fringed boots and studded messenger pouches we did see were all perfect. If we ever found ourselves the star of a breakout indie film, we would spend our riches on the entire collection and feel secure in the knowledge that no tabloid could ever make fun of our personal style. It's that good—but also that expensive.
Marant told WWD that she considered several potential locations for the store, including the Meatpacking District, the West Village, and Brooklyn, but that she had her heart set on a Soho location "because there are beautiful buildings and I wanted to open a quieter, spacey shop.” She succeeded in her plan: The boutique almost feels like a gallery, with high ceilings and giant open spaces. (Remember how we thought it looked oddly empty earlier this week? It still has that feel.)
Much like her husband Jérôme Dreyfuss's store next door, the boutique is dominated by a big central structure, in this case a sort of pod or cocoon made of raw wood. It looks like a sauna or a beach cabana, but it's actually the home to the jewelry collection. The racks are also made of raw wood, and a few low wood sculptures that look like mountain ranges are scattered around the room. We get the sense that architect Nicolas Andre, who also designed two of Marant's stores in France, was trying to give the space a modern personality without changing its classic old Soho details (the tin ceiling, e.g.) Come to think of it, that modern-but-classic feel is exactly what makes the clothing so great, too.
· Isabel Marant Has Three More Days to Fill Soho Store [Racked NY]
· Isabel Marant Opens in New York [WWD, subscription req'd]
· Frenchification of Broome Begins with Jérôme Dreyfuss Debut [Racked NY]