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"Oh my God I am so underdressed," was the pervading thought I had as I approached 71st Street yesterday. An oversized black tee with jeans and hot pink Nikes is a perfectly acceptable outfit at my office, but I had a feeling that the same couldn't be said for the brand new flagship for The Row, which just opened in a three-story townhouse space off of Madison Avenue. Of course, no one was going to bar my entrance based on attire alone, which exemplifies the store's overall attitude: Despite its outright opulence in both merchandise and decoration, anyone is welcome for a look inside.
The store would've been the brand's first had it been available when the twin sisters and designers first spotted it, but it wasn't; instead of settling for something else, they held out on this side street location and opened the LA spot in the meantime. It's identifiable only by a silver plaque by the intercom — and no, you don't need to ring the buzzer right next to it (as I did) to get in. And once you step inside, it's easy to see why they waited, with elements like a double-height ceiling and marble staircases perfectly encapsulating the brand's vibe.
Like Totokaelo and Want Les Essentiels, The Row will give you serious apartment envy — just replace the clothing with furniture and you might as well be at an open house on an episode of Million Dollar Listing New York (there is plenty of furniture in here, by the way, and everything is for sale if the price is right). The minimalist aesthetic is prevalent everywhere you turn, from the light wood floors and cream walls and the light gray marble staircase to the custom Jacques Grange fixtures that display the pre-fall collection currently in stock.
Even if The Row isn't quite your price range — and for most New Yorkers, it isn't — it's definitely worth a visit. In the realm of affordability, you can walk out with Santa Maria Novella apothecary items, Masa ceramics, and Japanese green tea (harking back to the space's tea room origins), all found on the third level.
And if you're just checking in to check out the artwork by Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, try on a pair of the brand's Oliver Peoples eyewear collaboration, and admire the just-debuted shoe selection in the first-floor footwear salon with soaring double-height ceilings, don't worry — I promise you won't be kicked out for showing up in very un-MK and A attire.