(NEW YORK) Last week, Steven Alan added another Franklin Street outpost to the mix, in the form of his first-ever housewares foray. Chic living alert! We bumped into the designer and downtown retail denizen at this morning’s lovely Cafe Cluny presentation for handbag designer Clare Vivier, whose punchy, sometimes stripe-festooned leather carryalls have been stocked in Alan’s stores since soon after Vivier launched. Alan filled us in on his shelter-centric addition, plus the quirky cookery apparatuses that’ve tickled his fancy lately, and more…
BY ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV
What’s the selection like at Steven Alan Home Shop?
The store has everything we wanted to put in our other Franklin Street store, but couldn’t put in because the categories didn’t quite make sense. There’s furniture, fresh-pressed juices from this amazing place in Bushwick, frozen vegetables, pottery and blankets from India, dog accessories, plants, and glassware.
Wait, you really have frozen vegetables?
They’re from upstate New York. We get new shipments every week! Right now, there’s corn, which you really can’t get fresh right now, plus squash, tomato puree, and great greenbeans. They’re sitting in a freezer in the store. I tear stuff out of magazines all the time, and I was read about flash-freezing vegetables in a farming magazine. I picked up the magazine because I rent a house on the North Fork, but I don’t actually farm. I just love buying from the person who has eggs, and going to someone else for raw milk, and stuff like that. I knew I couldn’t put frozen vegetables in my clothing store, but I wanted to find a place for them at some point.
Which fashion designer’s abode would you like to be a fly on the wall for a day?
Ralph Lauren! I’d be curious to see how he really lives, and what the reality is versus the perception. It’d be interesting to see if there’s any bickering that goes on at the [Lauren family] estate…
Does your house look like the Steven Alan Home Shop?
A little bit! But I don’t spend as much time curating my house as I did the store. I have tons of kitchen stuff that I never use.
What kinds of impractical culinary gadgets?
A breadmaker I’ve used twice in the past two years. I just got this great German steaming pot: you can steam sweet potatoes in three minutes! I’ve used that piece of equipment a few times already, actually. Oh, and I just saw this toaster that has sides made out of glass, so you can see your toast toasting. How cool, right?
How much real estate does your company have on Franklin Street?
Our showroom is at 87 Franklin, the store is at 103 Franklin, the home shop is 158 Franklin, and our office is at 177 Franklin. I don’t live on Franklin, though: maybe I will eventually, but there’s nothing on the horizon right now.
Do you have other outlets
For us it’s about broadening the categories: we’re still primarily sold in our own stores. If I want to make shoes, for instance, we need a certain amount of scale to be able to do that. If we do sheets for the home store, for example, that’s something we’d eventually want to be able to see at other places as well.
Any odd collabs you’ve considered?
My brother has these really amazing vegetarian restaurants in Paris, called Bob’s Juice Bar. We always talk about doing something together in Paris…
Lots of juice talk! Are you big on juicing?
No, but I like juice. Anytime I’m offered a juice, I’ll have it. I also eat everything!