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Speak with any designer who has been in business for under 15 years and you will soon find that the pinnacle of their brand aspirations is opening a retail store. Speak to any fashion CFO and watch them cringe at the thought of mounting this herculean effort.

Opening a brick and mortar retail store for a brand under 15 years old is a brave feat with as many difficulties as scaling Mount Everest. The SG&A is a deep ravine, the location for base camp paramount, and the infrastructure to manage it a steep wall. Yet each year a few brave souls manage to reach the summit and we here at The Impression love to celebrate their climb and stores at under 5,000 square feet.

Following on the heels of their LA flagship, the design duo of The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, took over a 4,000 square foot three-story townhouse located on 17 East 71st Street, off of Madison Avenue. Designed in collaboration with interior architect Jacques Grange, the store reflects the notion of creating a unique shopping experience designed out of respect for the space as well as the brand. Rather than being cookie cutter in their approach and emulating the exact look of their Los Angeles store, the duo conformed to the space, which historically housed a Japanese tea room.

While rag & bone braved the retail frontier early in their brand journey, this year Marcus Wainright and company  ventured forth into new terrain with their first stand alone men’s store. The store is a luxury man cave with fixtures built by the master craftsmen in the brand’s Brooklyn Custom Fabrication Shop. The shop is a testament to the strength of the brand and we look forward to the next step in their retail growth.

Designer Todd Snyder’s new flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York took gold this year due to Todd’s study in maximizing synergies and square footage. Everything in the store is for sale from the 1st dibs furnishings to Luke Edward Hall illustrations. In addition, the store has a Persons of Interest barbershop operated by Steve Marks and a café/bar owned by Nick Morgenstern of El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette. All of that is blended with Snyder’s own designer wears and collaborations with the likes of Moscot, Cole Haan, New Balance, Champion, Timex, Mackintosh, Globe Trotter, Tricker’s, and Alden. It is “new retail” and one worth a full visit.

There were some exciting climbs for young designers on the retail front in 2016 and The Impression wishes to celebrate each of their efforts. We are confident all will be climbing even higher in the future because of their brave view from the summit.



Architect | Jacques Grange

17 East 71st Street
New York, NY 10021



228 W Broadway, New York, New York 10013
between North Moore & Franklin



Architect | James Mills
Artwork | British Artist Luke Edward Hall
25 Madison Square North on 26th Street in Manhattan
New York, NY 10010