25 West 38th Street
Designer: Joerg Schwartz
Manhattan’s Garment District has bumped up its fashion cred with the opening of designer Yeohlee Teng’s new flagship store. As the first designer boutique to set up shop in the historic garment center, the project is a coup for a neighborhood known more for fashion manufacturing than fashionable shopping. For Teng, the store presented an opportunity to find a space that could house her whole operation, while also making a place-based investment in the Midtown district. The adaptive reuse of the two-floor space—once a workshop where trimmings were made—was overseen by architect Joerg Schwartz, who collaborated with Teng on the design. The district’s rough-and-ready essence is reflected in a wall and ceiling lined with custom-made metal studs that give the store “a sense of space in transition,” according to Schwartz, as well as revealing “the workings of how a space goes together.” The district’s synergy is showcased as Teng’s designers dash from their upstairs studio to nearby suppliers, while the store itself embodies the close-knit business: Dressing-room curtains are made of black Tyvek, sourced locally and pleated by the same person who works on Teng’s apparel.