A self-described “accidental consultant,” she helped Bliss Spa, Gilt Groupe and Toms Shoes with strategic marketing before opening Story, an unconventional boutique in West Chelsea. Designed to be like a magazine, Story’s theme changes every four to eight weeks, with the interior and merchandise getting a complete overhaul. New York Story, for example, bowed last week and features a smorgasbord of New York-made accessories, jewelry, gifts and locally-made food. The Web sites Cool Hunting and New York Mouth are among the sponsors for New York Story. Cool Hunting also helped curate the selection.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s StyleMint label, BaubleBar and Joor are among the previous partners. (As of September, sponsorships will range from $75,000 to $175,000.) Shechtman noted many alliances have stemmed from friendships such as the one with Cool Hunting’s Josh Rubin. Another friend, Tom Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, helped Shechtman set her course. “Blake said to me, ‘Enough with this someday stuff. You’ve got this idea for a store. Do it,’” said Shechtman, who features his label.
After she persuaded graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister to work on her logo and branding, he suggested the company be called Story.
Having lived in the neighborhood for 12 years, Shechtman committed to a 10-year lease for the 2,000-square-foot space at 144 Tenth Avenue. About 1,200 shoppers visit the store on a typical weekend day and Story should break even this year. E-commerce will be introduced this fall and five stores will bow in the next three years, with another New York location, Los Angeles and London being on the top of her list.
Shechtman, who continues to consult with AOL and other companies through her Cube Ventures business, said a few department stores have approached her about developing Story-inspired merchandising in their stores. Recently named among the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, Shechtman will speak at next year’s National Retail Federation conference in New York.
“In the past 20 years, there has been incredible rampant growth in digital and technology,” she said. “But let’s face it, other than Apple, Build-A-Bear and maybe Lululemon, not a whole lot has changed in the physical retail store. J. Crew is nailing it with product. But in terms of experience, not a lot has changed.”
Customers are welcomed by an iPad-armed greeter who uses Lightspeed POS to record e-mail addresses and any purchases they should make. Most Story shoppers spend between $50 and $80. Accessories from TM1985, the label started by Ralph Lauren alumni Tielor McBride, are popular, as well as Baggu bags, Jill Platner bracelets and Malin + Goetz products. To avoid markdowns, all goods sold in Story are taken on consignment. When an item sells out, Shechtman said she is happy to spread the wealth. “If I’m out of a product, I will tell you another place to get it,” she said. “Collaboration is the new competition.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)