A few nights ago, I was invited to the opening of the ZONA pop up shop, at the Cheryl Hazan Gallery. For those too young to remember, ZONA was born in the early eighties in a slowly blossoming artsy new neighborhood called SOHO. Hard to imagine that at that time, the idea of the concept store was new and fresh and that ZONA was the pioneer of the type of home and general store that curates their offerings, celebrates the handmade, the collected and the original. Now it is common to see products that celebrate their origins, but back in the early 80’s, ZONA was IT for hippie-design-downtown-chic. As the NY Times recently wrote in their story about ZONA, back then, the lines on a Saturday wrapped around the block, and everyone left with their signature marble peach, pictured above (which obviously, I now want). What kind of store can sell you a marble peach? How about a marble potato? The kind with spirit and soul, one that makes you curious and excited about the things you find there. Founders Franci and Lou Sagar had tapped into something and created an idea and New Yorkers, celebrities, bankers, artists and all, all flocked to ZONA for this new under-decorated look for their homes.
After rapid expansion, investments from venture capitalists, and a divorce, ZONA eventually folded in 2000. After a few years the original owner, Franci enquired about getting the name back from the new owners, who offered to sell it back to her. She decided to wait them out – a name looses its trademark if it isn’t used in 5 years (remember that Domino Special Edition)- and eventually reclaimed the name. Circumstances have prevented Franci from opening up sooner- but have also allowed her to bring her 23 year old daughter Sophie into the business. At the opening Franci was elated with the multigenerational crowd and she literally beamed as she looked over at her daughter working the crowd. She was in her early 20s when she founded ZONA, she told me, so it seems appropriate that her young beautiful daughter should be involved in its rebirth.The two live together in the same rent controlled apartment they’ve had for years. It is as collected and cool as store- you can see their home HERE. Anyway, Franci’s own 5 year trademark was running out, and hence this pop up shop in friend Cheryl Hazan’s gallery. They will be opening a permanent location at some point next year, but until then, from now until January 6th, you can get your marble peach, handmade baby slippers, and artist and artisan made gifts from around the world at the pop up shop.
AT 35 NORTH MOORE STREET,
NEW YORK CITY
CHERYL HAZAN GALLERY
13 DECEMBER 2012 TO 6 JANUARY 2013
HOURS 11:00 TO 8:00
Franci and Sophie Sagar, Cheryl Hazan.