Shopping: 5 Questions with Miguel Antoinne

Miguel Antoine Greets the crowd after the store opening runway show.

Miguel Antoinne opened his first boutique last week in Soho, New York, with a jam packed in-store fashion show that ceremoniously opened the floodgates of commerce to his highly coveted—though, ’till now, hard to find—brand of fashion forward menswear. When you need to look like a rock star that knows what’s up, there’s now a bi-level, former art gallery at 39 Wooster Street that’s fully stocked with all the most dapper “night-glamor”  you could throw the sun at. And a few poolside looks for night-swimming. (Interview after the jump)

Essential Homme: Why did you decide to open your first store?

Miguel Antoinne: About a year and a half ago I got some calls and emails from people saying that they saw great stuff on my website but couldn’t find them in the stores. People just started to bypass the small retail stores that carried my stuff and order things directly from me. People from all over—Tokyo, London, Canada. The retailers just weren’t buying and I got kind of hard on myself. But after all these calls, I realized I was doing something right and I realized that I needed to change my strategy. That meant opening up my own boutique.


EH: Who designed the store? What inspired you to make it so minimal?

MA: The store was designed by Craig Harvey at the Guild Studio, who are known for their work on hotels and restaurants. I was inspired by my admiration for art galleries, museums and residential hotels, so that was the canvas I gave them. The space was formerly an art gallery, so the space also lent itself easily to us. I also wanted  a space we could change easily according to the collections and treat every item as if it were a piece on display in an art gallery.


EH: Did you always know Soho would be the place?

MA: I actually shopped around in the Meatpacking Disctrict, West Chelsea, Fashion Ave, Tribecca and the Village but nothing was as open or Cathedral enough. I wanted a big open space and as soon as I saw the place in Soho I knew that this was it.


EH: Are there any special features about the store?

MA: There aren’t many things we wouldn’t do for our customers. If someone came in and wanted something in a different color or a different fit, we will do it for them. Though it might get complicated around collection time.


EH: So what do you take in to consideration when designing?

MA: I always think about what’s missing from my closet. I think men should always show up and be presentable. They should look their best in something that not everyone else is wearing. It’s about night-glamour and hitting the town. In the store, the lower level houses the most unique looks. There’s a metallic gold suit and other tailored items that use a lot of shine and flair.