Design + Architecture

The World's Coolest Stores

by Gigi Guerra

Longchamp

Location: New York City

The big selling point: A must-see interior with 55 tons of steel ribbon flowing through the building.

What's in store: Launched with a star-studded opening gala, the much-celebrated 100th outpost of this venerable French leather goods purveyor is its most ambitious yet (it even has its own special name: "La Maison Unique"). London-based Heatherwick Studio, a hipster firm known for its offbeat commissions, such as a retractable pedestrian bridge in Paddington, was the genius behind the reinvention of this 1930s building, located in SoHo's epicenter. The most outstanding feature is an enormous cascade of undulating steel strips that radiate from the center of the shop, flowing ribbonlike down walls, over stairs, and seemingly right out the front windows onto the sidewalk. (It took six months to construct and install it all.) A motif of fluidity is continued throughout the store: The staircase banisters are wrapped in clear acrylic that makes them look like they're fluttering in a breeze, and handbags—the bread-and-butter of Longchamp—are displayed on the most delicate wooden shelves you'll ever see.

Rub shopping shoulders with: Women in search of one of the French label's cult-favorite nylon and leather Le Pliage bags, intrigued Cooper Union and Pratt architecture students.

Treat yourself: The Legende black-patent satchel (Kate Moss has been toting hers all over London), $980, and—if you're very lucky—one of the limited-edition patchwork totes made in collaboration with bad-girl Brit artist Tracey Emin, $520.

Longchamp
132 Spring St.
Tel: 212 343 7444

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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