NEW YORK — Oilily is presenting itself in an entirely new way — no boys allowed — with the opening of a new U.S. flagship in SoHo.
The Dutch apparel firm has launched a 5,000-square-foot store here, offering a complete shopping experience for mother and daughter. Women's sportswear, which is available only in 23 select Oilily stores and not wholesaled to other retailers, sits on one side of the store. Children's wear (for girls only) takes up most of the remaining space.
"We really believed in making this a girls-only environment, where moms and daughters can experience the shopping experience together," said Paul Lechlinski, president of Oilily. "We do have boys clothes, as well, but that is a relatively small part of our business. About 7 percent comes from boys."
The space is a former Dolce & Gabbana store, which was stark, shiny white. The interior was stripped to give it the vintage look of a traditional New York loft. Everything in the store is part of Oilily's tribute to the city, from the metal-flecked leaves painted on the wooden floor that are inspired by Central Park in the fall to the vintage armoires displayed next to each other to resemble the New York skyline. The open space through the center is meant to resemble a runway at New York Fashion Week.
There are also hidden elements in the design, such as the little playhouse designed just for kids to hang out in while Mom shops. The small house, which has a table and chairs inside, comes equipped with a computer, so kids are free to browse the Oilily Web site. There's also a wall of vintage chairs stacked up and used as shelving for baby clothes.
The store was designed by co-creative directors George Gottl and Oliver Mitchell at Amsterdam-based UXUS Design.
"It's that mix of New York with that crazy aunt's house, where everything is sort of mixed-matched," said Gottl, pointing out the handbag wall, where bags are displayed on vintage doorknobs.
"It's designed to be a very adult-friendly environment that also engages children," Lechlinski said.
The store will also be a showcase for art and creativity by children, high-profile artists and designers who will submit their artwork from all corners of the globe to be displayed at the store.A showroom and event space on the lower level of the store, which is at 465 West Broadway, comes complete with a kitchen.
"We will rent it out as an event space or even hold our own programs like mommy-and-me types of classes, yoga, things of that nature," Lechlinski said.
This store opening marks Oilily's 35th U.S. location and its second in New York. The other New York store is at 820 Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side.
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