Equal parts architectural genius and materials mastermind, New York-based artist and professor of architecture Andrew Lyon is a builder in the best sense of the word. Get him going and he’ll blow your mind with radical talk of material misuse, ghost geometry, implied surfaces and his passion for fabrics. So when it came time to partner with someone in New York to tease our new store opening in the city’s SoHo district, we knew Andrew was our man.
Genesis of an idea
Imprint Projects and Alternative’s creative team tapped Andrew early on. Imprint Projects’ president Adam Katz was critical in partnering with Andrew and concepting the idea of a common thread within the city. Working with Andrew’s artist collective The Functionality – a design practice focused on creating unique spatial installations from unusual materials to build new spaces and experiences – the creative dream team took about eight weeks to really land the concept. “We agreed our shared passion for fabric and materials was a strong starting point,” shares Andrew. “The fabric of every great city is defined by the quality of its thread, so we wanted to build on that idea.”
Excitement in the unexpected
Usually working within a more controlled environment, Andrew shared that this was a first for him on a few fronts. It’s the first time his group partnered with a brand to concept an experience. It was also a first to create an outdoor bespoke construction spanning nearly 30 feet tall. Resolving unknown challenges is part of the projects; however, this installation offered some unique responses when dealing with existing structure and not quite perfect fences.
Fabric of the city
So what exactly did Andrew install throughout the city? “Wild posting” posters in over 45 locations across SoHo, Williamsburg and East Village, 15 “string interventions” beautifully juxtaposed and suspended from trees and street signs, and the grand installation at the fascade of our SoHo storefront. Using a natural rope as the main medium, the installations are meant to tie the “fabric of the city” to the creation of fabric as a material. The custom-made sculptures speak to Alternative’s fabric first ethos. Not to mention it all looks pretty damn stunning.
This week marks the grand opening of Alternative SoHo at 281 Lafayette Street. On the heels of opening its third California retail location in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, this is Alternative’s first East Coast store. Store hours will be Mondays through Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. For more info, call 212-966-2035 or pop on in to celebrate with us!
Written by Shannon Flaherty Randall