Design as Destiny
Jean Servais Somian turned to art in times of hardship — and now he’s thriving.
What strikes you first about Tory, a new shop in Manhattan's Nolita, is the doors. Grand, towering bright orange lacquered slabs, they stand out like the gates to Oz on this quiet downtown street still in the throes of gentrification (here, a hip boutique selling hats, there a century-old family butcher). Inside, the look is no less startling: A floor-to-ceiling Lucite-and-brass "curtain" parts to reveal a world of mirrored walls, brown suede armoires, gilded chandeliers, velvet opera coats, and scented candles. "Postminimalism was what I was after," says Tory Burch, the 38-year-old blond wizard behind it all. Like the store itself, Burch's collection of women's clothing, jewelry, and accessories follows a color-drenched, if classic, theme. Stacks of cashmere turtlenecks, crewnecks, and V-necks (some with detachable collar and cuffs) come in orange, navy, olive, fuchsia, and turquoise (from $295); a distressed gold leather jacket ($725) fulfills every uptown girl's Easy Rider fantasy; the velvet tunics ($355) work with jeans on the weekend or with Burch's slim trousers ($295) for night; a cropped tweed jacket is trimmed with rhinestones ($895). "Comfortable with clear shots of color is what I like," says Burch. She's not alone.
At 257 Elizabeth St.; 212-334-3000; www.toryltd.com.