New York City's Lower East Side, the historic neighborhood where gritty alleys and tenement-style buildings meet trendy bars and eclectic eateries, has long been called home by Sandy Liang. (The designer and her family have lived and worked there since the '70s.)

So it was only fitting that it would also be the location for Liang's first flagship store in New York City — a 1,500 square foot space that draws loosely from the playful, process-based aesthetic of the designer's eponymous line, not to mention the industrial interiors of the surrounding area.

Naturally, the project was a collaborative affair with deep ties to her family and history. Her partner Dorian Booth is the co-founder of the design firm she used, Almost Studio (they produced the runway set for her Spring 2020 show), and her father's company Sun Sun Contracting Inc. was responsible for the execution of the store.

"I like to think of the store as a physical extension of my general approach to clothes — I don't think anything needs to be ultra-serious, I appreciate a bit of humor and playfulness in everything," said Liang in a statement. "And I want to pay homage to where I came from, and who my community is."

Liang's design studio is located just a few blocks away, as is her grandmother's home and her father's restaurant. Inside, the boutique features metal-mesh curtains and metal rods that curve and divide the space, playground furniture that are nods to the designer's nostalgic designs and green marble finishings, a material used frequently in her childhood homes and her father's restaurants.

"The community is such a large part of myself, my family's history and how I think about design — so, in a way, the store will be the spatial representation of the brand," she said. "I'm so excited to share that, because it will be the first time customers can see who we are, outside of what we post on social media and our collections."

Visit Sandy Liang's flagship New York store now at 28 Orchard Street.

Photography: Jonathan Hokklo

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