For a space that's named after a certain class of fancy French townhouse, the location of New York's newest experimental retail concept, Hotel Particulier, is about as discomforting as it is difficult to describe. "Trying to come up with the terminology to define what Hotel Particulier is has been challenging, in a good way," said Gabriel Sands, who oversees special projects for online lifestyle retailer AHALife. "In a way, you can't define it."
Fredrique Thiollet, who opened Hotel Particulier in 2012 as a gallery, shop, and communal workspace, recently worked with AHALife to curate a selection of art, clothing, accessories, and other items that are either one-of-a-kind, limited editions, or otherwise deemed special. The products, which will be available to the public this week, include a phone pouch that blocks incoming signals, a calfskin portfolio, and a 24K gold male sex toy.
But the products themselves are just as interesting as the way they're displayed. French artist Courtney Smith built a wooden stage surrounded by square frames that direct shoppers in front of each item for sale, and her husband, Ivan Navarro, created unique light sculptures for the space. AHALife's CEO Shauna Mei explained that the setup "forces you to see the art," and not breeze by any of the selections.
While some of the pieces are available online, they're all on sale at Hotel Particulier's Grand Street shop in New York for the next month. Both Mei and Thiollet characterized their partnership as open-ended, and hinted that they're already working on adding more products to the mix. A look at pieces from the curation, as well as the space they're housed in, below.
—Details associate online style editor Justin Fenner.
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