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When concept shop Story reopens to the public at 11am this morning, you might want to keep your sunglasses on when you walk inside. That's because Donald Robertson—better known to his nearly 150,000 Instagram founders as @drawbertson—has covered the 2,000-square foot Chelsea space with his bright illustrations of lips, eyes, giraffes, and more. From the walls to the furniture to the merchandise itself, there isn't a single surface that hasn't been touched by the playful artist's paintbrush in his ultimate takeover of the store, making Story's 26th iteration its most fun (and interactive) concept to date.
As Robertson and Story founder Rachel Shechtman told Racked, he approached her about a collaboration to celebrate his children's book Mitford at the Fashion Zoo, in which a fashion-obsessed giraffe lands a job at Cover magazine with a boss that bears a resemblance to a certain Condé Nast editor. "Kids are going to like it, but also adults are going to like it," Robertson explained of his goal to create an entertaining story for all ages. "I have a lot of kids, [and] reading books at night can get boring."
The ideas snowballed from there, with Robertson putting his stamp on everything you can buy here, from Tidal NYC flip flops to Sugarfina candies to (for the first time) Story's own products: coasters, mugs, and phone cases. "I'm a big believer of one-of-a kind—I don't love the idea of mass producing stuff with my name on it," Robertson said. "But the stuff that is mass produced here is only here for a month...it's over and disappears."
And plenty of the items here have had Robertson's own hands on them, like the drawing on the cases of limited-edition Warby Parker sunglasses and the paintings on items like Shinola notebooks and Essent'ials paper tote bags and chairs. And everything on the art wall you'll see to your right when you enter, where he's drawn on canvas and pizza boxes alike, is for sale, too.
If you're inspired to create some art of your own once wandering around here, pick up one of the clever notebooks or "adult coloring books" on offer. Or stick around to play at Bow and Drape's customization station, where you can press on @drawbertson emojis to create your own tee-shirt, or customize your own Smashbox lip gloss (they've got a bunch of makeup here) with the help of a makeup professional.
Story: Donald is open now through Sunday, September 20th; head here for more information about in-store events, from today's all-day celebration of Mitford at the Fashion Zoo to Smashbox contouring lessons and cocktails with makeup artist Karl Giant to New York Fashion Week fun with J. Crew.