Fashion + Industrial Design = Hello SoHo! (Part 1 of a 5 part series)

Yesterday I returned from a five-day-pilgrimage seeking out the very best of what NYC has to offer in terms of interior design, industrial design, and storefront | Studio design. In addition to interviewing several designers, I knew I’d be required to devote a lot of pavement time seeking out those who are implementing great design in their businesses. (Note: My Fryes were the only pair of boots I took – not one blister! – Thank you Urban Shoe Myth!)

Instead of heading for 5th Avenue we cabbed it to SoHo. Several studios were on my hit list, including Matter, Moss and Ingo Maurer’s lighting studio.  However, before we arrived at any of those destinations we stumbled upon a gem called ‘AllSaints Spitalfields‘ on Broadway.

AllSaints Spitalfields, the British label known for its directional collections of apparel for men, women and children (including accessories), opened a 13,600 square-foot store in Soho featuring an interior as unique as the label’s fresh and innovative design.

What most struck me — and there was a lot striking me –was the restraint shown in the use of color:  all neutrals and organic palatte.

The heavily tatooed ‘I just stepped off the cover of GQ‘ sales associate who met us at the door explained that each Spitalfields location (including the Soho store) has a distinct, individual feel and identity. This particular store’s décor features wood panelling, distressed wood floors, exposed brick walls, ram skulls (they had me at skulls) and vintage industrial fixtures such as printing presses, looms and Singer sewing machines.

The Soho boutique has 60% of Singer’s inventory of antique sewing machines.  All the other non-vintage fixtures are handmade in the United Kingdom.


A not-to-be-missed visual display is the 13ft cashmere loom located on ground floor built in 1920.

What is most visually arresting, however, are those 450+ vintage sewing machines in the windows and throughout the interior of the store- an AllSaints signature design detail. Apparently this store has 11 of the world’s largest Singer sewing machines. These machines originate from Chatham Dockyard, a historical English naval base located in Kent, England. There are approximately 30 of these machines left globally.

Among the light fixtures scattered through the space, are several searchlights recovered from the Suez Canal.

And if that weren’t enough to impress, the store boasts 22 dressing rooms (12 on ground floor, 10 at cellar level) and 17 cash registers.

Robert found a ‘murse’.  Well, actually I found Robert a murse!  My favourite thing about the bag was the beautiful paper used for stuffing:  I saved every last piece of it and will reuse for other packages!

Blogs to follow over the next week of NYC Design Travels.



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