First Look: Outdoor outfitter Filson’s New York flagship
Filson has brought a little bit of the Pacific Northwest to Manhattan.
The brand founded in 1897 as an outfitter for Gold Rush prospectors headed for the Yukon has opened up its second outpost in the Big Apple, a flagship in the Union Square neighborhood. The 6,000-sq.-ft. space showcases Filson’s full product line, ranging from men’s and women’s apparel to bags, luggage and accessories, along with a mix of handcrafted specialty products from a variety of makers.
The store has an outdoor, rustic ambience. The entryway features a reclaimed and refabricated 1890s-era Douglas Fir barn from Ashland, Oregon, which serves as a trellis centerpiece within the space. (The barn was dissembled and shipped to Canada, to be processed by Spearhead, which designed the trellis. It was put back together in New York over a two-week process and a 3D imaging system was used to overcome obstacles.) Filson is believed to the first store of its kind to have such a large trellis built solely out of reclaimed barn wood, noted Schimenti Construction Company, which served as general contractor for the space.
“The unique design of this new flagship location will help Filson provide its customers with an incredible experience every time they enter the store,” said Matthew Schimenti, president of Schimenti Construction Company. “This was a truly collaborative effort and we are proud to have partnered with Filson and its team to realize their dynamic vision for the space.”
Filson commissioned several Pacific Northwest artists to create unique art for the space, bringing nods of the brand’s sense of place to life. These include a 14-ft. chainsaw-carved wolf sculpture by Jeffrey Samudosky, a 3D wood-carved wall-mounted sculpture with a contemporary take on Northwest indigenous carvings by Aleph Geddis and a stained-glass piece by David Fjeld.
“Filson New York Flagship stands for so much beyond a brick-and-mortar retail store; this represents a new space for people to discover what the Pacific Northwest and the great outdoors means to them,” said Alex Carleton, chief creative officer of Filson. “Our products and merchandise simply exist to further that exploration. Throughout the process of designing this store, we looked to those places – museums, parks and historical sites – to inspire us. The result is a well thought out, meticulously designed space that allows people of all walks of life to understand what it means to be a part of the Filson brand.”
The opening of Filson’s Union Square flagship bookends a notable East Coast expansion for the brand in 2018, which opened stores in Boston and Washington, D.C., earlier this year. Filson now operates 17 full-price stores and two outlet locations globally, 14 of which have opened in the last five years.
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NYC Best Bets: Top 10 stores of 2018
New York City has always been a hotbed of new retail concepts and attention-getting stores. If anything, that’s even more true now — a new report by JLL revealed that the Big Apple is the top city for first permanent locations from online retailers.
The past year was packed with new openings, from upstarts as well as legacy retailers. Here are some of the ones that generated the most buzz:
The online giant’s newest physical format is like a modern-day five-and-dime — but one with an extremely curated assortment. Amazon 4-star only sells items that are rated four stars or above —or are new and trending — on Amazon.com. Digital tags alongside every item show the Prime price and list price, average star rating, and the number of reviews it has received. The space features displays that range from “Most-Wished-For” (products that are most added to Amazon’s wish lists) to “Amazon Exclusives. Customers can also test-drive Amazon devices. (72 Spring Street)
Dedicated to helping women-owned businesses, Bulletin has evolved from a shoppable digital magazine for Internet-based, female-led businesses to an omnichannel retailer with three New York City outposts and a thriving e-commerce site. The new Union Square flagship offers products more than 60 female-led, online-only brands amid a sleek pink-and-yellow background with a feminist beat: Ten percent of the proceeds go to Planned Parenthood. Bulletin is emblematic of a new breed of retail. It operates with a membership-based business model whereby each brand pays a monthly fee to rent out space to sell its product. (863 Broadway)
The iconic athletic apparel brand’s second U.S. specialty store is big on personalization, offering shoppers onsite customization and the ability to design one-of-a-kind Champion garments made on-demand and tailored to their specific preferences. The modern, industrial-looking spaces includes vintage imagery and a sports-inspired arena-like area, with actual bleachers providing customer seating. Recycled basketball courts have been reimagined as display fixtures. (434 Broadway).
10 Corso Como
One of the most celebrated stores in Italy — a pioneer of retail concept destinations — made its U.S. debut with a 28,000-sq.-ft. outpost in the revitalized Seaport District in Lower Manhattan’s Seaport District. Taking up the entire first floor of the Fulton Market Building, the space combines art, luxury fashions and other retail along with an Italian café and restaurant, and garden. (1 Fulton St.)
The upstart (and Millennial-fave) online beauty brand born from a blog puts its signature spin on beauty retailing at its first flagship. Awash in pale pink, red and white hues, the 3,000-sq.-ft. Glossier is designed as a physical expression of the fast-growing brand. Customers are encouraged to try on product, engage with Glossier’s “off-line editors” (store associates), create social content, bond with fellow shoppers, and partake in any number of interactive experiences. (123 Lafayette St.)
Cannabis goes upscale in the Big Apple with the stylish-looking MedMen. The 2,000-sq.-ft. medical marijuana dispensary has a sleek, high-end design that recalls an Apple Store, complete with red-clad “geniuses” and iPads. The store reflects the upscale revolution in cannabis retailing that is happening across the U.S. and Canada. (433 Fifth Ave.)
Nordstrom’ first- freestanding men’s store is an art-filled, three-level, 47,000-sq.-ft. space that combines a comprehensive merchandise assortment and custom products with a wide range of customization and convenience services, including include three-hour delivery anywhere in Manhattan, reserve online and try-on in-store, a shoeshine station, a tailoring department and complimentary personal stylists. Customers can get help any time of the day or night with fashion emergencies via the store’s “24/7 express” service. (235 W. 57th St.)
Starbucks makes its biggest dive yet into food with its new Italian bakery and café concept, Princi. Minutes away from Times Square, the beautifully crafted and detailed space was inspired by Princi’s original Milan location, and features natural materials, hand-blown glass light fixtures, and a 20-ft. communal table. Two large ovens, visible to passers-by, allow for on-site baking. (1633 Broadway)
The brand formerly known as Restoration Hardware continues to redefine the world of luxury home furnishings with its newest location, a 90,000-sq.-ft., six-level showplace in the Meatpacking District. RH’s mastery in integrating hospitality into its retail strategy is on full display with a glass-encased rooftop restaurant and wine terrace that offers stunning views of downtown Manhattan and the Hudson River. The strategy will be taken to the next level this spring when RH opens its first GuestHouse boutique hotel across the street. (9 9th Ave.)
Saks Fifth Avenue
Departing from department store tradition, Saks moved beauty from the ground floor of its flagship to a sleek, light-filled 32,000-sq.-ft. space on the second floor. The revamped department is a store in and of itself, boasting more than 120 color cosmetics, skincare, fragrance and wellness brands. Saks’ new beauty nirvana is about more than product. The space includes 15 spa rooms along with such services as medi-spa treatments, facials, massages, manicures, brow services, a flower shop and more. (611 Fifth Ave.)
Big openings in the works include the resurrected FAO Schwarz, at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and Cover Girl’s first ever-store, at 30 Times Square.
Hot online beauty brand opens flagship
Glossier is wading deeper into physical retail, trading in its New York City “shoppable showroom” for a permanent location.
The start-up beauty brand, a Millennial fave, has opened Glossier Flagship in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, on the same site where the company was founded and had a showroom. The two-level, 3,000-sq. ft. space, awash in the company’s signature pale pinks and red, encourages customers to experiment with product, complete with embedded sinks called wet bars.
Similar to Glossier’s recent pop-ups in San Francisco and Chicago, and its original showroom in New York City, the new location’s merchandise assortment and experience is tailored to the needs of the community. Along with shopping for (and sampling product), customers are invited to engage with Glossier’s “off-line editors” (store associates), interact with each other and share Instagrammable moments.
Emily Weiss, Glossier founder and chief executive, told The New York Times that she has no plans for future permanent locations, though some pop-ups are on the agenda. Rather, she plans to invest in technology and e-commerce, including a Glossier-owned social platform, according to the report.
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