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These 5 Boutiques in NYC and LA Are Must-Sees for Design Obsessives

These elegant boutiques provide shoppers a design and retail experience in one.

Design-Forward Boutiques S. Frances

In our digital age, it takes more than a high-end product to lure shoppers into stores. With the ease of online shopping, brands are enticing consumers to shop IRL with immersive and luxurious experiences. Whether it’s a funky display or enlisting a renowned architect to turn a space into an architectural masterpiece, brands are getting creative when it comes to brick-and-mortar stores. Iconic jewelry brands, like Cartier, have invested in world-renowned designers that make you feel like you’re in a life-size jewel box from the moment you walk in the door to the private client room in the back. Meanwhile, high fashion labels like Courrèges are doing in the way of displaying clothes and focus more on an overall aesthetic. Read on for the five must-visit boutiques and galleries you can’t miss next time you find yourself in New York and beyond. 


Design-Forward Boutiques
The Marimekko boutique in New York. Marimekko

Finnish textiles and clothing brand Marimekko, founded in 1951, is known for its bold colors and playful prints, so for its brand-new New York store concept, the brand aimed for a decidedly simple and minimalistic design. Gone are stuffed clothing racks full of sizes; instead, there are one size of each product and geometric shelves stocked with a few accessories. All shelving and flooring is made from white oak wood, which makes the colorful clothing really pop. The dynamic store concept was created to inspire visual activations and events. 


The Courrèges store in SoHo.

French high-fashion label Courrèges was founded in 1961 and quickly became known for its space-age clothes. Today, the brand has continued its ethos of innovation, and it certainly shows in its brick-and-mortar retail concepts. Its brand-new SoHo, New York location recalls the futuristic theme it was known for decades ago with a more modern touch. The store features a stark, all-white interior with a mirrored ceiling and walls and a minimalist design with just a handful of pieces displayed throughout the store. 


Design-Forward Boutiques
The newly redesigned Cartier boutique on Fifth Avenue. S. Frances

Cartier’s jewelry now has a dazzling new home at its New York Fifth Avenue boutique. In October, Parisian interior designer Laura Gonzalez lent her magic touch to the legacy jewelry brand’s New York flagship. First built in 1905 and transformed into a retail space in 1917, the historic neo-Renaissance-style Cartier mansion has been through it all. Although it was recently reimagined by renowned designer Thierry Despont in 2016, the brand enlisted Gonzalez (who has designed several Cartier stores around the globe) to create a more convivial environment. The boutique now feels like you’re entering the chic pied-à-terre of your most stylish best friend. 

Irene Neuwirth

Design-Forward Boutiques
Irene Neuwirth enlisted Studio Shamshiri to design its New York boutique, as it did for its LA flagship (pictured here). Irene Neuwirth

Los Angeles jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth recently opened a New York outpost designed by Studio Shamshiri, the same firm who designed her LA flagship. Irene Neuwirth’s pieces are defined by bold and colorful gems, like tanzanite, chrysoprase, tourmaline, and opal, and Pam Shamshiri designed the New York outpost to match the playful, yet chic nature of her designs. The new flagship features soaring ceilings in an ambient-lit space with topiary-inspired palms and motifs. 

The Townhouse

Design-Forward Boutiques
Chairs from Gonzalez’s collection with The Invisible Collection. The Invisible Collection

French interior designer Laura Gonzalez’s work spans many mediums. In addition to designing the Cartier boutique, another of her many projects includes a solo show at The Townhouse, the New York-based showroom of high-end e-commerce site The Invisible Collection. Her show, titled New York Splendor, is a contemporary take on the iconic Upper East Side’s design style from the 1980s. The chic exhibit showcases her furniture collaboration with The Invisible Collection, which she created alongside Chanel’s métiers d’art, 19M. Her show runs now until the end of February.

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