A Store Is Born: Fivestory

Claire Distenfeld and her father, Fred, cite an impressive list of old-school family-run retailers—i.e. Rowland Hussey Macy, Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale, Herman Bergdorf and Edwin Goodman, Barney Pressman—as the inspiration for their tony new Upper East Side boutique, Fivestory.

Never mind that it’s actually two stories and those two stories combined could barely fill out one corner of Barneys, or that its already-famed shoe garden isn’t a garden at all but a back room with an as-yet-waterless fountain. It’s still a very noble start, especially when you consider they managed to get Comme des Garçons on their men’s racks, evening out an otherwise uptown-y roster. Plus we’re suckers for circular entryways, green velvet walls and the promise of “couture tailoring.”

Last night’s small and suitably civilized launch party drew a discerning crowd of editors, stylists, and the usual sauced scenesters who had plenty of high walls with which to steady themselves. They probably felt more at home at the comparatively freewheeling dinner at Mr. Chow, the original on 57th Street, that followed. That’s where the DJ, living up to the restaurant’s 70s heyday, put on Bryan Ferry and we, too, became “slave to Veuve.”

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