Back then, I always felt like Lord & Taylor was my secret sanctum. Leading up to Fashion Week, I’d put in relentless hours in the studio, prepping for our show ~ but at night I’d still try to make a party or dinner with friends. I’d run out of work long past sunset and dart up to Lord & Taylor’s second floor, find a fetching chiffon frock and do a quick-change in the fitting rooms before heading out into the night. The store was my spot to reset.
It was my first fashion refuge in this city ~ and actually, as the oldest luxury department store in the United States, it represents a lot of firsts in American industry. It was the first major store on Fifth Avenue (a strip now firmly established as New York’s iconic retail center), the first spot to present Christmas windows filled with innovative holiday displays rather than merchandise (now de rigueur for any serious store), and the first major retail establishment in the United States to name a woman as its president (Dorothy Shaver, who took that historic position in 1946).
There’s another first about to emerge at Lord & Taylor this week as they unveil Birdcage, a new in-house boutique on my long-beloved second floor of their flagship Fifth Avenue store. It’s unlike anything you’ve seen there before. Like truffle hunters, their buyers have scoured the city for unique, undiscovered designers and delicacies in fashion, food, beauty, and art, to introduce some of New York City’s most exciting creatives to a whole new audience, making their talents available on an unprecedented level. We were privy to a sneak peek of the goods last week, and teamed up with one of our favorite collaborators to photograph the very best Birdcage treasures.