If you like playing dress up, chances are you’ve dreamed of having your own boutique. Well, I tried it. Creating the idea and bringing it to a reality: amazing. Keeping track of inventory and paying bills: not so much.
I’m a dreamer so my creations are usually dreamy, seductive, fantastical versions of how I see the world. Decollage Boutique totally embodied that. My partner in crime, Heather Rich, and I got lost in a sea of inspiration from the world of the Surrealists.
Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Paris salon life in the 1930’s, smoky nights with artists drinking absinthe….. these are the things that inspired our design and the philosophy of the store, which was to elevate fashion and lifestyle to an art form.
To that end, we didn’t get a traditional retail space. No. We rented a historical 1846 freestanding townhouse on Eighth Avenue with only a buzzer on the ground level. No foot traffic, not open to the public. Perfect. Wrapped in ornate wallpaper and dripping with quirky details like a fur-trimmed chandelier, we opened it by appointment only and put the word out to all our friends in the fashion business. Stylists, journalists, publicists…. our designer friends like Zac Posen, Peter Som, Manon Von Gerkan stocked the place with their beautiful creations and…. we had a business! Long smoky evenings were spent at our huge table in the basement level kitchen, complete with piano and brass pole, where Jean Georges Vongerichten cooked a feast for our opening night. It was definitely a foreshadowing of the future Venice Supper Club, where we combine food, style, and the arts.