DS & Durga opens first boutique in New York
There aren’t many beauty brands that balance cool and credo quite like the boutique perfume label DS & Durga. Founded by the husband and wife duo David and Kavi Moltz in 2007, the proudly New York-born brand recently opened its first flagship boutique in the heart of Manhattan’s Nolita neighbourhood, after years of selling through tasteful retailers, and generally operating out of Brooklyn.
‘This neighbourhood is the epicenter of my New York, because I worked at Café Gitane and so much of what I experienced was happening here,’ recounts David Moltz, who was a musician before he co-founded DS & Durga. ‘Mulberry Street still feels off the beaten path and there are still lots of young cool things around.’
Located behind an austere glass shopfront on the corner of Mulberry and Prince Streets, DS & Durga’s new home is a dynamic cross between an all-white gallery space and a perfumer’s studio. Kavi, a trained architect, roped in the talents of architecture and design firm K&CO, who created the store with support from Pliskin Architecture. Together, they have created a Brutalist, punk rock-inspired space, anchored by solid bodies of colour, which not only loyally distils the ethos of DS & Durga, but of its two founders as well.
At the heart of the space, a custom-made, board-formed concrete island serves as the main fragrance display, where all of the label’s perfumes are available to experience. Special collaborative products like T-shirts and bars of soap can also be found there, along with the label’s elevated spins on hanging car air fresheners which are wrapped in scratch and sniff envelopes. Another custom-made shelving unit, composed of black acrylic spikes, provides a home for the label’s collections of candles and bath and body goods. Floating black steel shelves create another display area that flanks the cash wrap, which also features a recreation of David’s perfume organ with vials of ingredients that he had originally used during the early years of founding the label, neatly lined up.
The boutique is finished off with recognisable DS & Durga graphics, rendered in neon, a sculptural black glass chandelier custom made especially by the Los Angeles-based firm Entler and a recessed light installation by the shop’s entrance that can be programmed specially to create different moods.
‘The chandelier was what was missing; this sculptural element, otherwise it would have been a lot of right angles and hardness in here,’ Kavi explains. ‘We’ll also eventually put in some seating that will bring more softness to the space.’
The boutique will eventually also host special monthly programming that promises to bring the stories behind each DS & Durga fragrance to life. §