While many Americans typically head south for their winter sojourns, one Floridian has ventured the other way. The Webster, the well-heeled Miami fashion boutique founded by Laure Heriard Dubreuil – has found itself a new 12,000 sq ft outpost right in the heart of New York City.
Situated within a cast iron building dating back to 1878 that Heriard Dubreuil spent the last four years renovating, The Webster’s New York store is not only armed with an eclectic collection of designer fashion, but a distinctly Miami mix of art and design as well. Colourful notions adorn the historical space, which Heriard Dubreuil fitted with four additional floors. From the art deco-inspired terrazzo flooring that mimics the flooring design of the South Beach boutique, to the use of vintage wallpapers from the 1920s and 30s, and an expertly curated selection of art and furniture that fills each floor, the boutique has an elegant, apartment-like feel.
Admittedly, this is not your everyday apartment. In addition to Vladimir Kagan couches on the penthouse level, and a bevy of special vintage pieces, including bright blue Pierre Paulin chairs that were originally designed for the Concorde lounge, the space is also home to several noteworthy artworks, including a candy-coloured wardrobe and lighting piece, both specially commissioned from Gaetano Pesce.
‘I first met Gaetano when I was working on Balenciaga Paris’ George V store with Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster 15 years ago and have been a huge fan ever since,’ says Heriard Dubreuil. ‘We celebrated his shoe capsule at The Webster a few years ago during Basel and I personally collect his pieces for my home.’
Other memorable pieces include an equally colourful collection of ‘Pebble’ tables and matching wall shelves by the Lebanese artist Nada Debs, several special design editions (an armchair by Mario Milana and a Sabine de Gunzburg silk rug) in collaboration with Atelier Courbet, a Nate Lowman ‘ceiling painting’ on the ground floor, and Aaron Young’s Locals Only sculpture from the 2006 Whitney Biennial, which stands on the penthouse balcony.
To bring the ambitious project to life, Heriard Dubreuil reprised her collaboration with designer Christopher Osvai (who also oversaw the realisation of The Webster’s Houston, Costa Mesa and Bar Harbour locations). Some of the store’s custom designed elements include jewellery vitrines that resemble old bank vaults, a brass-walled elevator akin to those found in midtown skyscrapers and the inviting 'Webster' couch, which is made to order for purchase and covered in palm frond-embossed velvet.
Among all this are fashion, jewellery and accessories from labels such as Thom Browne, Valentino and Proenza Schouler, as well as Heriard Dubreil’s own newly launched LHD brand as well. With six floors of artistic goodness to get lost in, this is not one for a quick visit.