“It was always the vision for the brand to touch the customer at all points: between our site, our wholesale and retail partners, and now our own physical space. It’s super exciting to be at that place in the company and create the full lifestyle experience for the customer,” Sarah Staudinger told WWD, adding the 2,100-square-foot Greene Street location is serendipitous for the brand, as the former New York Staud showroom was located a block north of the new flagship.
“The Los Angeles location was the first,” she added of the brand’s 1,500-square-foot “jewel box” retail space in L.A’s Melrose Place, which opened last October. “This is the next level of that, the elevation and evolution of what the L.A. store is — it’s larger. We have a huge NYC customer base so it’s exciting to have a flagship store in New York. I feel this new location is the most reflective of what the brand is in its physical space and identity.”
For the New York flagship, Staudinger and cofounder George Augusto tapped interior designer Tommy Clements, whom Staudinger had previously collaborated with to design her personal home’s interiors.
“That whole process of working with Tommy — we connected on taste level and collaborated well together in terms of me liking color and translating that in subtle ways, because our clothes also have a lot of color. Figuring out how to take elements of the handbags, accessories and ready-to-wear and implement that into physical spaces was an interesting project,” Staudinger said.
She highlighted leather-covered shelves with contrast stitching, and the subtle colorblocking of the location. “Each section of the store slowly goes into the rust color in the back. They’re muted colors, it’s really warm and feels almost like a home, so I think that’s what works so well. We always wanted it to feel like a place that’s her home or apartment, that was always the goal and is for the next stores we’re opening.”
The flagship features upholstered walls, display sleeves and dressing rooms clad in boucles, felts and velvets within color-blocked zones, starting with neutral cream, progressing into sage green, midnight blue, mustard and ending in an open, two-story rust-hued room. Warm lighting and lifestyle elements, like books and chotskies, were also key points to the design. The space features decorative lighting from Ozone Paris, featured artwork by artists Julie Mehretu, Andy Robert, Ed Templeton, LaToya Ruby Frazier and Franz Pricking, blown glass vases by Kazuya Nakamura and Rick Owens’ handmade bronze trays.
A mix of custom and vintage furniture pieces, including vintage ceramics by Jacquen Blin and Gunnar Nylund, ’70s Swedish pine stools by Gilbert Marklund and a ’50s Swedish entry trestle table by Axel Einar Hjorth, uplift the sartorial space while adding to its cozy, homey vibe.
“It was about creating something that would live through every collection — a backdrop to whatever the collection may be and something that is still a through-line of the brand DNA. Each season will have a little bit of a life of its own, not only how the product is merchandised but also the florals, the smells,” Staudinger said. “As we launch new categories, yes activations, but also — our summer collection is going to be a lot more colorful and happy with beach and swim elements. You can’t design a store based on a collection just because you’d have to switch out the store, which was a thought we had initially, but I think it’s more about the storytelling within the structure and the canvas we’ve created with Tommy and his team to continue to add and change in the same way you do at your house.”
The full breadth of Staud’s fall collection ready-to-wear and accessories will be available to shop within the flagship, as well as the brand’s latest capsule of organza gowns, sequined minidresses, feather separates and more.
“In terms of what I think leaves to the imagination is where we go next and expand in terms of categories — there’s definitely an impetus to continue to expand categories,” the designer explained, adding that further retail expansion over the next two years will follow the same idea, with each space treated differently, while telling the same story.