Adam Lippes is entering 2021 on a high.
Not only is the New York designer opening his first clothing boutique the week of March 8 at Brookfield Place in the Financial District, he’s opening his long-awaited dispensary, Farnsworth Cannabis, this weekend in Great Barrington, Mass.
“I hadn’t really thought of going to Brookfield Place, but they contacted us and it’s a really vibrant area. We’re going in between Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta and Gucci, so we are so excited about that,” the designer said, Zooming in front of a gorgeous Japanese screen destined for the New York store, which will also feature a selection of antique furniture, objets and semiprecious jewelry in addition to his collection.
The “design-first” Farnsworth, near the designer’s Berkshires escape, is “the most beautiful store in the cannabis space, where most stores look like a porn shop,” deadpanned the designer, who is selling his own product line, including joints made at an old Marlboro factory, massage oil and tinctures, as well as others’.
“I have lunch with a lot of ladies, and about half of them, especially in Republican states, are not pro-cannabis,” he said of the potential to mix his two passions some day, perhaps when New York legalizes cannabis. “But listen, I think they are just old fashioned and we are all going to be on the bandwagon soon…,” said Lippes, whose latest discovery is Betty’s Eddies all-natural fruit chew edibles for sleep.
Quality of life is something he’s become even more attuned to in his third season of designing during the pandemic. “Because of the nature of comfort women have had for the past year, you can’t just change it on its head,” he said. “But how to look elegant and dressed up at the same time is the question we put to ourselves.”
The answer? How about a pair of chartreuse trousers paired with the perfect lavender cotton poplin bow blouse for a shot of happy? Or a striped drop pointelle knit dress with a fun ruffle hem, for a classic take on sweater dressing that’s a natural step out of at-home sweats? Seeing that tailoring wasn’t selling, Lippes made some comfort adjustments, offering a caramel-colored double-face cashmere vest, and a rose-colored sleeveless double face cashmere coat with tubular belt as more versatile alternatives.
Another pandemic shift is that cotton is once again king— as on LIppes’ cotton-poplin bow-tied shirt dress in a red poppy print. “Silk crepe used to be 40 percent of our business, now 40 percent is cotton. It’s easy and customers are not looking for a one-shot wear anymore.”
Versatility, at the heart of what Lippes does and American sportswear’s no-fuss history, is the key to fashion’s future, he said. “Trends do not lead this collection, that’s not what we’re about. And it’s been a good moment for that. Encouraging women to buy new things every season cannot be sustainable, no matter how organic your fabrics are. Less really is more.”