Just Opened: Den

The Odin dream team goes solo—sort of—with a new East Village boutique.
den_justopened_openBringing together a tightly edited assortment of lesser-known labels and items was and is menswear shop Odin's raîson d'etre. And from the get-go, partners Eddy Chai and Paul Birardi were keen to deliver a precise cross-section of all the coolest pieces every guy-in-the-know needed to possess. But while the pair culled their street cred from perfecting a retail capsule comprised of many, they're branching out with a new co-ed store that's honing in on few—one to be exact.
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"We wanted to create a shop that was devoted to one designer at a time," says Chai of he Birardi's latest solo inspiration, Den. "As a result, the space would always be changing with each new designer that we showcased." According to the duo, they were struck by the fact that no store could ever buy a designer's complete collection. "With Den, we want to show a broader range of what one designer can do." Beginning with Swedish label, Cheap Monday, Den will become a haven for each new designer they choose, and the space will transform accordingly. "For Cheap Monday, most people only know them for their denim," Birardi says. "But here, we'll be showing their men's and women's collections as well as their spin-off lines like the Black Collection," which consists of tailored blazers, dresses, and blouses in, you guessed it, all black. Amid the Cheap Monday logo-splashed walls, Den will also debut accessories from the line, including scarves in the label's signature graphics and the unusual Strump shoe, a sneaker-sock hybrid.
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In the coming months, a handful of notable names will also be making themselves at home here: recent CFDA star Tim Hamilton arrives in August, Rag & Bone in the fall, and Karen Walker kicks off spring/summer 2008 here. And while the space will naturally adapt to each resident designer's aesthetic, the shell of Den still echoes its predecessor. "Every new installation with skew to the new designer, but Den is still aesthetically rooted to Odin," Chai says. "Old-world but still modern."
Den, 330 East 11th Street (between First and Second avenues); 212-475-0079.
The Odin dream team goes solo—sort of—with a new East Village boutique.
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