By CP Company Store
Posted in Archive, on September 23, 2015
In 1902, New York built its first skyscraper on the junction between Broadway and 5th Avenue on 23rd Street. It soon became identified as the 'Flat Iron' building for its unique appearance and resemblance to a Victorian steam iron.
In 1991, when Massimo Osti decided to open C.P. Company's first ever store in the United States, he chose to do so in this historic building. Designed by Daniel Burnham, the Flat Iron Building is recognised as one of the oldest architectural icons in the city and was the only work of architecture in New York to be reviewed by Alfred Stieglitz' 'Camera Work' and photographed for the same magazine by Edward Steichen.
Massimo described his experience of walking into the store for the first time as like being "on the set of Blade Runner, in a flagrant mix of the past and the future." He entrusted Italian architect Toni Cordero with restructuring the interior; Cordero designed a 500 square metre space decorated with highway guardrails to which C.P. Company pieces were hung.
This exhibition was open to the public and through interacting with attendees Massimo conceived his interpretation of how C.P Company's space in the Flat Iron Building should look and feel. He developed a retail space in the form of what would now be considered a 'concept store', which was almost unheard of 25 years ago. In addition to viewing C.P. Company's latest collections, customers could find albums from Italian musicians, as well as a selection of the most significant publications from the fields of art, graphic design and photography.
The store would go on to be featured in The New York Times on Sunday 15 September 1991, with a full page dedicated to an impressive image of the iconic building; this image would go on to inspire a T-shirt design from Clare Caulfield's collaboration with C.P. Company for Spring Summer 2014.
(Images courtesy of the Massimo Osti Archive)