Elegant Dressing - the Row Opens on the Upper East Side

In May, with little fanfare Ashley & Mary-Kate Olsen opened the Row clothing store, their first in New York on Manhattan's Upper East Side.   The townhouse they had set their sights on was previously occupied, first by a Japanese tea shop and then by a denim store.  When finally available Ashley & Mary-Kate purchased the townhouse, did a gut-renovation and collaborating with French interior designer Jacques Grange made it over into their own highly individual and personalized image.

Museum quality art and furnishings, including a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, Jean Royére floor lamp and a Borge Jorgensen sculpture are woven throughout all 3-floors of the all-white minimalist architecture.  "Indeed, the store feels more like a tastefully appointed manse than a traditional retail shop...dressing rooms are equipped with cotton dressing gowns. All of it, from the furniture to the art to the clothes to the dressing gown is for sale," notes Matthew Schneider, New York Times.

The Row is celebrating its 10th year, yet I'm still struck by how the Olsen twins have perfectly captured a sophisticated, elegant, pared-down design sensibility, embraced by a clientele that's typically a decade older than themselves.  

I stopped by the store and felt immediately soothed by its tranquil zen setting.  The clothes are indeed even more beautiful seen up close and personal; sumptuous fabrics in styles that are discreet and timeless.  With exquisite jewelry by Sidney Garber, beauty products by Santa Maria NovellaSerge Lutens fragrances and Wolford hosiery it's Mary Kate and Ashley's vision of their perfect world and I'm more than happy to visit!

the Row, 17 East 71st Street, NYC

photography François Halard