After a decade-plus absence, Alaïa is again open for business in Soho. The brand announced over the weekend the opening of a flagship space located at 149 Mercer Street in the heart of New York’s tony shopping district with an arty history, marking its first US location under new leadership following Azzedine Alaïa‘s death in 2017. Creative director Pieter Mulier has combined the house’s deep connection to the arts with his connection to art, especially New York-bred creativity.
“New York has a very special significance for me,” said Pieter Mulier. “It’s the city of resilience. And resilience is the feeding ground for creativity. That’s why it is so important for Alaïa to be present, once again, in the heart of New York.”
Alaïa CEO Myriam Serrano reiterates the link of the Parisian fashion led by the late Azzedine Alaïa, who ran his business according to his own creative schedule, often refusing to bow to merchandising requirements set forth by parent companies the Prada Group and Richemont. The brand opened its first New York store at the height of Alaïa’s original fame in 1988.
“New York has always been one of the creative hearts intimately linked to the history of the house,” explained Myriam Serrano, Alaïa’s CEO. “We are delighted to open this new and exciting chapter in a city that means so much to fashion, to creativity in general, and to Alaïa.”
Mulier curated the furniture and the artwork of the new retail location. The store will echo a perennial designer trend to combine commerce and artistic expression by using the space as a gallery filled with art that reflects the brand’s aesthetic.
Similar to Azzedine Alaïa, Mulier draws influence from his passion for art and design to create. “I’ve chosen to show works that celebrate American art, from design to painting,” said Mulier. “I’ve compiled some of my favorite artists, the ones that never stop inspiring me…”
To that end, visitors to shop—sure to draw legions of fans obsessed with body-conscious designs originated by the designer once known as ‘The King of Cling’—will discover exceptional pieces mainly from artists who called New York home. On display are two chairs by Donald Judd, whose foundation is near the Alaïa store; Surface Series (from Currents), a series of eighteen prints by Robert Rauschenberg; also present in the collection of the Moma, a diptych by Mike Kelley, and a monumental work by Jonathan Horowitz.
The architectural structure of the store, which had a refined and minimal vibe, was designed by Sophie Hicks. The British architect also conceived the Alaïa boutiques in Tokyo and Shanghai. The Soho location brings the total number of Alaïa boutiques to twelve, including eight in Asia.
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