Famed "Sex and the City" costume designer Patricia Field opened up her first boutique in 1966 off in New York City. Since then, there have been several incarnations of the store, which has just moved to a new home on Bowery, occupying a space that was Field’s former apartment. The store features everything from crystal cherry necklaces for ($80) to intricately beaded corsets ($600) ... and even a full service hair salon.
Field chatted with us about the new space and how much New York’s retail landscape has changed in recent years.
How did this new space come about?
“This space came about because I used to live here. I bought this place in 2000. It was a mechanic shop for refrigerators. I renovated it and I moved here in 2004.
I loved it here. This was my Barbie dream house. But a property came up for sale bordering on my apartment and I thought, 'My god I’ve got to buy it.' Once I bought it, I thought, I am going to move my store here. We are going to own our real estate, secure our business, and we are going to have this beautiful store. So I combined the two spaces and here we are.”
Now that your store is in your former apartment, where are you living?
“I bought a one-bedroom apartment. I thought, where am I going to go after this and be happy? And then I got my head into that I wanted to live in something that looked like a hotel suite. I’ve traveled around here and there, and I’ve stayed in some very nice hotels. I’ve had a couple of favorites that I would always go back to—when I go to Tokyo, for example, I always go to the Grand Hyatt, where I have my favorite suite. So I found myself a beautiful apartment on East Grand Street with a terrace on the 18th floor with a gorgeous view of the East River. So now I am renovating it to make my very own hotel suite.”
How much has the retail landscape in New York City changed since you set up shop in 1996?
“New York is a great city because there is so much diversity here that even when the big boys come in you still have these small diversities that collectively stop the big boys from decimating the place. But it has changed to a degree, and there are a lot of these big jumbo places that all carry the same thing. Luckily, you still have, especially downtown, [neighborhoods like the] Lower East Side, the East Village, Nolita. That’s what I love about the city. I was born here. My whole life it has changed, but it hasn’t been decimated.”
What’s given your store its longevity?
“I think probably my love for it. My career developed in other directions along the way, but I always kept my store because my store is me. I can work for a big company—on a big project like a movie or a commercial—and it’s very good, but at the end of the day I have a home to come back to.”
Patricia Field’s new store is located at 306 Bowery