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If you're going to shop at & Other Stories, the H&M-backed line that opened its first freestanding store in the United States today at 575 Broadway, you may want to bring your passport—you'll be stepping off the busy shopping street and stepping into Paris.
That's because actual pieces from their headquarters in the City of Lights have made their way to Soho, like pieces of a wall that have been molded into platforms that display pieces from the Lykke Li collection. Other elements, like the white clothing racks on wheels and shelving structures bound with light-colored wood, are simply inspired by the space where designs based on the aesthetics of New York, Berlin, Stockholm, and Paris come to life in the form of clothing—in other words, the stories.
But rather than specify what piece ties to which story, shoppers are left to guess—without signage to indicate the minimalist Swedish pieces, or industrial German styles, there's less of a chance of being pigeonholed into one section. Instead, feel free to roam.
Starting from the Broadway entrance, customers are greeted with a Confetti System installation partially made of the store's bags that look similar to those paint chips that covered the store's facade in the final days of construction. And those hand-painted tiles have been put to good use—they now sit atop the light-gray molding on the walls, corresponding to the colors of the clothing displayed beneath.
Continue through the four sectioned-off rooms to find ceiling lights that look like they were stolen from a stage and flooring that alternates between smooth gray concrete and gray-and-white tiling. Display tables are filled with correlating products, like the Foule Red nail polish sitting next to a bag in Foule Red sitting next to a scarf in Foule Red.
The second main room contains the beauty collection, featuring their new line of $25 candles and a sink to test out hand soaps ($8) and body scrubs ($15) (Tip: Return an empty bottle of one of their beauty products to the store for recycling and receive 10% off your purchase that day).
The final room, where customers can come in from and out onto Mercer Street, houses the shoes. There's plenty of styles made from genuine Italian leather for under $200, and also plenty of seating for trying pairs on. As with elsewhere in the store, shelves are dotted with small plants and notes on little pieces of paper ("Vegetable tanned leather may darken over time and give your shoes a personal touch").
The one critical note to give to & Other Stories? There's a severe lack of Iris Apfel photos on the walls.
· & Other Stories [Official Site]
· Iris Apfel Is Fashionably Ushering & Other Stories Into NYC [Racked NY]
· Now Open [Racked NY]