For this Salon, our discussion will center on the space retail occupies––physically, anthropologically, digitally, and otherwise––in society. Brick and mortar stores, big or small, luxurious or unassuming, determined the look and feel of neighborhoods and cities. They made the streets. Online stores, real estate tremors, gentrification, and more have since transformed the ecosystem. From the disappearance of downtown urban districts and suburban shopping malls, to the havoc wreaked on storefronts by the pandemic, not to mention AR dressing rooms, pluriverse vitrines, next-day shipping, and pop-ups and drops, retail is undergoing a revolution. Implications on local community-building, city planning, labor relations, international trade also come into play.
It is against this backdrop that we convene our panel and pose the following questions: Where are we shopping and why? How has technology changed that? How do physical shops determine the built environment, and what does it mean to burst out of this framework? In what way can a store create community? How does the definition of that community expand beyond the act of selling and purchasing goods, and even perhaps thwart a consumeristic impulse? How does one design a space to generate this kind of interaction? To some, dollars are votes, making stores as sacred as voting booths; can stores carry this burden? How can we remedy the blight left behind by the closure of stores and storefronts in many streets of NY after the pandemic?
This salon took place on Monday, June 13, 2022
Hazel Clark is a Professor of Design Studies and Fashion Studies at Parsons School of Design, where she has also served as Dean of Art and Design History and Theory and Research Chair of Fashion. Her scholarship focuses on uncovering new perspectives, cultures, and geographies for the study of fashion and design, in Europe, the United States, and China. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including: The Fabric of Cultures: Fashion, Identity, and Globalization and Fashion and Everyday Life: London and New York.
John Jay is the President of Global Creative at Fast Retailing, where he leads the creation of products and concept stores, as well as directing brand strategy and communications campaigns for the company’s suite of retail holdings including Uniqlo, Helmut Lang, and Theory. Prior to his appointment at Fast Retailing, he held positions as the Creative Director at Bloomingdales and then as the Executive Director at the advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy.
Larisa Ortiz serves as a Mayoral Appointee to the NYC Planning Commission and is the Managing Director at Streetsense. She has led hundreds of comprehensive retail planning efforts across communities large and small, both nationally and internationally. Larisa is the author of “Improving Tenant Mix,” published by the International Council of Shopping Centers, and is a frequent instructor and guest speaker for the International Economic Development Corporation, the International Downtown Association, and the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Claire Weisz is a founding principal of WXY architecture + urban design, a practice globally recognized for its place-based approach to architecture, urban design, and planning. WXY works closely with local communities to create and reimagine public spaces and structures such as the redesign of Astor Place and the Rockaway Boardwalks. In 1995, Weisz co-founded The Design Trust for Public Space and in 2018 was awarded the Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architects.
Mohammed Ahmed and Syed Khalid Wasim, who goes by Ali, are the respective founder and assistant manager of Casa Magazines. Stocking some 2,000 titles, the West Village storefront has remained a stalwart of print magazine culture in New York City since Ahmed purchased the space in 1994. Still open today, Casa Magazines continues its tradition of supporting physical magazines, as well as the convivial spirit of the neighborhood.
Sarah Andelman was the co-founder and creative director of the boutique Colette, alongside her mother Colette Roussaux, after whom the store is named. Colette was a Parisian concept store located on the city’s Rue Saint Honoré from 1997-2017. Drawn to an eclectic mix of high fashion and edgy streetwear, Andelman regularly showcased designs from up-and-coming designers, and was one of the first to stock collections by Proenza Schouler, Mary Katrantzou, and Rodarte. Colette has since inspired cult concept stores around the world. Andelman recently launched consulting and curating company Just An Idea, connecting people from various disciplines.
Masamichi Katayama is an interior designer based in Japan. In 2000 he founded the interior design firm Wonderwall Inc. where he continues to serve as the Principal Designer and Director. He is internationally acclaimed for his sense of balance, which incorporates contemporary elements while paying respect to free-thinking, tradition, and style in embodying a concept. His major projects include Uniqlo’s flagship shops (including those in New York, Paris, Ginza, and Shanghai) and Emporium Melbourne, named one of the 9 most beautiful malls in the world by Architectural Digest. In 2020, Katayama received a Frame Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, he teaches at Musashino Art University as a professor in the Department of Scenography, Space, and Fashion Design.
Alec MacGillis covers politics and government for ProPublica. MacGillis previously reported for The New Republic, The Washington Post, and the Baltimore Sun. He won the 2016 Robin Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, the 2017 Polk Award for National Reporting, and the 2017 Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Harper’s, and New York Times Magazine, among other publications. In 2021, MacGillis published his second book, Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America, which examines the impact of Amazon in the United States.
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NOT JUST COMMERCE, BUT CULTURE
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ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK
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COVID-19 HITS THE STREET
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