Aurora Lopez made the unexpected leap from finance to retail to open her new Greenwich Village boutique, Mirador
. At first glance, you might think you've stumbled into the chic downtown apartment of a fashion executive. The space brings to mind an enviably curated living room-cum-closet—much like Vanessa Traina's lifestyle boutique, The Apartment
. Is this a new trend in Manhattan's retail scene? If so, we're all for it. With a name that translates to "vantage point"—and references a Mayan historical site in Lopez's native Guatemala—this multi-faceted retail venture is one to keep on your radar.
In its former life this address was The Jumble Shop, a beat hangout frequented by Jack Kerouac, who lived on nearby 8th Street in what is now the Marlton Hotel
. When Lopez serendipitously stumbled upon the spot, it was a laundromat that had recently burned down. "It was a complete shambles," she says, but she saw potential. "This place is packed with history; only ten establishments have ever been in here!”
It took two months to iron out the paperwork for the space (it's a landmarked site) and another two to bring it back to its former glory—and beyond. Lopez gutted the floors and exposed the brick behind the damaged plaster walls. She designed everything herself, putting Pinterest to work as a decorating resource. “It’s important to have a really solid idea in mind of what inspires you, to see what other people are doing and then take that and transform it into your own thing with the space that you have,” says the shopkeeper.
She brought in a contractor to help with architectural details such as the arched doorway in the foyer, and consulted with an architect to draw up floor plans to make the space feel larger. “Having a good architect is definitely key," says Lopez, "especially in New York, where the construction process is a little bit tedious with licenses—the architect acts as a kind of mediator.”Vitsoe
shelving and Eames chairs from Modernica
lend the space a midcentury-modern vibe, while raw oak flooring from LV Wood
extends onto the fitting room build-outs, adding to the sleek cabin feel. “I wanted it to feel inviting," says the proprietor. "Anyone can come in and have a seat or read a magazine…and we’re right next to Stumptown, so people can bring in their coffee!"
Art is essential to this dynamic space. “Originally I wanted to open an art gallery,” notes Lopez, who is partnering with Belgium's Gallery 51
to host an exhibit during The AIPAD
Photography Show. "I like the idea of fusing retail and art in the same space, because sometimes galleries can be an intimidating.” The store currently features work by Brooklyn-based painter Mike Ming
and photographer Steve McCurry
; the spot over the mantel serves as a rotating showcase for select artists.
“I wanted it to feel inviting...anyone can come in and have a seat or read a magazine—and we’re right next to Stumptown, so people can bring in their coffee!"
The shopping mix is an international affair, with womenswear from new and established brands including Nomia, Ohne Titel, and Raquel Allegra. Their men's roster is equally diverse, highlighting European, Japanese and American labels such as Robert Geller, Ami and Stefan Schneider. In a space that's as dynamic as it is beautiful, it's easy to imagine that the meticulously curated lifestyle seen on the pages of the magazines strewn about is finally within reach—and at Mirador, it is.
(Photos © Sean Santiago / Lonny)
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