Hermès Puts French Luxury on Display with 5-Floor Flagship in New York
Natural light floods the Madison Avenue space, which is defined by its many references to architectural history
IN A STIMULATING MOVE, Maison Hermès (Paris) left its longtime New York location for a new 20,250-square-foot gem on the city’s Upper East Side. In a true branded statement, the French luxury label opened its largest store at 706 Madison Avenue, offering five floors of elegance and a rooftop garden, highlighted by touches of architectural history.
The new store stands apart through its rich textures and tactile materials like fine leather and wood, highlighted by accents of hunter green.
The spirit of the store centers around its Federalist-style edifice built for The Bank of New York in 1921, and its strategic connection to two contiguous townhouses on Madison Avenue and 63rd Street. In addition to dramatically increasing the square footage of the upscale retailer’s stunning new flagship, it created an architectural nuance worthy of the Hermès label.
The Upper East Side Maison links the brand’s Parisienne heritage to New York’s rich architectural diversity. Upon entering the store, customers are welcomed by a small Hansom cab circa the 1830s, on loan from the Émile Hermès collection, that references the brand’s equestrian roots and the ever-present New York City taxicab. This gesture is one of many that celebrates history within a contemporary environment.
📷: Kevin Scott, New York
In keeping with the brand’s tradition of design excellence, a methodical attention to detail is ever-present. The in-store journey begins with a tiled floor at the entrance featuring a signature Hermès mosaic. Customers are then led through a series of salons, each defined by carefully curated materials that complement the label’s product offerings and reference its Parisienne roots. The main floor, divided architecturally into two distinct areas, includes a series of salons for fashion jewelry, silk scarves and perfume on one side; men’s silk, leather goods and equestrian collections on the other.
The perimeter wall in the equestrian area is clad in a hunter green straw marquetry, providing a subliminal reference to the leather saddles and bridals offered in this area. Other finishes throughout the rest of the store environment include fine leather, a variety of wood treatments, stucco and handcrafted, textured wallpaper. In addition, several meticulously restored elements of its original bank tenant remain, such as the staircase connecting the first and second floors including a brass balustrade; the brass bank clock; and the coffered ceilings on the first floor.
Above, Below: Carefully curated collections are housed in open spaces with textured walls, curved elements and plenty of luxe seating.
Ascending the original staircase, customers are welcomed into the men’s world on the second floor, defined by beautifully crafted blond wood cabinetry, juxtaposed on an abstract herringbone wood floor that transitions customers to the adjacent home collection.
Reaching the third floor, shoppers are immersed in the women’s collection with its sensuously curved textured walls, comfortable environment and open spaces. Patrons are also afforded more intimate alcoves to view the women’s collection as well as offerings of fine jewelry and watches.
The fourth floor is a celebration of women’s leather goods presented under a magnificently crafted curved glass cupola, engulfing the floor in natural light. In addition, an outdoor rooftop garden, housing the Maison’s iconic cast-iron cavalryman, provides a breath of fresh air and greenery in the heart of the cityscape.
ABOVE: Flooded with natural light, the store provides a respite from the busy streets of New York.
The entire space is anchored by a curved Portuguese limestone stone staircase running from the ground level to the fourth floor. Supporting the staircase is a 49-foot-high wall that doubles as a vertical gallery displaying curated artwork, both commissioned and from the Hermès collection. Completing the historical references is a plaque on the main floor honoring Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of the United States, who served as the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, and Founder of the Bank of New York.
With its many architectural gestures and period references, the new Hermès flagship provides its Upper East Side neighbors with a true branded experience, celebrating a taste of Paris and the flavor of New York.
PHOTO GALLERY (17 IMAGES)
📷 Kevin Scott, New York
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