© Hermès / Photography: Kevin Scott

Last week, Hermès opened the doors of its new flagship store in New York City, and obviously, it was celebrated in great style—a massive star-studded party which kicked off with a musical gig held in-store and outside, and which later on morphed the premises into a discotheque. Mind you, the shindig was quite elaborate and even required part of Madison Avenue to be cordoned off to set up the party’s culinary facilities. The French luxury house already managed two retail spaces on this leafy artery for many years, but closed them and relocated to a top spot on the corner of Madison Avenue and 63rd Street. Occupying a whopping 20,250 sq.ft. (1,881 sqm.) spread across three adjacent red brick buildings and no less than five floors, this retail space is one of Hermès‘ largest on the planet. The flagship store is anchored by the corner structure, completed in 1921 in Federal style as an outpost of the Bank of New York.

The adjacent buildings are both former townhouses, and collectively, the three buildings create an L-shaped retail space. Needless to say, the premises have been designed by Paris-based architecture and longtime collaborator RDAI, and see settings with elements from the city’s iconic Art Deco past and the earliest Manhattan skyscrapers and effortless contemporary French elegance blended in. The flagship store feels like a private townhouse, and a very lavish one at that, featuring a seemingly endless number of salons and rooms, each meticulously decorated with a discreet palette which includes stucco, straw marquetry, various wood finishes, leather, handcrafted wallpaper, and also, both neutrals and vibrant colours that intensify from floor to floor.

Unsurprisingly, the store has two entrances, but they’re both on Madison Avenue, and each one welcomes shoppers with the signature Hermès ex-libris floor decoration, and beyond it, an imposing staircase. On the ‘bank side’, it’s the original staircase with brass balusters, while the coffered ceiling derives from the bank’s original design. The townhouse entrance leads to a small Hansom cab from the 1830s and borrowed from the Emile Hermès Museum in the French capital. Terrazzo flooring is paired with stuccoed walls adorned with traditional Grècques lights and a curated selection of artworks, such as a painting by French artist Antoine Carbonne and reproductions of Hermès scarf designs. Presented across several salons on the ground floor are the luxury brand’s silks for both women and men, fragrances and cosmetics, jewellery pieces, leather goods and the equestrian collection.

One floor up, the men’s domain unfolds in warmer hues, featuring squared, dark-toned seating and blond wood display cabinets. The third floor is home to the women’s collection and which sees a large globe paying homage to the sun, both in its concentric circular geometry and its mimicking of natural light. This area flows into the jewellery and watches space, organised into alcoves for enhanced privacy. On this floor, in addition to exploring women’s leather goods, shoppers can also sit back and take in the masterfully crafted curved glass cupola that draws in natural light. An exceptional bonus is a rooftop garden designed by landscape architect Miranda Brooks which incorporates the cast-iron cavalryman which initially adorned the previous store on Madison Avenue. Off-limits is an atelier on the fifth floor which allows five Hermès artisans from different métiers of the house to be in residence.

706 Madison Avenue (Upper East Side)
New York, NY 10065
Telephone: +1 212 7513181
Mon-Sat 10am-6pm

© Hermès / Photography: Kevin Scott