Soho’s Newest Art Gallery Does Double Duty as Ted Baker Store
The staff will receive a training session to serve as art consultants.
New York’s newest art gallery is a curious hybrid: It serves as the newest location of British retail brand Ted Baker, which has teamed up with Pop International Galleries on the Bowery to showcase the work of international artists alongside cuff links and cashmere sweaters.
The store, dubbed Ted Baker Curated, is at 117 Wooster Street between Prince and Spring, and celebrated its opening with a party on September 22. (Proceeds from opening weekend will benefit the New York-based nonprofit Creative Art Works.)
The kickoff festivities this week included a DJ sets by Hannah Bronfman and Brendan Fallis. Each guest received a signed, limited edition print by Dom Pattinson, a British street artist and favorite of newly-split celebrity couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The work, titled Sipping Liberty, was specially commissioned by Ted Baker for the store.
“It’s hilarious and it’s poignant, and it makes a statement about how England and the US are inextricably linked,” said Pop International’s Jeff Jaffe to artnet News during a phone interview. The piece is a street art-style aerosol painting of the Statue of Liberty daintily drinking a cup of tea. (There was no mention of France’s gift in 1870.)
Jaffe was initially hesitant about entering into the collaboration, but ultimately decided that Ted Baker’s vision for the store, which pays homage to Soho’s art-filled history, was a natural fit.
“I think the word ‘curated’ has been appropriated in really negative ways over the past few years,” he admitted, but “Ted Baker 100-percent curated this store based on the thought of it as an artist’s loft studio.”
“We always embrace creativity at the forefront of everything that we do,” Ted Baker CEO Ray Kelvin told artnet News in an email. “Alongside our carefully crafted men’s and womenswear collections, the stores features curiosities, bespoke wallpapers, commissioned paintings, hand blown glass light fittings and unique pieces of upholstered furniture. I’d say that we champion art in all its forms.
At the new Soho location, the art and the clothing alike are hung in a specially-designed modular system of colorful steel frames. The store also features one-of-a-kind furniture and limited edition skateboards, surfboards, and bicycles.
The staff will receive a training session with Jaffe to help them serve as art consultants.
Already, the partnership between retailer and gallery has proven a cross-branding hit. Jaffe told us that throughout the opening party, he fielded numerous inquiries about the gallery’s art from the brand’s VIP customers, and, he exclaimed, “the art collectors ended up buying clothing!”
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