On Tuesday, the latest venture from the renowned Tokyo-based firm SANAA—a boutique for fashion designer Derek Lam—will open its doors. 

Located on Crosby between Howard and Grand streets in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, the store is a little more than a half a mile from SANAA’s other New York City project, the widely touted New Museum of Contemporary Art. The 2,300-square-foot boutique, which occupies the ground floor of a five-story loft building, will serve to concretize Lam’s retail vision.

On Tuesday, April 7, the first Derek Lam boutique, designed by SANAA, will open its doors.
Image courtesy Derek Lam
On Tuesday, April 7, the first Derek Lam boutique, designed by SANAA, will open its doors.

The San Francisco-born Lam is noted for his refined and sensuous pieces (in addition to cutting the most perfect of trench coats). Since founding his label in 2002, he has distributed his high-end wares to stores across the globe, but had yet to open his own shop. “The store concept will be an important step toward solidifying the identity of the brand,” he says.  

He notes that SANAA, headed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, who were among his first customers, has created an “environment that is functional, intimate, and warm.” The store’s aesthetic is about as pared-down (and as typical SANAA) as you can get: A series of curved partitions crafted from clear acrylic create “rooms” within the store, each housing a different collection, while the space’s original brick walls are painted white, suggesting an exhibition-like atmosphere. Other interior fixtures, which include hanging racks and tables made of wood and polished stainless steel, are similarly minimalist.

The Dumbo-based firm Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu—whose founders, Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu, are former SANAA employees—designed the two floors above the boutique, which contain an atelier, offices, and a showroom. Like the store, these spaces have a modern aesthetic and open layout and are filled with light.

The Derek Lam boutique will be SANAA’s fifth retail effort, following the HH Style boutique (2000) in Tokyo, the Prada Beauty boutique (2001) in Hong Kong, and two projects in Tokyo, the Issey Miyake by Naoki Takizawa boutique and the Christian Dior building, both completed in 2003.