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Maison Margiela opens SoHo concept store

By Kristopher Fraser

4 Nov 2019


Maison Margiela has opened a Transitory Concept Store pop-up in SoHo on Crosby Street. The temporary store will be open from now through July 2020.

The new shopping destination for Margiela in New York City features a transitory conceptual format for nine months before reopening as a permanent Maison Margiela boutique at a later time. The immersive space features the collections of Maison Margiela by John Galliano alongside independent works by contemporary artists. Curated by creative consultant Dennis Freedman, five chapters of exhibitions will seek to create non arbitrary conversations between the voices of the artists and the visual identity of the house. The Transitory Concept Store is Maison Margiela’s first of its kind. It marks the house’s third boutique in New York City, adding to a presence of some seventy stores worldwide.

Maison Margiela opens store at the corner of Crosby and Howard

Presented within interiors designed exclusively for the Maison Margiela Transitory Concept Store, the first chapter of installations will showcase two American artists. First featured as part of the Artisanal Spring-Summer 2018 show set, functional sculptures by Jessi Reaves serve as seating areas throughout the space. Reaves embraces the character generated by the lived-in patina of material objects. Her ottoman-like works reconfigure familiar archetypes and reflect ideas of de- and reconstruction key to the tradition of Maison Margiela, facets likewise reflected in a shelf sculpture that sits by the store entrance. A mini jumbotron by Tabor Robak portrays the blurred lines between reality and virtual reality of the digital age. The artist effectively puts a filter on real life, exploring ideas parallel to the genetics of Maison Margiela.

Similarly, the temporary store invites guests to observe the familiar through a lens of transformation. An all-black façade paints a carte blanche for evolving interiors founded in the authenticity, redefinition and subversion at the core of the house’s values. The 2,200 square-foot space retains the tin tiles of the industrial New York City building and invokes fragments of the sound and vision native to Maison Margiela. Inspired by the runway show set from the spring/summer 2019 show, a mirrored runway is suspended from the ceiling, inciting a confusion of the senses. Infinity mirror boxes installed in place of original floor windows add to the theme of illusion, and function as accessory displays. When guests are within its noise-excluding zone, a sound cone emits extracts from Maison Margiela’s ongoing podcast series, The Memory of… with John Galliano.

On the new store, Monica Voltolina, CEO of Margiela U.S.A, said, “The opening of a new location in New York is a key part of Margiela’s momentum in the U.S.A and worldwide. We chose the vibrant and artistic neighborhood of SoHo, yet carefully selecting an intimate corner, in line with the codes of the Maison. After more than 10 years of an opening for the brand in New York City, we now celebrate with an unprecedented concept of retail meeting art. Installations of artists of this generation are mixed with Maison Margiela’s latest creations."

Margiela recently renewed creative director John Galliano's contract, so we can expect at least another several years of his designs and aesthetic. The designer has doubled sales for the brand, and this new store will be key to their expansion.

photos: courtesy of KCD Worldwide