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Claus Porto opens store in New York

By Kristopher Fraser


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Claus Porto, the famed 131-year-old Portuguese beauty and fragrance house, is opening its first international store outside of Portugal in New York's Nolita neighborhood.

Conceived by tacklebox architecture under the direction of Jeremy Barbour, the stores design pays homage to Portuguese architecture and craftsmanship with a unique, forty-two foot long freestanding archway that is milled completely out of Portugese cork. This futurist tunnel, with a carved surface of 1,500 faceted diamond "tiles," is a subtle reference to the curious facade of the Casa dos Bicos building in Lisbon, as well as Porto's historic São Bento train station with its vaulted interior, arched portals and decorative azulejo tile that line its arrival hall. Claus Porto's Flagship store is located in Porto, Portugal, with a second store in Lisbon, on Rua da Misericórdia.

Cork, a raw material indigenous to Portugal and the country responsible for roughly half of the world's production, is environmentally friendly, coming directly from the cork tree. Its bark is harvested in a process that does not harm the tree in any way, but is a vital process to the tree's reinvigoration.

A monolithic washbasin sits at the heart of the space which is a nod to the baptismal font and a celebration of the ritual of daily cleansing. The basin was carved from the same large block of Estremoz marble that gave life to its sister piece in Porto's Flagship Store. Marble is a natural stone with Portuguese origins that's very representative of the country's traditions and craftsmanship.

Located on 230 Elizabeth Street with 550 square foot of retail space, the new Claus Porto store adds to a neighborhood that is filled with retail stores. Although brick-and-mortar is facing a tough time right now, markets like New York are still a prime target for fashion and beauty companies, particularly in neighborhoods known for high traffic shopping.

Claus Porto is present in 60 countries, and is sold by the world's most exclusive retailers, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom in the United States; Liberty London in the UK; The Conran Shop in the UK and France, Le Bon Marché and Printemps in Paris, The Corner in Berlin, The Galeria, Belport and Shinsegai in South Korea; 10 Corso Como in Shanghai and Seoul, Space.NK in China; and online at Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter.

photo: courtesy of Claus Porto
Claus Porto