This summer, treat yourself to an early Christmas: Deck your drawers with bras of Marlies.
Skip the expensive importer, but don't hop the pond. Go instead to the newly revamped Plaza Hotel, the one where Marilyn Monroe was photographed, where the Beatles stayed, where Truman Capote's "Black and White Ball" was filmed and Richard Nixon's daughter wed. It's hereamid the most poetic of Americana, just across Central Parkwhere Dutch lingerie darling Marlies Dekkers will open her first American home.
Appropriately, Dekkers, who designs each of her stores herself, describes the upcoming boutique's decor as especially "romantic." The 1,500-square-foot spot is inspired by the smoky grays, storybook prints and satiny touch of her Fairytale Fantasy collection, which she says "fits perfectly with the elegant ambience of the Plaza Hotel."
"I find it very important that you feel the atmosphere and energy of each city in my stores, which gives every store its own uniqueness," Dekkers said. "I always get inspired by the dynamic and vibrant lifestyle of [New York City], its cultural heritage, mystique and glamour."
An exact opening date has not been set, and pictures of the new store are not yet available. But if Dekkers' other projects are any indication, New York is in for an upgraded retail experience, a lush one that is more futuristic than daily, that is more transcendental than rational, that is almost more about feeling than shopping. Think deep colors, elaborate chandeliers, chic mannequins, lounge space, huge dressing rooms, orchids, scented candles, chocolates, plush fabrics, mood lighting, a specialty (no doubt hip, because Europe is hip) soundtrack.
Encapsulated by it all, three elaborate collectionsthe undressed lingerie collection for both women and men, the sundressed beachwear range and the nightdressed collectionthat fear no cut, color or curve, that embrace and enhance like bras but adorn like jewelry. (Dekkers even makes tops cut specifically to let the best parts of her lingerieoften the ornate strapspeek through.)
While the Plaza spot will be her first official retail hub here, Dekkers made her U.S. entrance two years ago, when the Black Satin lingerie boutique at Las Vegas' Wynn Hotel brought in her collections. In her 15 years on the map, she has more than 1,000 wholesale customers, mostly in Europe, and says one of her greatest wishes is to open a store in every country.
And after dancing at New York bars and chatting with American women ("I don't do any market research," she says), she's decided the United States is the next and best step.
"I believe American women are ready for a small lingerie revolution," Dekkers said. "I dare American women to be themselves and I wish to stimulate American women to search for their own dreams and fantasies... dare to be!"