On September 5th, 2018, luxury jeweler designer Mimi So opened her newest namesake store on Crosby Street in New York City’s Lower East Side.
So’s store is a self-described “urban wonderland.” The space appears as though it was decorated with a light hand: a pair of display cases for jewelry, some inviting plush armchairs near the front of the store, and a vintage park bench sits at the back under a large screen that displays the colorful artwork associated with the Mimi So brand and her signature Wonderland Collection. Every single piece in this minimalist space was not just hand-picked by So herself, but she also infused her unique sensibility for design into it as well.
The store is intended to feel like a comforting space; So wants her clients to come in and feel as though they’re walking into her own home. To that end, So placed items from her actual house (including delicate china and personal affects like a silver hand mirror and children’s books) throughout the display cases to infuse the space with homely touches. The quality of the furniture played a big part in creating that atmosphere for her.
“I am about materials,” she says. “The quality of maple wood, the finest textile embroidery from Italy, reclaimed wood floors. The integrity of a space is of more importance to me than many pieces of lower-quality execution.” This philosophy extends into the creation of her jewelry, as well.
Using high-quality gemstones, fine metals, and top-notch craftsmanship, Mimi So allows the caliber of her pieces to speak to her definition of luxury. More than that, both her jewelry and the new store that they now live in are born from her desire to make manifest her love for the whimsical and for the childhood she spent being exposed to the sights and sounds of New York City.
The Mimi So store is full of surprises, but not just because of the unique jewelry it displays or the one-of-a-kind furniture that decorates it. Its address, 21 Crosby Street, is not exactly a destination for jewelry, but rather a street that is slowly evolving to cater to lovers of art and luxury.
“[Having] Rick Owens across the street [and] Opening Ceremony and luxury hotels as bookends really creates an exciting organic flow of people,” So says. Considering her A-list clientele (from Davie Bowie and Iman to Jennifer Lopez), it’s no surprise that she would choose a location oriented towards luxury, but 21 Crosby Street also lies at a fascinating intersection where it acknowledges both its luxurious future and its gritty, New York City past. That juxtaposition allows for some interesting traffic: she notes that some loyal clients have flown in to see the space while tourists trickle in from the Gucci store down the street and famous artists like Jeffrey Brosk stop by to say hello.
As with her unique pieces, Mimi So has created a space of her own in the heart of the Lower East Side, just blocks away from the street she grew up in. For So, 21 Crosby Street is both a way to bring her brand home and a portal into her inner beautiful, colorful world.
21 Crosby Street (between Howard and Grand Street)
New York, NY 10013