Tory Burch on Mercer
Words by Matthew Burgos
Walking into the new Tory Burch store at 151 Mercer in New York City is as comfortable and stylish as you would expect from the designer. However, the brand's clientele will immediately notice a distinct difference. While they may expect handbags, accessories, and shoes, the truth behind the display, inclusive of the home-infused interior, echoes a testament that has long been part of her brand's DNA: Tory's profound love and commitment to New York City.
"I could not be more excited about our Mercer Street store. It is an evolution of our retail aesthetic, and I have loved the creative process, combining a modern space with signature decorative elements and details that are personal to me. The downtown location feels like a homecoming, just a five-minute walk from where we opened our first boutique on Elizabeth Street," describes Tory Burch, the Executive Chairman, and Chief Creative Officer.
Like the brand's collections, the location infuses storytelling with the distinctive aesthetics drawn from the modern perspective of design and Tory's upbringing. Moving into the spaces, oak, rattan, and brass in a spectrum of finishes and tones clamber the surroundings and create a sense of home away from home. During the walkthrough, one may graze their fingers over the snake-leather 151 Mercer-embossed shoulder bag exclusively crafted for the boutique in the SoHo neighborhood. The unstructured silhouette of the bag contrasts with a voluminous shape, rounded seams, and slender string straps that adjust, transforming it from a shoulder bag to a crossbody and vice-versa.
Next to this bag sit the limited-edition Lee Radziwill Double Bags. The German Napa leather and suede glimmer under the bask of the warm light sprawling across the space, a sacred show to the eyes' penchant for luxury and elegance through the bag's softly deconstructed shape that mixes multiple layers and materials. Paying homage to Lee, the younger sister of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, it also references the idea of jacket collars, wearable opened, semi-buttoned, or fully closed; and comprises five compartments to allow personal function according to the clientele's needs. Speaking of personalization, the limited-edition bag can be monogrammed and dated, and each product will be numbered as there are only twenty-five of each style.
As one continues to marvel at the reflective environment Tory Burch summons, the three-floored edifice houses distinctive identities that fall in sync. A specially designed parquet pattern floor, made with wood and ceramic, leads the ground floor along with baskets suspended from the ceiling, forming a canopy of natural texture above handbags and accessories. It rehashes Tory's memories of woven baskets from all corners of the world that hung from the kitchen ceiling in her childhood home in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Beyond, a wicker honeycomb structure, inspired by Tory's own bee apiary in Antigua, masks over the handbags, small leather goods, jewelry, and personal objects she has collected.
The second floor features footwear and Tory's Home collection. The shoe salon curves into a circular room. The heart of which is a ceramic chandelier, designed by Francesca DiMattio as part of her ethos to challenge traditional norms of femininity, which hangs above a divan de milieu, redone in vintage patchwork quilts sourced from antique markets. Beyond, pieces from the Home collection present themselves in a cabinet inspired by a vintage armoire in Tory's home. At the last stop, the third floor hosts ready-to-wear pieces of the boutique with a reminiscence of a living room via the geometric layout, pink rag rug, floral chintz sofa, and bold ceiling pattern.
A hand-hammered metalwork Tree of Life motif lines staircase. Tory has always been fascinated by its symbolism of renewal, eternity, and growth, as seen in diverse cultures dating back 4,500 years. She evokes her reverence for rich storytelling experiencing the optimism, joy, and timelessness. These three beliefs record the boutique and the architecture as a conversation between old and new, minimal and maximal, architectural and decorative. The opening of the store shows the brand's commitment to where it had its start. Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Yves Roussel emphasized that the brand will be contributing to the local community through partnerships, events, and donations. "As a New York brand,we are committed to playing our part in our city's resurgence after an incredibly tough year."