New York Shopping Report: Decollage Takes Off
By: Tanya Jensen
Photo below: Leah Forester (L) and Ali Taekman (R)
Photo by Jennifer Graylock
NEW YORK, April 9, 2002/ --- "Decollage means many things. In French it means 'to take off,'
as in the first drink of the evening, 'to take off' as in to undress, and then 'take off'
as in a man's erection," Leah Forester giggles.
"We keep finding all these different meanings of the word when we talk to people."
Whatever the word means exactly, Decollage, which opened last week in New York's West
Village, is a showroom, store, public relations service and art gallery all in one.
The six-story townhouse accommodates exclusive labels in fashion and art such as Zac Posen,
Vintage by Virginia Bates, Alice Roi, Miller Harris, Gracie NYC, Cozmo Jenks and Peter Som.
"We wanted a special place, a kind of atelier, to showcase beautiful things where we would
not be hampered by corporate culture," Forester's partner, Heather Rich, explained to FWD.
"We had both been working in PR [Forester headed up PR at Diane Von Furstenberg, and Rich
did Jill Stuart's PR] and knew we wanted to do something on our own."
Each floor of the house has a different theme and is filled with clothing, shoes, purses,
jewelry, candles, resort wear -- the list is endless. "The idea was to have each area work
like a living magazine editorial filled with creative talent," said Forester.
Decollage's concept is to invite the designers involved to work on the space themselves.
"Alice Roi sent us these crazy dolls and some '70s soft-porn paintings, and she will also
put couture pieces in here," Rich explained, adding, "This is a forum for designers to
house one of a kind pieces, designs that deserve some special attention or that have
no place in a store."
As well as beautiful clothing, there are fur stoles with hand-stenciled designs, wallpaper
by Gracie NYC, a strippers' pole and piano for impromptu music and dancing, and in the
kitchen there are cooking sauces and books by Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Leah and Heather plan to host semi-private events at Decollage so that others can enjoy
the space as much as they do.
"We want to have dinner parties, have makeup artists there so people can shop, have a bite
to eat and then have their makeup done. The whole experience," said Forester, "will be
small and intimate and very girly."