By Regina Connell.
One of the other questions I get asked a lot (other than the one about the home) is, “What’s the iconic new luxury lifestyle (not just clothing) store?”
There are some stores that kind of qualify. Maybe Barney’s with its hard to find brands and strong point of view, though there’s a coldness to it, and their home goods section constantly seems to struggle from a taste perspective. There’s Bergdorf Goodman, but it’s just a smaller mainstream department store with really great buyers. In London there’s Liberty, with its strong though slightly inconsistent POV. Maybe Dover Street Market in London (can’t say about the NY store yet), in a limited way.
My choice for new luxury icon is the dear, departed, sorely missed New York outpost of Japanese retail giant Takashimaya. Now, I’m not one of those people who loves to live in the past and talk about how things were so great then not now blah blah blah—so it kills me to have to point backwards, but it is what it is: the iconic new luxury store no longer exists, and that is sad indeed.
Takashimaya—TK as a friend called it—was/is the embodiment of the new luxury. It breathed soul and seduction. It breathed subtle luxe and intimacy.
First off, the store was small: no sprawling real estate that you have to pack with crap merchandise. (Never underestimate the twisted things that too much real estate will do for a retailer.) Small is good, particularly today, when inventories can be online.
But beyond that, there was the experience…
For all the rest and more on our version of the new luxury, wander on over to AltLuxe.
The New Luxury: altluxe.net