You might have noticed that South Street Seaport has been shedding its rep as a tourist-only destination over the past year, thanks to recent additions like the pop-up venue Sugarcube, the beer garden at Ambrose Hall and the new Smorgasburg food fests. But now it’s finally fashion’s turn to shake things up.
In our recent summer preview issue, we mentioned that the waterside destination would be upping its cool factor with a 5,000-square-foot shopping mecca that doubles as a hangout for locals. The fashionable hub—dubbed Seaport Studios—created by WWD and the Howard Hughes Corporation officially opens up to the public tomorrow, but we wanted you to be the first to get an inside scoop of what this retail space/coffee shop/art exhibit/hangout looks like.
The new digs pay tribute to the historic waterfront’s maritime trading history with nautical themes and surfboards from Union Boards. But the coolest feature(s)? You can refuel with a java boost from the coffee bar overlooking the iconic ships and cobblestone streets, kick back and relax in the lounge (equipped with a large flat screen TV and library) and admire featured works from renowned artists such as Baron Von Vancy, Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos and Shantell Martin.
Now, let’s talk merchandise. An open floor plan boasts brands selected by WWD editors and industry folks. First to bat are Baja East’s “loose luxury” wares, Finell’s leather bags, Jennifer Fisher’s on-trend minimalist jewels, Rochambeau’s menswear and Manebi’s bohemian footwear. The prices are a bit of a stretch—the most affordable items seem to be the shoes ($88–$160) and the Knot rings ($180)—but the designers in the shop will rotate every two to three months, so we’re hoping something a bit more wallet-friendly is in the works.
19 Fulton St at Front St (seaportstudios.com). Images courtesy of David X Prutting/BFA.com.