A Store Is Born: Versace Soho

You already knew Donatella Versace harbors a secret fetish for New York, where she spends an inordinate amount of time. Now she’s making it official, opening her first store in lower Manhattan. Soho, to be exact, smack in the middle of the chic-again block of Mercer where Balenciaga and Saint Laurent will also hang out a shingle soon, as promised by those ominous facade boards.

And the store isn’t what you might think. Conceived by Versace herself with English architect Jamie Fobert, who previously designed Givenchy’s Paris boutique, the new downtown outlet is a slip of a shop whose flashiest feature is a beige-y floor mosaic. The complete lines for women and men are carried, as well as capsule collaborations with various artists and designers, starting with Christopher Kane, who already designs the Versus second line.

Perhaps owing to the snug space, the mood at last night’s launch party was cozy and intimate. Leather rubbed against leather, chain mail against chain mail, as celebu-guests including Lady Gaga, Linda Evangelista and Melissa George schmoozed and shuffled. Then it was back uptown for a late supper at the Waldorf Towers—the Royal suite, obvsies—where the likes of Sting, Gerard Butler and Russell Simmons were waiting. No biggie.

Versace, 160 Mercer Street, NYC

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