Push back the velvet green curtain at Aimé Leon Dore in New York City and hold your breath when you face the Porsche. The customized, vintage Porsche 365 with wood trim, plaid seats, and Aimé Leon Done’s tulip and thistle logo popping off the navy blue paint is front and center at the newly renovated flagship store on Mulberry Street.
A collaboration between Teddy Santis’s lifestyle menswear brand and interior designer Sarita Posada’s vision, ALD’s new digs have traded stark white walls for warm walnut cabinetry, mid-century light fixtures, and lush Persian rugs. The redesign is virtually a twin to ALD’s London flagship, which Sarita renovated in 2022 with architectural support from HS2 Architecture and the build out and millwork completed by Taso Galitos and Chris Yerolemou of AXOS designs.
The dim atmosphere is an homage to the historic—and exclusive—gentlemen’s clubs from London’s Victorian era, but with sneakers and vapes instead of suits and cigars. The elevated streetwear brand favors clothing traditionally associated with the working class, like chore jackets, fishermen’s sweaters, and bowling shirts. Teddy refines the garments with tapestry print, hand woven wool and custom embroidery. Nostalgia, especially from the 1990s, also plays a big role in defining ALD’s style. They sell plaid caps, acid-wash jackets and nautical button-downs.
Inside the flagship, the clothing is tucked into new, built-in shelving, protected under gold-trimmed vitrines and nestled into the displays at ALD’s coffee shop, Café Leon Dore. The inspiration for dishing out drinks and pastries comes from Teddy’s Greek heritage, where men spend their afternoons at cafés chatting. For those craving a different flavor, ALD also installed a bar, plush round booths, and a vinyl DJ station, implying that the store will double as the version of the social clubs that inspired it.
Another notable addition to the renovated flagship is the artwork, which celebrates New York City (Teddy was born in Greece, but raised in Queens), 90s hip-hop and basketball culture. Though ALD is famous for its long-term collaboration with New Balance, a pair of Air Jordans hangs from the wall. Beside it, a mosaic of television screens plays throwback Knicks games. On another wall, “30 NYs” by Kimou Meyer grids out an illustrative interpretation of the Yankees logo on a cyan birch surface. The icons match Meyer’s commission for ALD’s Fall ’22 collection, which featured the design stitched into letterman jackets and preserved as enamel pins. Tyrrell Winston’s deflated basketballs, which graced the store before its renovation, now appear more at home popping against the rich wood grain paneling that covers the walls. And that vintage Porsche in the front? That’s actually the third collaboration ALD has done with the luxury car brand.
Sarita’s interior design also has some subtle, cheeky touches. The velvet curtains accenting the dressing room hint at the peep show happening behind those doors. Figurative nude paintings, which almost blend into the walls with their flesh tones, are scattered throughout the store.
“We are grateful for Teddy’s continued trust in our collaboration and for allowing us to expand upon ideas that were initiated with the London store. While we carried through a similar design language that is intrinsic to the Aimé Leon Dore brand, we incorporated new moments that are unique to the Mulberry Street store, honoring our shared home turf that is the city of New York,” Sarita says.
The moody interior stays hidden behind a pair of curtains, keeping the store dark and secretive. But with your insider’s look, you can grab a coffee and croissant and throw open the doors.