There are very few stores that make me want to shop… for food; clothing; or things to fill up my shelter. In my shopping past, however, there have been some notable exceptions. When Henri Bendel was independent and located on 57th Street, I made sure I ate lunch at my stuck-in-the-corner, editorial assistant’s desk at Vogue Magazine so I didn’t “eat” into my lunch hour and could use that hour to race up to Bendel’s and blow through at least one floor before tearing back to work. Back then, Bendel’s first floor was filled with new and emerging talents.. and tons of great goods. The store was in a constant, year-round, decorated state which heightened the experience. Eventually, I met the creative force behind the shredded fabric installations, et al, hanging from the ceiling (David Bradescu) and later hired him to create a Christmas tree that would be entered into a charity auction for my client, Puma …among other projects. The tree was ingenious… filled with hundreds of brightly-colored, feathered, battery-powered chirping birds and a huge black silhouette cutout of the Puma cat — front paws leaning on the tree. It was that kind of fantastic creativity that charged a speciality store and made everything inside seem that much more special.
Recently, I found that same creative energy infused in a simple Mexican marketplace that had me wishing I needed a tower of plastic buckets or a bushel of dried chilies.