Better late than never is what one can say to the hot Parisian fashion label Carven (pictured above) and the fast growing accessory brand Miansai as they arrive in SoHo with less than two weeks before Christmas.
Finally ready for customers only about a week and a half ago, Carven's first New York boutique admittedly opened a little later than expected, but you may understand why once you see the inventively designed interior that makes the most of an unorthodox space. Previously home to the Curve boutique, which has decamped to NoHo, Carven's Mercer Street store has the odd configuration of having zero display windows and a long, narrow entryway to pass through before shoppers get into the boutique proper. It's a challenging layout, but the brand's creative director Guillaume Henry and his regular store design partner Eric Chevalier conquer it with unexpected elements like an undulating curtain of light bulbs overhead that guide customers into the store, which is almost entirely lined with mirrors. In a neighborhood filled with boutiques that often either mimic the accepted store design styles of the moment or simply replicate the institutionalized style of their designers for the umpteenth time, Carven's quirky, site-specific style is a refreshing surprise that also nicely complements the innovative materials in Henry's apparel designs.
A couple of blocks east, the #menswear favorite accessory line Miansai has also just debuted its own shop. Sometimes, we have to admit, it can be a bit bewildering to figure out why a cadre of influential men's editors and buyers will glom onto an innocuous item like Miansai's narrow cord bracelets with a silver fishhook clasp, but those insiders' support has helped to guide the Miami-based label through the multi-bracelet craze of recent seasons to the point where it is ready for its own outpost on a men's shopping friendly stretch of Crosby Street. The store includes unexpected elements like a tea-and-Kombucha bar and copper-topped counters mixed with SoHo signature like whitewashed, exposed brick walls.“I wanted it to feel very Scandinavian,” Miansai's young founder and creative director Michael Saiger tells WWD. “I wanted it to be homey and inviting. I didn’t want it to feel like a jewelry store.” Now with a more established retail presence, the label has introduced hats, watches and leather accessories for mens and women alike to broaden its reach, and nestled among complementary neighbors like Carson Street Clothiers, Aether, Saturdays Surf and Bonobos, Miansai couldn't be better positioned to continue to grow. Have a look at both stores in our gallery below.
Miansai Opens First Store in Soho (WWD)
Carven 83 Mercer Street between Broome & Spring Streets
Miansai 33 Crosby Street between Grand & Broome Streets, SoHo