This time last year I was swanning around New York, celebrating a birthday in a style to which I could become accustomed. Fabulously contrived shops on every street corner and backdropped, at least in parts, by amazing architecture. It looks just as it ought, New York.
In amongst a long list of shops to visit (from Kid Robot and Apple to the first Kiehl’s shop) was Kate Spade – wrapping a corner of SoHo with WASP clothing and objects of taste and social acceptability. Not a beat missed in that shop.
Whilst there I was bought a charming book, Mushroom & Monkey, for a birthday gift, it was illustrated by Paulina Reyes, who has worked for the company rather a lot. Illustration rides high in the Spade brand, on bags, clothing, notepaper… and it seems Mr Spade (under his brand Jack Spade) has a yearning to run his own imprint and has started commissioning simple books, heavy on the pictures. The shop also sells various hand-picked antique books, from Salinger to Cecil Beaton. First edition dust-jackets intact, of course.
The Jack Spade label is about tucked-in gingham, chinos and canvas man-bags. All in counterpoint to the Kate Spade peony flourishes, jewel satins and tidy leather bags. Both looks never quite translate comfortably outside of America.
But in that corner shop, they looked ‘just so.’