24 MARCH 2015 | MARCY MEDINA
MADEWORN TO OPEN NYC LOCATION
Tucked behind a black cast iron gate near Fairfax and Melrose avenues, artist-designer Blaine Halvorson’s new retail space is a world of its own.
GETTING MADE: Blaine Halvorson’s MadeWorn brand has just settled into its permanent home at 731 N. Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles, and the artist/entrepreneur, who founded the brand in 2013 after he sold Junkfood Clothing, now plans to open a New York outpost on the Lower East Side this summer.
“It’s in Charlie Chaplin’s old Vaudeville theater,” said Halvorson of the Clinton Star Theater, which also houses composer J. Ralph’s recording studio. “You enter through a laudromat, go out a back door, and through a 30-foot-door that leads to a private garden.”
The off-the-beaten path location suits Halvorson, whose 12,000-square-foot studio/showroom/creative space comprises three buildings, seven rooms and a garden, all barely detectable behind a sliding gate that front the busy street. While his hand-crafted prairie-style wares — shoes, apparel and watches ranging up to $12,000 — sell at Maxfield and Barneys New York, the rest of his retail business is by-appointment-only.
Halvorson’s focus is now growing the women’s collection, which includes Japanese denim peasant skirts, leather and wool jackets, cotton blouses and dresses. At his new space, customers can fully immerse themselves in his museum-like world. For instance, the bespoke shoe room, where clients choose from a variety of leathers and lasts (each pair takes five days to make), is also part curio cabinet, where a menagerie of taxidermy animals and antiques co-exist with fine art.
MadeWorn’s Smoke fragrance permeates the compound (the bath and body range is part of the retail offering) along with custom soundtracks by Ralph, piped out through a custom military-grade speaker system. “Technology is a part of our lives, but it makes people crave things that are slowed down and last forever. It’s what sparked the whole bespoke movement,” he said.
Both spaces are meant to foster creativity — actors, artists and filmmakers drop by on a regular basis and he hosts small events such as Made Music showcase taking place between Coachella weekends next month.
Halvorson is also collaborating with artist Mattia Biagi on an installation debuting this summer and he’s creating an “interactive hotel” installation that will travel to multiple cities after launching in Los Angeles.