After 50 years in business, Patricia Field, the doyenne of club culture and nocturnal style, has decided to exit the retail business.
This spring, the 74-year old Field will shutter her 4,000-square-foot store at 306 Bowery in Manhattan. She moved into that location in 2012, after more than 30 years in the West Village at 10 East 8th street, and six years at 302 Bowery.
Patricia Field has been a favorite of celebrities, hipsters and the fashion crowd.
“I started my store when I was 24 years old and it has led me onto all the wonderful professional roads I have taken,” said Field. “My purpose was to begin my own life/career and to answer to no one but myself, to be independent. After 50 successful years of being able to do just that, I decided it was time to close this chapter and make more room for all the branches that have sprung directly from that tree; continuing my film and television work, styling, designing, and pursuing brand-new projects that have been offered to me that I have not had time before to develop.”
Field said she has entertained offers for several years to sell the space that houses her Bowery store, but felt now was the right time. She told WWD that after a year-long negotiation, she sold the building to a real estate investment company.
“The store has been requiring more and more of my time and there’s been less of a return,” Field said. She said that making a retail store profitable is “difficult” and has been eating up a lot of her time. She has had to turn down several opportunities, such as doing a feature film in China, because she didn’t have the time.
In the last year, Field said she found the store’s merchandise “lackluster” and had to step in and get active in the buying and merchandising area. “We had a nice success,” she said, noting the revival of one-of a kind looks, sweatshirts, jumpsuits, and Eighties fashion. “What I’ll miss most with retail is the face to face with my customers. That I love. They come in to be happy,” she said.
After the store closes in March or April, it will also be the end of her e-commerce business. “We fed the Web site through the store,” she said.
Field has always had a rich extracurricular life outside of her retail store, developing a career in film and TV, which she will continue to do. She is well known as the “Sex and the City” costume designer, defining the haute style of Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw on the hit TV show. She won an Emmy Award for her work on the series. She was also the costume designer for “The Devil Wears Prada,” being nominated for an Oscar for Best Costume Design, and costume designer for such TV shows as “Hope & Faith” and “Ugly Betty.” This fall, Field designed the costumes for this year’s edition of “Intimissimi on Ice,” the ice show organized by the Italian innerwear brand that took place in Verona on Oct. 9.
For years, Field stocked her East Village and later Bowery store with punk fashion, cheeky accessories and racy undergarments. Her current lineup includes fashion, footwear and accessories from such resources as House of Field, Badacious, David Dalrymple, Tzuji London, Madly Made, Betsey Johnson, and Scooter LaForge. Over the years, she established a reputation as the go-to place for such accessories as thigh-high angora socks, rhinestone brass knuckles, fingerless biker gloves, checkerboard thigh highs, tights with rhinestones, polka-dot triangle cupcake bras, Let Them Eat Cake pasties, and days of the week panties.