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2012 November 15

Bronson van Wyck Debuts First Pop-Up Shop

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Bronson Van Wyck (left) with Andrew Fry Bronson Van Wyck (left) with Andrew Fry
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(NEW YORK) Anyone who's graced one of NYC's toniest black-tie soirées is likely familiar with the work of Bronson van Wyck of Van Wyck & Van Wyck. The fashion industry's go-to event designer (he works with the likes of President Obama and Martha Stewart in addition to Chanel and the Central Park Conservancy) is finally bringing his lxue sensibility to the general public with a holiday pop-up shop at Overbey & Dunn at 19 Christopher Street in NYC's West Village nabe. BY ASHLEY BAKER

Is this your first foray into retail?
Yes! For years, we've been helping our friends and long-term clients with holiday décor for their home, and last year, Tom Dunn (of Overbey & Dunn) asked if we wanted to do a pop-up shop. Given that we get so many requests for decoration, we decided to focus on that. Rather than having us come in and do a completely site-specific installation from scratch, and the shop offers more of a ready-to-wear version. We cut the trees to order, for starters. Just give us the height of your ceiling, and we'll deliver and install it, fully decorated. We also offer garlands by the foot, which we'll cut them to hang perfectly and puddle from end to end. If you want us to dip the tips of the leaves in gold leaf, we can do that, too. We'll add pomegrantaes, miniature trees, topiaries, paperwhites, live amaryillis, mistletoe...

You're really known for your greenery, among other things—how long did it take you to find these vendors?
About ten years. The magnolia comes from Arkansas, but the rest of it comes from local farms in New Jersey, Connectecut, and up the Hudson River Valley. At this point, we start talking to the farmers in July to see how things are growing. We were out in the fields in August, putting ribbons on best specimen trees to reserve them for the season.

What's the price range for the greenery? 
Trees start at $1,750, and the prices are based on height. Garlands start around $200, and wreaths start around $250.

And clients just await the installation?
Our Van Wyck elves will set it all up. 

What else will the shop feature?
Tableclothes, runners, monogrammed napkins, antiques, and plenty of really fabulous gifts for the hard-to-buy-for people on your list. A set of plates from George V's cornoation, a fabulous taxidermy trophy, a handwoven map of the Spice Islands, painted figurines of Greek goddesses that have been turned into lamps...and also a lot of barware, candlesticks, cups, and china. We have vintage ornaments from Belgium, eggs that we've blown out and painted, and loads of hostess gifts. If your host has Scottish ancestry, we can figure out their tartan and order a set of custom cocktail napkins. Speaking of, we'll be serving drinks at the shop all season long, and I'll probably lose my shirt at some point.

Is it true that you're bottling your own salad dressing?
Yes. It started off as something I made for friends, but when one client requested I send it to the Splendido in Portofino for a couple on their honeymoon. I decided to bottle it. I come from Arrowhead Farms in Arkansas, and that's what we named the products. Now, we have margarita and bloody mary mixes along with the dressing, and the proceeds from sales will go to City Meals on Wheels. Everyone in the company has volunteered there, especially in the past of couple weeks. That's a little Paul Newman inspired thing!

How are you managing all this, given that holiday is your busiest season in the event business?
Zero sleep, and a great sense of humor. I just smile, say yes, and keep going! As Coach Krzyzewski of the Duke basketball team always says, Next play!




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