Legendary luxury supplier Holland & Sherry opens its first-ever retail store—and nails it.
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For 185 years, the Scottish company Holland & Sherry has been making exquisite fabrics and supplying Savile Row tailors and their peers around the world. Fourteen years ago, the company branched out into interior fabrics as well and began selling its wares to designers looking to create wall coverings, drapes, and upholstery. If you weren’t working deep in those trades, though, you might not have come in contact with the company.
Until now. In a cavelike space tucked semi-secretly behind a sculpture gallery on Elizabeth Street in Nolita, the world’s first Holland & Sherry retail store is now open. And since most of us aren’t in the market for yards of fabric, the shop has flipped its approach inside out by offering customers a complete assortment of bespoke design services.
“The store is basically the opposite of what we do in the rest of our business,” says company president Bryan Dicker. “We can design your whole home, your wardrobe, and everything in between. Pretty much every product in the store we can do custom.”
He’s not just talking about fabrics. The store, which was designed by renowned interiors master Eric Hilton (who did, among other things, Bill Gates’s house and the Ralph Lauren store in London), is set up like an intimate parlor in some Scottish castle, with a giant stone hearth, tartan patterns on the walls, a life-size model horse, shelves of antique silver barware, and elaborate pieces of taxidermy art. “We wanted the room to highlight what we feel Holland & Sherry looks like,” Dicker says.
The effect—warm and inviting and a little wacky—is only enhanced by the welcoming vibe of the staff. “We’re not better than our clients, and we’re not going to pretend to be,” says Dicker. “I’ve been in a lot of shops like that, but our job is to smile and make it feel like a cocktail party, and hopefully make it fun.”
Store manager Anastasia Ratia is an accomplished designer herself, and her team works with clients to come up with bespoke solutions to any design needs. “We want to build relationships with our clients, and we want them to be part of the creative process with us,” Dicker says. “Lighting, furniture, antiques—whatever you don’t have, we can source it for you if we don’t have it here.”
And, of course, there are the clothes—custom shirting for men and women (made in a New Jersey factory owned by the company), custom trenches and dresses for women, and bespoke suits made by the Chicago company Oxford (also part of the Holland & Sherry corporate family). There are thousands of fabrics to choose from, and suits range from about $4,800 to $50,000—the latter for one made of extremely rare worsted vicuña fabric that would have to be picked up in London (because of pesky U.S. regulations).
Dicker took us on a tour of some of his favorite finds in the store—from surprisingly affordable gifts on up to the most lavish items.
Marble Bow Tie Paperweights
“These make an amazing gift for the man who has everything. A woman just came in and bought a black one and a white one as wedding gifts. They’re made special for us by a designer in India.” $150
Vintage Silver Barware
“I’ve been collecting cocktail shakers and barware for years. I love that look—it’s all about the warmth. We have Deco barware here from the 1920s and 30s, as well as earlier pieces, such as these sterling silver pieces with ivory handles, from the British in India.” From $1,000 to $10,000
“I love lobsters, and crustaceans in general. I saw these at the great taxidermy store Deyrolle, in Paris, and had to have them. It’s essentially a deconstructed lobster in a glass case. We have nine of them, including smaller ones like a langoustine and a crab. It’s like having a piece of the Natural History Museum in your home.” From $6,000 to $15,000
“These glasses come with a custom leather case, designed to fit in your suit’s breast pocket like a pocket square. There’s also a ladies case with a snap, so you can safely stow it in your purse.” $300 for glasses and case; $60 for case alone
“These custom bags are made of Holland & Sherry fabric, like this glen plaid wool, and also our leather. They can be custom monogrammed.” $200
Portland General Store Gift Box
“This is from a manly lotion company that a friend discovered in Maine. The products have that apothecary look, and the smells are just amazing. Each sample set comes in a unique wooden cigar box.” $50
Double-Face Cashmere Tie
“We sell this double-sided cashmere for upholstery and drapery, and we also make ties with it. It’s two cloths woven together, so it has a different color on the front and the back. $250
8-Ply Cashmere Sweater
“This is a beautiful piece. You just have to touch it and you’ll understand. It’s made of eight-ply cashmere, and we can do it in custom colors.” $1,200
“The thinner the straw is, the more tightly woven the hat can be. This one is incredibly meticulous. A woman carves the strands off with her fingernail; she strips them down and takes the time to get the thinnest of the thin. It’s what you’d call museum quality—one of those special pieces that is what luxury is all about. $10,000