Tucked away in the University Center, there’s a tiny space that has been on the wish list of students, faculty and staff for years. It was worth the wait. At long last, The New School has its own store—a bricks and mortar boutique that embodies the ethos of the university.
From the collaborative, design-inspired approach taken to construct the space to the socially responsible practices used to make those products sold there, The New Store truly represents The New School.
Located next to the elevators on the first floor of the University Center, The New Store opened this weekend with sales of university-branded T-shirts, tanks, beanies, and hoodies (regular and zip-up), as well as more avant-garde items such as sustainable, slimline water bottles, natural wool pennants, magnetic poetry kits, and backpack-hoodies. The majority of the products are designed by Made in USA companies, which follow clean manufacturing processes and fair labor standards.
The New Store follows the launch of the university’s first digital store, thenewstore.nyc, earlier this year.
“The New School community deserves a store experience that is as unique as each of us,” says Ashley Bruni, The New School’s Director of Brand Strategy. “We collaborated with students, faculty and staff to bring our dynamic visual identity to life and are thrilled to open an on-campus shop with a bold design, carrying product offerings that reflect the values of our university.”
Underscoring The New School’s commitment to social justice and sustainability, the university has worked with a variety of American vendors — Unionwear, Oxford Pennant, Resource Revival — as well as choice independent designers who emphasize sustainable and fair labor practices. In the future, The New Store will also host items from the school’s spirited Narwhal Nation line, as well as a collaboration with Parsons designers.
The construction of The New Store reflects The New School’s iterative, design-inspired process. Challenged with creating a shop in the tiny “storefront” on the first floor of the University Center (next to the elevators), members of the The New School’s Marketing and Communication team, New School faculty members and students, and members of the university’s Buildings team came up with a design solution that, “in typical New York Fashion, makes the most of a small space,” says Hanna Lauer, Brand Marketing Associate.
The space is equipped with retail display fixtures made from repurposed wood cubes. The design, by Parsons students Sam Shumway, Illustration ‘16, Dino Lauando, MFA Industrial Design ’17, and Parsons Illustration faculty member Noel Claro, hang alongside a metal sign cut by university technician Damien Vera in The New School’s campus making centers. Alison Mears and Jonsara Ruth, the director and design director of the Healthy Materials Lab, respectively, outfitted the space with environmentally responsible materials, including VOC-free paints, clean light sources, recycled materials, and mechanical fasteners (instead of toxic glue adhesives). The New Store’s revamped website, including its lifestyle photography, was designed under the creative direction of recent Parsons graduates Lisa Looye, BFA Communication Design ‘16, and Stephanie Sidjakov, AAS Graphic Design ’16.
“Creating The New Store has truly been a team effort,” Bruni says. “We hope to see everyone pop by the UC to visit us and offer thoughts on new products. This is your store and we want to see that #NewSchoolSpirit on the streets of New York City and beyond!”