Manhattan’s Bowery is a long way from the days of homeless-strewn sidewalks and gritty punk rock venues. Today, the street and its surrounding neighborhood are lined with high-design condos and expensive fashion labels. Underscoring this transformation, French fashion label A.P.C. has opened its fourth New York City store on Bond Street, next to the last scrap metal workshop in the area. “When we started in 87, it was a reaction to the excesses of the 1980s,” the brand’s creative director, Jean Touitou, told Style.com. A.P.C. instead takes inspiration from the simplicity found in the uniforms of school children, workers, and the military. “Schoolkids could inspire me, because they’ve got it. They bring a kind of freedom, thanks to their uniforms. But most people are just prisoners of their own gimmicks.”
Touitou and his architect, Paris-based Laurent Deroo, take this same design ethic to heart in creating the physical spaces that display their wares. The two-story space on Bond is unabashedly austere, clad exclusively in pale oak punctuated by brushed aluminum fixtures.
At Bond Street, a cleanly detailed scissor staircase connects the main showroom to the store’s basement “denim parlour.” Recessed lights hidden in a grid of shelves along the back wall brightly illuminate shoes and handbags, while a series of unembellished rods showcase a new line of quilts.