Next stop SoHo, fashion lovers’ paradise and much more
Exploring SoHo, the neighbourhood of our first New York showroom
Cast iron facades, fire escapes straight out of numerous film and throngs of people dressed in the latest fashions carrying colourful shopping bags. Welcome to SoHo, one of Manhattan’s most charming neighbourhoods and also home to the newest Salvatori showroom. Step out of Prince Street and make your way to 102 Wooster Street where you will find the new home of Made in Italy design displayed in unmistakable Salvatori style over two floors.
With just over two months to go until the opening, we thought it would be fun to take a stroll around the neighbourhood and get to know it a little.
SoHo, a shorthand for South of Houston Street, boasts a colourful history that has seen it live through periods of splendour and less salubrious incarnations. Its first golden era was around the middle of the 19th century when large businesses and luxury hotels began to open up along Broadway. Theatres then started cropping up and the area between Canal and Houston Street became a lively shopping and entertainment destination that became the go-to place in New York.
In the 1970s, SoHo was earmarked as the site for two elevated branches of the Lower Manhattan Expressway, but the project was abandoned, leaving the area full of unappealing old commercial buildings and factories. The top floor of many of these had been built as vast lofts for manufacturing or industrial purposes, making them of little interest to the well-heeled classes.
To the artists who inhabited the neighbourhood, however, they represented a perfect solution, and so it was that SoHo became one of the main artistic hubs of New York, attracting art lovers from all over the city. In the Seventies, it was considered a somewhat bohemian arty neighbourhood but the distinctive buildings and vibrant atmosphere began to attract a wider public in the following decade, and big brands soon followed.
Today it is a popular tourist destination for visitors in search of high fashion and elegant architecture, and real estate prices are some of the highest in the country.
SoHo contains a wealth of architectural jewels with cast iron facades in the form of buildings constructed around the middle of the 1800s. At the time, cast iron offered a number of advantages because it was relatively inexpensive and easy to repair because if a piece broke off, it could simply be recast and replaced. Cast iron was also easy to produce on a large scale by using the same cast for a number of buildings, thus speeding up construction times.
The use of cast iron also impacted the architectural characteristics of the buildings’ interiors, chiefly for the large window that let ample light flood in. This, along with the high ceilings and functional layouts made it highly appealing to artists.
Due to the area's concentration of cast iron architecture, much of SoHo has become part of the Cast Iron Historic District, which was designated by New York City's Landmark Preservation Commission in 1973 and most recently expanded in 2010. A small tour around Greene Street, Prince Street, Spring Street and West Broadway Street is the perfect way to view a concentration of these stunning exteriors.
With such a charming setting, it was inevitable that shops and boutiques would gravitate towards SoHo, making the neighbourhood a honeypot for shopping lovers. From niche boutiques to High Street fashion chains through to luxurious international brands, the windows are full of must-have styles. Within a few blocks, you can admire the latest looks at Chanel and Moschino, purchase that special piece of jewellery from Tiffany & Co. and complete your new outfit with a spritz of gorgeous scent from Byredo.
From February 2023, another name will join the prestigious ranks with the opening of the first Salvatori showroom. Designed in collaboration with Yabu Pushelberg, it is destined to become another illustrious SoHo address, and a mecca for design lovers who want to get up close and personal with our products and discover a Salvatori Total Look reconstruction.
With that said, make sure you keep 23 February 2023 free in your diary for our launch event at 102 Wooster Street!