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Last night's preview at the soon-to-open, much buzzed and bitched about Rag & Bone Nolita outpost was extremely enlightening. First, we learned that the shop will only carry the the more wallet-friendly companion womenswear lines Rag & Bone/JEAN, Rag & Bone/SHIRT and Rag & Bone/KNIT, plus ladies-only footwear from the original Rag & Bone. (Sorry guys, but you'll always have the West Village.)
Secondly, for those quaffing haterade: A company rep did emphasize to us that Rag & Bone "did not swoop in" and kick Café Colonial out with capacity to afford higher rent payments. The beloved restaurant already lost its lease before talks even began, but now at least the nabe gets a shiny new store as opposed to a sad empty storefront. Rag & Bone did make a strong effort to keep many of the iconic signature from ye old Café Colonial, including the lovingly-worn blue and white tile floor, the white kitchen wall tiles and the white painted pressed tin ceilings.
The apparel section sits in the former restaurant seating area and carries items from pre-fall and fall. The floor-to-ceiling shelving will be home to a denim wall offering signature cuts and washes, including the pre-fall distressed cargoes. On the racks and shelves to the left, there reside the separates including feather-weight chambray button-down rompers, light- and heavier-weight lean plaid shirts, and cropped pre-fall striped sweaters. Accessories on display include scarves, hats (knit and the ubiquitous fedora), plus weekender totes from the Rag & Bone line. Staffers promise more cold weather accessories as the season changes.
Shoes reside in the former Café Colonial kitchen. The shoe shop will have its own entrance and carry a selection of Rag & Bone branded footwear offerings. We were eyeing the tough girl round-toe motorcycle boots, which will be a hit for the fall, plus stacked heel booties.
The store was cleared out for the preview, so minimalist was the word, but staffers will stock more items before the official opening this Friday. We were hoping for neighbor Billy Leroy of Billy's Antiques and Props across the way to stop in and bestow his official judgement, but no luck last night.
· Rag & Bone Put a Shoe Shop in the Cafe Colonial Kitchen [Racked]
· Rag & Bone Probably Isn't Opening on Houston Tomorrow [Racked]
· Rag & Bone [Official Site]