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Movin' On Up with Yigal Azrouël

Yigal Azrouel's new flagship boutique at 1011 Madison Avenue

In case you hadn't noticed, we're downtown diehards. Most days, 14th Street might as well be a moat. But when our old neighbor Yigal Azrouël invited us to a trunk show at his schmancy new boutique on Madison Avenue, somehow we forgot all that and hopped in a cab. Why? Because he's an awesome guy who makes gorgeous clothes and we miss seeing his mug around. It was worth the schlepp ...

STANDARD CULTURE: You were one of the first designers to have a storefront in the Meatpacking District. What drew you to the neighborhood way back when?

YIGAL AZROUËL: I used to hang out there before anybody was really there so to me it was like my courtyard where I would go with my friends. There were all these cool little bars and restaurants. It felt like me at the time, I guess.

And the move uptown? We're feeling a bit abandoned.

What can I say? It was time for me to move on. My lease had expired and a lot of my customers are based here so I wanted to make it more convenient for them.

What did you want to convey with the design of the new store?

It was important for me to bring the downtown aesthetic uptown, but I also wanted to created a space that was very open. If you notice the windows run horizontal as opposed to vertical so you can see what's going on in here. We're always changing it around.

How would you describe the "downtown" versus the "uptown" girl?

When you think of the downtown girl you think she's edgier and cooler, but I'm really trying to bring that kind of edge uptown. I feel like there are a lot of customers up here that shop down there. The fact that she lives here doesn’t mean that she won’t dress edgy. But I think that it's chicer to shop uptown. There’s just something about it.

But you still have Cut25 on Grand Street, right? How do you balance both lines?

I go with what I feel is right for the moment. Cut25 is younger and edgier and this new shop is more sophisticated. But I grew up with my customers as well. It's also for them to be able to shop uptown where they have all the shops like Céline and Hermès in one area.

P.S. If and when you venture uptown, Yigal suggests you also hit up the following:

Lady M for cake & coffee
41 E 78th St New York, NY 10021

Sant Ambroeus for lunch
1000 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021

The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges for dinner
The Mark Hotel
25 East 77th Street
New York, NY 10075

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