Walking into Hadley Johnson’s new store on West 18th Street feels like stepping into a live version of one of the designer’s lookbooks.
Yes, the clothes are here (both a sampling of collection pieces and new, ready-to-wear garments), but it’s more than that. Playing an equal role in making this space feel so much like Hadley (which just happens to be the shop’s name) is the hazily neutral color palette and the highly curated collection of locally crafted art, jewelry and objects also available.
“It’s not just about the garments,” Johnson says of her choice to make the store both a designer showroom and a “white box” showcase for visiting, local curators. “The way that I live my life is embedded into the store; these are definitely all things that are a part of my practice and a part of people that I love.”
Making the new store even more personal is the fact that it also represents a literal homecoming for Johnson. Hadley is located in the space formerly occupied by Spool boutique, which the designer opened in 2003 and owned until 2007, when she moved to France to attend the Parsons Paris School of Art and Design.
“It was like coming full circle,” says Johnson. “I was taking off the flooring that I had put in and scraping off the paint I had painted. It was about really stripping the space, getting to the foundation of what it was and then kind of putting my adult self in here.”
But by no means is Hadley a Spool 2.0.
“What I wanted and what I learned from having the business before was that I wanted this to be something that grows with me,” continues Johnson. This means that twice a year, the interior of the store—from the color on the walls to the products and ready-to-wear pieces available for purchase—will change based on what Johnson is illustrating in her main design collection.
“The garments, no matter what,” says Johnson, “will be at the forefront for how I treat the space and what I bring into the space.”
The designer’s latest collection, and hence, Hadley’s first reboot since the fall opening are both expected to debut this month.
1. Hadley Johnson RTW. Not only is every sweater, dress and jacket designed and crafted by Johnson herself, each piece is also one of just ten made—with the garment’s number in the succession appearing ever-so-chicly on the label. And although the pieces from Johnson’s collections are not for sale (though she does offer custom work), many patterns found in the ready-to-wear offerings have appeared in her work before and have just been translated to more livable fabrics and cuts. Pieces range from $64-$325 (and layaway is available!).
2. Majendie Jewelry by Erica Voetsch. Johnson is quick to say that this uber-talented local artist has “magical hands,” and we couldn’t agree more. Voetsch’s handcrafted jewelry and accessories work ranges from the subtle—sweet, silver hair barrettes and stackable rings—to major statement pieces like mineral-rock cocktail rings, embellished collar necklaces and dramatically spiked headpieces. And we want it all.
3. For Strange Women. “The first night that I got in,” remembers Johnson, “I burned Palo Santo to cleanse and open up the space.” So it’s fitting that Johnson worked with Kansas City’s resident artisan perfumer, For Strange Women creator Jill McKeever, to craft this Palo Santo-scented black lip-gloss exclusively for Hadley shoppers.