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07-01-2013
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eugenius's Avatar
 
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Commes Des Garcon's DSM in NYC
Market Driven

Adrian Joffe is preparing to bring Dover Street Market, Comme des Garçons' pioneering multibrand shop, to New York's Curry Hill. The odd location? The 20,000-square-foot ambition? For CDG, that's just business as usual.

Matthew Schneier
Published January 4, 2013
Continued (Page 3of 3)
160 LEXINGTON AVENUE, LEFT, THE SITE OF THE FUTURE DOVER STREET MARKET NEW YORK

There's some justice to the fact that Adrian Joffe is opening the third and latest Dover Street Market in a former college. Its parent company, Comme des Garçons, of which Joffe is CEO, as well as husband, translator, and gatekeeper to founder and designer Rei Kawakubo, is as much a philosophy as a fashion label. Its laws, and even its language, are entirely its own, and they're learned, loved, and pored over by devoted acolytes.
The new Dover Street Market, which follows sister locations on London's Dover Street and in Tokyo's Ginza district, will open this year in a 20,000-square-foot space at 160 Lexington Avenue, formerly a home of Touro College and situated in a neighborhood with less fashion presence than Indian takeout. It's one more go-your-own-way decision for a company that's built a global powerhouse on them. Here, in an interview with Style.com, Joffe opens up about the shop, the spirit of the label, and the balance of power between himself and Kawakubo.
Congratulations on the forthcoming Dover Street Market. Tell me a little bit about how it came to be. How do you think it will fit into the current retail scene in New York?
AJ: A friend lives nearby and suggested that we look at this building. We saw it and fell in love with it. The size was perfect, the history interesting, and the building itself is dramatic and strong. I think there is nothing like Dover Street Market in New York right now, so we are hoping it will make a nice addition to the retail scene, although we are not too bothered about fitting in as such.
Much has been made of its unusual location, though DSM has something of a history selecting—and then elevating—unusual neighborhoods. Was the space chosen with this in mind?
I guess it was. We were not particularly looking in the neighborhood. We were open to all areas. We really decided this because of the building itself—although, I must admit the fact of its location and the absence of fashion here was an added bonus.
ADRIAN JOFFE

rest of 3-page article, here:
http://www.style.com/trendsshopping/..._Joffe/#page-1

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08-01-2013
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beautiful building...
will be nice having Comme on the east side...

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20-12-2013
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tomorrow's the big day...
welcome to NYC!


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21-12-2013
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it's smaller than the other two...
ginza is def the best one imo...

seems like everything is better in japan!

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24-12-2013
  5
El Viaje Definitivo
 
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you have greater statue of liberty

do they have altieri's footwear in womens sizes?



there was a long interview in the asahi the other day where someone named george fertitta from over there was talking about how people in NYC are all conscious of themselves as a host who welcomes visitors with different cultural backgrounds and tourists from all over the world on an everyday basis. honestly we in tokyo are not at all conscious of that although we would be trying to be helpful when some help is needed. we would not wake up in the morning in the slightest anticipation of any contact with tourists, even though the number of the tourists is incomparably different.
NYC hosts them with all the members of the city. on the other hand, in tokyo basically it's only the merchants that always have that awareness.
and you guys know much better the importance of, instead of how hosts are satisfied with their own hospitality, how guests feel then and there.

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01-01-2014
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yes- i guess we do have a good statue of liberty...
though we cannot claim that completely...it was given to us by the french!
we have to share credit with them...
...

yes- i can say that i am aware of tourists every single day here...
even just little things, like today i overheard a couple from russia trying to figure out what time it was so they could decide what to do next and so i just showed them my phone and they smiled...

we are not so formal here i guess, so we interact with people just casually and often...
it's not something one thinks about...
it's just a fact of life here...

i did not see any altieri at all at dover st...
but it was quite crowded and there was some sneaker launch so there was a line around the block...
i'll have to check around for that...
i plan to go back once the initial excitement calms down a bit...
should be easier to see everything then...

also- people were shopping like crazy, though i don't know why...

so many things were already sold out in many sizes...

i have to say- people were really nice and friendly...
not just the staff, but the customers...
it's almost like all the nicest people in nyc were in one place on that day...
everyone was very happy and chatting with strangers...
it was lovely...

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Last edited by softgrey; 01-01-2014 at 12:39 AM.
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04-01-2014
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so- i have a brand list and map of the store and there is no altieri at all...
also, no lanvin- which surprised me...

oddly enough, i think i prefer the original comme store in soho...
has anyone been there to see the renovation?
i am curious to see how that comes out...

i guess it might have more impact on me if i hadn't seen the other two dover st markets...
the GOOD DESIGN shop is within the store here though, which i think is nice...

*one funny thing- i got a tin pan with enamel coating from tokyu hands...
i just loved it because of the shape and size and it had brown trim, which is unusual
(usually you find enamelware with blue trim in europe and america)
also- on the bottom is had printed-made in japan...
it was lightweight and not breakable, so i thought it made a perfect souvenir...

then i went to the GOOD DESIGN shop in omotesando and they had that same pan for sale!
...
i had to smile...apparently Rei and I have similar taste...


*of course, now you can get it here in nyc---but they only have a plain white style...
makes me love mine even more...

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Last edited by softgrey; 04-01-2014 at 12:47 PM.
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05-01-2014
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yes seems like altieri's current project is always not on the list of the CdG stores that carry the footwear.
maybe he likes his stuff regarded/treated as some squatter, a little surprise like resident mice, or another thing that preserves its silence for our serendipity.

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05-01-2014
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i saw some piccies on the times a few weeks ago and it looks really good. not sure it's as expansive as london but it's about time NY got a DSM,indeed. one really good thing is that my new favourite label,NOIR kei ninomiya,will now be carried at all the locations…

i do wish kawakubo would get some of the more obscure belgian talents like wim neels and stephan schneider. imo,they could use the exposure.

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05-01-2014
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stephan schneider is in the ny store scott...

i did notice the NOIR line at the store-
it was merchandised mixed with other brands and that section seems particularly successful to me...
also-the NOIR stuff gets better every season, from my point of view...

runner-
then, i will have to remember to check for mice the next time i visit the store...

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05-01-2014
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^i didn't even see him listed--unless they simply have so much they don't list all their merchandise.

i love what kei is doing with noir. easily the best new line i've seen in years….

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10-01-2014
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NY Times article...

Inside With the Outsiders

Shopping at Dover Street Market, Brainchild of Rei Kawakubo, in New York City

JAN. 8, 2014


Launch media viewer

Jennifer S. Altman for The New York Times

Critical Shopper
By JON CARAMANICA

SO MANY MISFITS in this town — the skate brats and the wishy-washy actors and the ball children and the art slackers and the ectomorph poets and the hip-hop arrivistes. Twelve years of the Bloomberg administration may have done a number on middle-class aspirations in New York, but they built a hell of a machine to rage against. Or to aspire to.
See, these subcultures survive. And maybe more than ever, they thrive because the walls between inside and out are more porous. What you end up with, then, in a city like this is the professionalization of the niche, the small scenes, movements and styles that carry themselves with the same authority as the hegemons to which they developed as a response. Cultural disenfranchisement ain’t what it used to be.
For all these cliques, there is a look. And for all of those looks, there is the new Dover Street Market, the brainchild of Rei Kawakubo, the creative mind behind Comme des Garçons, who has gathered all the outsiders under one roof for the purposes of commiseration and, just maybe, crossbreeding.
Here are seven cramped-but-not-suffocating floors featuring several dozen brands of various avant-gardes and fringes — more museum than store, more souk than mall, more Off Broadway than Great White Way — navigable by staircase or clear-box elevator shooting through the middle of the building.
At its best, there are secrets in this Kawakubo dreamscape, from the galactic-theme stairwell that connects the third and fourth floors to the individually designed sections for certain brands.
Walking through it is like taking in the sets for a series of small plays, one right after the next: for Thom Browne, a little office with a door and an unattended desk; for Visvim, an Americana patchwork wall; a pole covered in bright yarn by the Jil Sander section; decrepit old audio equipment making white noise by the KTZ and Gosha Rubchinskiy meta-sweats; and glass and metal for the sleek nothings by Saint Laurent. Even the dressing rooms are, for the most part, performance spaces, free-standing boxes in the middle of the sales floor.
The store staff — uniformly beautiful, uniformly friendly — suggested the population of Rei’s Ark after rescuing everyone living at fashion’s edges: chipper kids in beat-up Rick Owens next to neo-organicists in Visvim next to willowy things in Demeulemeester dresses, all huddled for warmth.
The clerks were all there in service of forward-looking sportswear in its many incarnations. At the high end, that meant a slick navy Juun J blazer with shoulder pads ($895), or the deconstructed ones with torn sleeves by Comme des Garçons Homme Plus ($1,475).
In the rustic division, there were Visvim oxfords with crocheted pockets ($445), patched high-water jeans by Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons that looked like something Strawberry Shortcake might wear ($800), a heavy patchwork Ganryu flannel in varying shades of gray ($800), a crumpled plaid wool vest by Comme des Garçons Homme Deux ($740) and a robust round-collar Barbour knockoff by Comme des Garçons Junya Watanabe Man ($910).
Edgy casualwear was well represented, too: a long hooded sweatshirt with appliquéd military spikes by KTZ ($410), the usual black drop-crotch sweat-shorts by Rick Owens, baggy silk Prada boxing shorts in teal and burgundy, a logo-festooned motorsport-inspired shirt by Supreme ($166, on sale from $238) and stunning digital tropical-print shirts by Julien David, one of Dover Street’s real finds.
This being a Kawakubo production — it’s the third Dover Street Market (following London and Tokyo) — there were, natch, a few lunatic pieces, like the heavily embroidered canvas biker jacket made by Louis Vuitton in collaboration with Terence Koh and exclusive to Dover Street ($5,200), or the pony-hair moto jacket by Lewis Leathers ($2,215), or the square translucent fringed Mad Hatter dress by Comme des Garçons ($10,770).

From a distance, most of these items and designers and concepts don’t go together, but at Dover Street, Japanese, Italians, Belgians, Americans and more all coexist peacefully, and sometimes in odd juxtapositions: Why were Shaun Samson’s Pop Art sweatshirts and their loudly stickered racks right next to the barely there sheaths by Phoebe English? And why were the boldly colored mesh separates by Simone Rocha on the same floor as Thom Browne’s wingtips and the edgiest Comme des Garçons pieces, like the hand-painted rain covers for shoes?
In a space as irregular as this, something has to give, and often that was depth within a brand. Take the largely generic athletic wear from Nike, or the too-limited selections from excellent young designers like Proper Gang and Lou Dalton. Even Prada was reduced to a few dozen pieces. And yet there’s an upside to this restraint. The implicit diminishing of these signature brands goes a long way toward undercutting their inherent tribalism. For example, Supreme here is a far more pleasant experience than Supreme on Lafayette, and it also becomes part of a larger conversation about the intersection of aspirational street fashion and street-savvy high fashion.
ON THE DAYS I VISITED, around the recent snowstorm, the place was filled with tourists, so it’s no wonder half the floors feature what essentially boils down to a Comme des Garçons gift shop. This is the gauche shadow cutting across Dover Street: the PLAY Comme des Garçons Converse sneakers with those now-unbearable hearts, or any number of goofy wallets, or the distractingly pajama-like offerings from Comme des Garçons Shirt.
In the fifth-floor hardgoods section, like a Kawakubo version of Muji, I saw a girl moping as she shopped for a gift, complaining, “He never uses anything I buy him,” though it seemed unlikely that such a person would be in the market for a modest wood cup ($50) or a fancy stapler. And yet there they are, for the shopper who simply must leave with something, anything.
It was more entertaining to look out for the locals making their pilgrimage to Dover Street and gorging with their eyes. There was the guy wearing a beige fur draped over his shoulders and what looked like Alexandre Plokhov studded Armageddon boots, his hair in a topknot; or the club kids with bowl cuts musing over mesh tops; or the mismatched couple — hot foreign girl, dumpy local guy — taking a picture on the outer-space staircase. Here was a place for all of them.

Dover Street Market
160 Lexington Avenue, 646-837-7750; newyork.doverstreetmarket.com.
Gang Truce A new kind of mall cut in the image of Rei Kawakubo, featuring an eccentric collection of designers and styles, all of which challenge the status quo in their own way.
Show Off This is shopping as theater, from the excellent people-watching to the individual designer stalls, each with its own mood, to the almost-public fitting rooms.
Extracurriculars Take a ride in the clear elevator for a dizzying fashion tour and stop for a snack in the ground-floor cafe after you don’t need to try on anything else.

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10-01-2014
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I don't know who this guy john caramanica is...
but i LIKE the PLAY hearts and the wallets and the pajamas and all of the items in the GOOD DESIGN shop...

i admit that the GOOD DESIGN shop concept is unclear at DSM NY...
but since I have been to the one in Tokyo, where it is a completely separate, freestanding shop, i understand why those items are gathered together in one place that way...
it's not a tourist shop, it's a statement about good basic design...
that's where they have the enamel tin pan that i was speaking of earlier...
but it does look quite random if there is no explanation...
it was one of the things that i thought was not so successful at the new store, and it seems i was right cause this guy missed the point altogether...

in fact- as we were walking around the store, my friend actually came very close to BUYING those polka dot pajamas and i was lamenting the fact that i had not considered getting a PLAY cardigan while i was in Tokyo...
they camel with the black is such a good thing, imho...


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Last edited by softgrey; 10-01-2014 at 01:27 PM.
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14-01-2014
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As far as i know they did have m_moria, not sure what sizes though.



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14-01-2014
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^^nice!
i didn't see those...
and they aren't listed on the floor guide i got at the store...

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