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2024-05-16 00:00:00 Avenue Magazine Frederick Anderson's New Boutique is as Homey as his Apartment

Frederick Anderson's New Boutique is as Homey as his Apartment

Fashion designer Frederick Anderson at his new boutique in NoMad (Photo by David Warren)

On Thursday night, fashion designer Frederick Anderson stood at the front door of a townhouse on East 31st Street wearing his signature blue blazer, greeting guests like “Kill Bill” star Vivica A. Fox, stylist Marcus Teo, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos and the New York/Palm Beach social butterfly Catherine Carey as if they were arriving to a cocktail party. Air kisses and hugs filled the space. They had all come to toast Anderson’s new sleek, chic NoMad boutique. “This place is amazing. It’s like being at Halston’s” a woman squealed with approval. “I’m ‘Balston’ – the Black Halston,” Anderson swiftly responded with an enormous laugh that engulfed the room.

A long Moroccan daybed decked with white shag pillows sat under a large, colorful abstract canvas by artist Robert Santore. A mannequin with a snow-white afro wig and dramatic evening look with a feathery train commanded the double-height window. The effect of the art, the furniture (the daybed bought in Marrakech was once in Anderson’s apartment), the smartly dressed women and the racks of cocktail wear felt more elegant atelier than retail store. “It’s like my apartment,” Anderson told me. “I collect this same art. It feels like me. When you walk in, you get the full lifestyle of what Frederick Anderson is. I wanted to build a destination.”

Anderson’s couture-like confections – he is famous for his south American handknit crochet dresses, modern tweed jackets that sparkly detailing and sheer pieces that both cover and reveal the body – are decidedly more European than American in attitude. His designs inhabit spaces separated by glass walls, creating rooms within rooms. The experience evokes visiting an atelier in Paris and not the often stop and shop routine at too many clothing stores. In the back is Anderson’s design studio, sketches for his new collection flanking the wall above a desk. A seamstress is busy stitching a gown for a client’s 40th birthday party in June. Another room is for fittings. “I had a client and her personal assistant at 9am this morning,” Anderson said. “They just sat here talking and hanging out. It’s very chill. I love throwing parties and I will do many events here.”

With Dover Street Market a short stroll away and hot spots like the Ned nearby, Anderson fell in love with the offbeat location for a store. “I was looking on Madison Avenue and I found a space and was negotiating with them.” He recalled. “Then I was walking around this area, and I saw a window with a “For rent” sign. I went in and it was wacky, wacky, wacky with Chinese screens. It had been a real estate office. It was a mess, but I could see how to make the space look cool. NoMad isn’t your typical destination – it felt like when the Meatpacking District first started. I signed a lease last January and went to work – fast.”

The location is perfect for Anderson’s customers who aren’t all upper east side ladies. “I’m not just about the Park Avenue girl anymore. I have the really cool downtown girls too,” he said “I’ve developed this great following that is part uptown and part downtown. I dress the daughters of my clients now. And it’s cool to be in an area that feels like the next generation.” – PETER DAVIS

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