Jerome Dreyfuss launches his Soho boutique later this week, and we swung by on Friday for a tour from the unassuming handbag designer. “I’m not an ‘It’ bag guy,” he said with a shrug. “It makes me happy to make women happy.” This is his first U.S. store, nestled next to the much-anticipated upcoming shop of his wife, Isabel Marant. (Marant’s store is slated to open mid-April.) After hunting around the West Village (Bleecker was deemed “too trendy”), the couple settled on these side-by-side storefronts in the heart of Soho. “Being French, Soho is the biggest fantasy for Parisians,” Dreyfuss said.
He conceived the interior himself, with an eye for artful details — “Fashion on its own is boring,” he declared. Though he opted to keep the building’s original tiled floor and walls, his handbags are displayed in a newly built, central cabana-like structure, loosely inspired by the Kaufmann houses of Palm Springs. The store will carry only one of his collections at a time — at the moment, it’s filled with around a dozen lambskin and python styles in splashy corals and blues from his spring 2010 collection — which will rotate every five months. (Prices hover in the $600 to $1,000 range.) The store’s cubic sofa was designed by Ron Arad for the MoMA, and Paris-themed videos will be projected on the walls alongside back-lit pictures. Though none of the styles are exclusive to the New York store yet, it seems that the city’s demand has already worn Dreyfuss down. “When I get back to Paris, I’ll see what I can do,” he said. Click ahead for a preview of the store.
Jerome Dreyfuss, 473 Broome St., nr. Greene St. (212-334-6920)