NEW YORK — Sitting in a limousine headed downtown, François Girbaud gesticulated wildly: "All the fabrics we create, in polyester and polyamide, they will not be destroyed."

Girbaud was talking about the centerpiece of his under-construction Manhattan flagship, which will be a wall of plants and polyester. It’s an idea the designer is importing from France, where horticulturist Patrick Blanc told him about epiphytes, a variety of plants that derive their moisture and nutrients from the air and rain, but don’t need soil. They live on the bark of trees, in cracks on rock walls and in this case, in little pockets of a three-millimeter-thick sheet of polyester that will hang down from the roughly 20-foot-high ceiling at 47 Wooster Street in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.

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