TOMS opens first NYC flagship in Nolita (264 Elizabeth Street – bet. Prince and Houston)

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Great looking store – very rambling and cozy (similar to the one on Abbot Kinney). Just opened Tuesday morning so teeming with Tom’s retail operations execs. As with the Venice store, there will be an outdoor chill space in the back (heated I hear), coffee roastery in front with wi-fi (they want you to come in and work and hang out).

This 1,000-sq. ft. location was formerly Jo’s restaurant but has been empty for several years.  More interior pics below the break. Also, info on the design and architects.

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Coffee roastery/hang out with free wi-fi

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Back room with displays made from reclaimed wood

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Wall art

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Looking from the back room to the Elizabeth Street entrance/cafe

I haven’t found any info on the specific architects and designers for the NYC store but I believe it may be the same as the group that was used for the Venice store.  If I find more updated info, I will repost.

The Abbot Kinney store

For several years, Mycoskie designed all TOMS shoes himself. But for the store’s design he played a more collaborative role, opening the process to architect Evan Raabe of Fifty2Eighty, the Los Angeles design collective Commune, and TOMS colleagues, including Rachel Halliburton, director of brand experience and experiential marketing.

Though the project is not LEED certified, TOMS took a heartfelt, holistic approach to sustainability throughout design and construction. After selecting a site on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, where there’s considerable foot traffic, TOMS decided to reuse the existing building, a wood-frame cottage from the 1920s, and embrace the homey feeling. “We wanted the entire store to feel residential,” Mycoskie says, “like you’re inside someone’s living room or in their backyard.” The cottage had been converted into a restaurant and then a furniture store, but its original wood floors and framing were intact. Raabe worked to rehabilitate the building’s structure and remove interior partitions to clear an 850-square-foot space. A 600-square-foot wood patio was added in back, and the backyard was furnished with bleachers and a fireplace.

All the shop’s materials were selected with an eye for rich weathered surfaces. The cottage’s original wood floor was left unprotected, in order to become further distressed during construction. The shoe display racks, try-on benches, and coffee bar were all crafted from warm, softly worn panels of reclaimed wood. Even new elements, like the poured-in-place concrete counter at the coffee bar, were executed with a purposefully raw finish. “The intent was for nothing in the space to look glossy, fancy, or just put in,” Raabe says. “Everything looks as if it’s been there for quite a while.

Let it breathe

While most architects, accustomed to managing every last detail, might have been rattled by the many ad hoc idiosyncrasies of the project, Raabe found that working with TOMS was in many ways very easy. He believes the character-driven brand streamlined decision-making. “It’s not often you work with a retail client who knows exactly what they want, exactly what their brand is, and exactly what they want the space to feel like.” he says.

Unlike traditional retail flagships, TOMS Casa is less focused on a transactional experience of product display and brand enhancement than on welcoming customers inside a warm, energetic, and soulful space. Halliburton remembers that, during the design process, “product was the last thing we were thinking of,” she says. “We put sales in the back seat for a while and started thinking about the place itself, asking ourselves, ‘Does it really reflect who we are?’” Most of the space inside TOMS Casa is given over to seating and tables, and all the fixtures are movable so the store can be rearranged for events. As Halliburton sums it up, “We wanted to create a design that lives and breathes.”

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