Eckhaus Latta New York
But we’ll leave the description to the experts themselves. Read our interview with the designers, below.
This is your first brick and mortar space in New York. What was behind your decision to launch a store? And what spoke to you about this particular space?
Mike Eckhaus: We did a pop-up shop here about a year ago, and I live in this neighborhood, and our studios for the past couple years have been in various spots around here. Probably about a year-and-a-half or two years ago we came across this mall, and were really enamored by it. We’ve kind of been in love with it since then, so we thought if we were to open a store, we knew it would be worth opening only if it were here. It feels like part of the zone that we’re always in. I also think it’s fun to have a retail store in 2018 that’s physical—for whatever experiential retail might be—the experience of going somewhere that’s off the beaten path is exciting to us.
I like to name my things—like, if I get a plant, I’ll name it... So, what would call this new spot?
Zoe Latta: That’s a good idea, especially because ‘Eckhaus Latta New York Store’ sounds weird; ‘New York Eckhaus Latta Store’ sounds weird. We’re not settled on one, but I think that’s a brilliant idea.
What about the energy—if you could think of a couple of words to describe the vibe in here, what would they be?
Zoe Latta: Stark, warm and functional.
Mike Eckhaus: I would say industrial, but I’m not sure it’s the right word. Ingrained, maybe? Sensual. There’s a word I feel like I can’t think of—there’s something about the environment. I feel like most retail stores try to pull you out of the reality of what is happening, whereas this space is very much confronting the reality of what’s happening, but it also pulls you in. It’s tensioned—there’s a nice tension between what’s happening above the drop ceiling but also what’s happening through the window below the drop ceiling. You are very aware of the space.
Zoe Latta: And it’s just exciting to be literally part of the structure of the Manhattan Bridge—that’s something very special about this building. It feels very, as Mike said, ingrained—very much like a part of the city.
I also feel like this is space in very genuine—it’s not trying to hide anything, and it’s not super dark or super loud. It doesn’t try to be anything except what it already is. But tell me—what problem or situation did TV or the movies make you think would be super common, but when you grew up you found out it was actually super rare?
Zoe Latta: I mean, maybe the apocalypse?
Mike Eckhaus: We don’t know that yet, though.
Zoe Latta: Yeah. It hasn’t happened… yet. But I’ve also never slipped on a banana peel.
What do you think is the closest thing to magic that actually exists? I mean, I think magic exists, but what about you?
Zoe Latta: I think magic exists.
Mike Eckhaus: Yeah, I think magic exists, too. But the closest thing I think would be manifestation—when you think about something so much that you will it into being.
Was there one funny or specifically happy experience that occurred during the process of building this space? Or something you’re just really excited about?
Mike Eckhaus: Maybe yesterday, when the space actually all came together—it got built really quickly. So, it’s always cool when you see something become physical, from just looking at a 3D rendering of something. When making something, I think it’s always fun to see what were the things you didn’t expect to be problems, and what were the things that were totally not problems that you thought would be. There is just such a great divide between something that’s a conversation or a sketch, and something that’s worn on the body or something you are physically standing inside of.
Zoe Latta: Yeah, I think many of those great moments are yet to come, which is exciting. Like, we intended it to be this way so that we could add things to it and change it, and have these events and host people here. You’re actually one of the first people who’s ever been in the store.
Well, I’m honored—and it smells really good in here.
Mike Eckhaus: It’s this incense we’ve been burning—we didn’t want a scent that felt familiar to another brand, so I thought, ‘Let’s find a nice incense.’
What did you end up with?
Zoe Latta: It’s Sandalwood.
Eckhaus Latta is open now at 75 East Broadway in Manhattan.
Store photos by Thomas McCarty; courtesy of the brand.