When it came to designing t.a., a new luxury concept store in the heart of Manhattan, Telsha Anderson knew that her approach had to be different. As a seasoned social media consultant, it'd appear to be a no-brainer — identify fashion trends and source styles accordingly, season after season. Instead, she went straight for the white space, pulling out dozens of heritage pieces with their own distinct stories. As a result, the emerging fashion brands at t.a. offer a spattering of globally-sourced looks, all intentioned for sparking new conversations.
"I’d yet to find a store that had its own approach toward luxury retail," Anderson tells TZR. "I start[ed] by diving into dialogue with my peers regarding what they’d like to see in a retail store aesthetic and product offerings. I learned that consumers are looking to support and discover brands from all around the world. [They're] not used to being shown independent staples — especially from diverse designers."
By selecting pieces that inspire new conversations, the boutique becomes the conduit for this shared dialogue, making a physical space in which to orient it a natural next step. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the opening of the Meatpacking brick-and-mortar has been delayed. t.a. has resultantly shifted its strategy towards a "soft opening" through e-commerce for the time being. "Having a business requires the ability to adapt," Anderson says. Each week, new styles are being added to the site, whose surreal editorial shots (a collaborative effort between t.a. and the con.cept) have already drummed up a tremendous amount of buzz.
With the hope of NY-based businesses reopening in the coming months, Anderson looks forward to the physical manifestation of t.a. when the time is right. "I hope customers visit and are personally inspired by the Milton Glaser art on the wall, the overdyed rug showcased in the dressing room, or the Anissa Kermiche vase filled with flowers on the center table," says Anderson. "I believe that excitement will surround not only the ability to leave our homes and reconnect in person, but also, excitement towards a new normal for retail of which t.a. fits into perfectly."
For now, shop the selects that are on-site now, from a spattering of globally-based brands:
The brainchild of CVFF (CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund) nominee Victor Barragán is all about capturing the essence of Mexico City, a boisterous hotspot playing host to a young, lively crowd. His designs are rife with nuanced color variations and surprising prints.
This New York-based womenswear brand was developed by Prisca Vera Franchetti in 2015, with a goal of delivering easy, elegant pieces that maintain an eye for craftsmanship. With calligraphy as a major motif, PRISCAVera's distinct cool-girl look is bound to stick around.
As the daughter of a major knitwear manufacturer, Wei Lin's upbringing provided ample inspiration for her eventual label. Its moniker represents a reading on the gender spectrum, using the numeric pH scale. If 1 represented ultra-femme fashions and 14 stood for full-fledged masculine looks, a 5 reading maintains a touch of femininity while boasting a distinctly androgynous edge.
Inspired by her Swedish upbringing and artistic influences, like Pina Bausch, Karen O, Bianca Jagger, and Shirin Neshat, Annika Inez's eponymous jewelry label is filled with forever pieces that are made to move with you.
Ottolinger's collections are each based on famous narratives from all over the world. In recent seasons, Brand leads Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient have imbued sci-fi, space age tales into Ottolinger's frocks, skirts and coats, leaving a trail of fully-realized looks that visually imagine our literary past.