The usual selection of handbags, jewelry, clothing, and shoes sits inside the new Hermès store in New York. Bottles of fragrances line one area, while home décor items lie on shelves upstairs. A glass case in the corner contains a white and gray Birkin bag made from Niloticus crocodile, one of the rarest and priciest objects the label creates.
Yet the shop itself is quite a departure for the 182-year-old Parisian house of luxury. The 5,330-square-foot location is far from the glitzy confines of Madison and Fifth avenues or the opulent Manhattan malls that have popped up in recent years. It sits on a street corner between a Theory fashion boutique and a Peruvian restaurant in the Meatpacking District, in an area first made famous for its gritty after-hours nightlife.