Hermès opens new Madison Avenue store
Hermès opens its new American flagship store at 706 Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side of New York City on Monday with a design that's meant to impress, make customers feel inspired and comfortable, and boost dwell time.
Calling it a “new milestone”, The French luxury giant said the 20,250 square-foot store is “a union of New York dynamism and Parisian elegance”. It’s also “an ambitious fusion of three existing buildings” connected by the Parisian architecture agency RDAI, led by Denis Montel.
The central structure, completed in 1921 in the Federalist style as an outpost of the Bank of New York, anchors the southwest corner of its block. The adjacent buildings, former townhouses (one on Madison, the other on 63rd Street) meet in an L-shape encasing the Bank.
The interiors are inspired by “New York’s Art Deco past and the earliest Manhattan skyscrapers, which generate an aesthetic that is pure while decidedly anti-minimal”.
The store features a series of salons, each with its own unique elements in a palette of warm neutrals with injections of brighter hues, “which intensify from floor to floor”.
There are two Madison Avenue entrances and “a remarkable staircase” while the coffered ceiling incorporates the Bank’s original design.
Visitors can also see a small Hansom cab, from the 1830s that's been borrowed from the Émile Hermès collection. But the store’s real focal point is a stone staircase that runs all the way to the fourth floor. The 49-feet-high supporting wall acts as a vertical gallery for an artwork collection.
To celebrate the opening, special edition products have been created, including scarves, several Kelly bags, a Bolide bag, two special watches, a jukebox, and a bicycle. Brooklyn-based artist Mike Perry has also created a window display “with a joyful, kinetic spirit”.
As for the commercial side of the store, the ground floor includes fashion jewellery, the silk universe, perfume and beauty, and the men’s silk, leather goods and equestrian collections.
The store also includes private lounges for a personalised service.
The Bank staircase leads to the second-floor men’s universe and interiors collections.
The third floor is the women’s universe with a large globe that "pays homage to the sun, both in its concentric circular geometry and its mimicking of natural light”. This area flows into the jewellery and watches space, organised into alcoves for enhanced privacy.
The company said its new design “creates a compelling experience by allowing time for visitors to discover the collections, request the assistance of a concierge service or enjoy refreshments either at the ground-floor coffee bar or at the bars on the third and fourth floors”.
There’s also a “masterfully crafted curved glass cupola that draws in natural light” and a rarity for stores in the area — outdoor space. Landscaping expert Miranda Brooks designed the roof garden, taking her primary inspiration from the bas-relief designed from ink drawings by the French artist François Houtin.
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