PaperCity Magazine

May 2019- Dallas

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Page 63 of 95

every party. This is really about being in a moment and enjoying creation. It is the most challenging thing I have ever done, by far. The stakes are high, and I take the responsibility very seriously. It's incredibly complicated, opening something of this scale in New York, especially in Hudson Yards. McKinney Avenue was a low-key destination — this feels like the middle of Times Square. What have been your impressions of Hudson Yards as a whole? I have never seen traffic like this in retail — ever. We are getting everyone: tourists, industry types, residents, and just curiosity. We are near the Sally Hershberger salon, and that's bringing a pretty sophisticated customer. Why do you think Hudson Yards was the ideal location to launch The Conservatory? It's truly the last new neighborhood that can be built in New York. The food programming is exceptional, and for the residents (including me; we have an apartment at One Hudson Yards), it's a game changer. Mercado Little Spain, Citarella, and Thomas Keller's TAK Room are all huge draws and driving so much traffic. My favorite store in the center is Muji. Our cafe [at The Conservatory], Teak Tearoom, has been slammed with customers from day one. We serve a beautiful late breakfast, lunch, and high tea. The Shed is also something that I think will be cherished by New Yorkers. But I chose the location for one reason: the High Line. It has transformed the West Side and is shared by everyone. The first thing you see walking into Hudson Yards from the High Line is The Conservatory sign. I think of it as a place where someone can visit and not necessarily think of it as part of the shopping center. I located Teak Tearoom on the most visible corner, and the flower shop at the entrance. [The developers behind Hudson Yards] thought I was nuts, not filling those spaces with fine jewelry or handbags. Now they get it. Working with Droese Raney Architecture on the store design was familiar territory, as they built Forty Five Ten's McKinney Avenue and downtown Dallas locations. What were the design goals for The Conservatory? No unnatural materials was a start, with the exception of a beautiful and quite industrial Flos lighting system. The Conservatory is basically symmetrical and weaves into a big infinity sign. Lots of long and clear but forced sight lines. It unfolds differently every visit. It is really simple, minimal, and is about bringing nature inside. It speaks to no particular time or style. I think it will age well. Hopefully, it will get better with age. The floors are a real knockout. They feel like garden stones. The extraordinarily talented Dallas iron artisan Larry Whiteley built the four "conservatory" structures, and they are spectacular feats of engineering. I have no idea to this day how they got them in the building. I love that they were made in Dallas. The comment over and over is The Conservatory is warm but calm. I take that as a compliment. Where do you find the quiet space in your brain to brainstorm and let ideas flow? It isn't so linear, or calm — but it is about being open. With age came the ability to stop, breathe, and assess. Very little gets to me. I am an absolute believer in visualization and quantum thinking. I am inherently very curious and a hoarder of information. It's what you do with it that allows for creating. I also count on luck and real support from my friends and my husband. The word "luxury" gets thrown around to the point that it has essentially lost its meaning in almost every context. I trademarked the term "considered luxury" for The Conservatory, and it is very meaningful in that context. Luxury is not necessarily expensive, or even rare. It also isn't just a label. There are really no big obvious labels at The Conservatory, and that catches people off guard. That is by design. We carry brands and designers that I respect — real masters and innovators at their craft, doing what they do best, taking a stand on sustainability and adding value to people's lives. In an odd way, not relying on big brands allowed a real point of view to come through. We have various partnerships with all the big players — LVMH, Kering, Richemont — but in creative ways with brands they are nurturing. Tell me about a few products sold at The Conservatory that encapsulate the importance of a consumer understanding the story behind what they are purchasing. One of our bestselling products is Amber crystals from Bastide. They are simply a raw form of potpourri and a product Cote Bastide has always been known for. I love that Frédéric Fekkai bought the brand — it's from his childhood home of Aix-en-Provence — and renamed it simply "Bastide" and reinvigorated it. We created a beautiful 100-square- foot immersive experience room that transports you to Provence — this is in the middle of Hudson Yards — and the scent is simply these crystals. I believe this transportive experience is what connects people to this product, and it becomes more than rocks in a box. The floral component by Lewis Miller has been breathtaking from day one. All day long, people ooh, aah, and photograph the floral display. Many people connect it to the amazing store Takashimaya [now closed in NYC]. Lewis became Instagram famous for his Flower Flashes — guerrilla floral installations across Manhattan — and for recently giving a floral class at Meghan Markle's baby shower. And this little bit of nature connects people to his art. It grounds the store. Our opening exhibition of photography by Ron Galella, installed by the Staley-Wise Gallery, was important because Ron told an amazing story of true New Yorkers in the '70s, '80s and '90s. Uptown ladies meeting Downtown characters. Glamorous people in gritty settings. Many of the photos were taken not far from Hudson Yards. I loved this bit of nostalgia. They are emotional voyeurism. The store's scent, mixed by Joya Studio in Brooklyn, is based on the same scent profile I created years ago with Diptyque for the limited-edition Forty Five Ten candle. It's made up of three things meaningful to me: fresh-cut stems from Avant Garden, green ivy in the courtyard of the McKinney Avenue Forty Five Ten, and patchouli, my late partner Shelly Musselman's signature scent. Of course, I love your concept of incorporating editors (former and current) into the store's overall look and edit. Change is the only constant. There will always be something new. I really love collaboration, especially with people I admire, that have shared values. I fell 54 Brian Bolke (continued from page 53)

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