Art + Design + I Want This + Places + Travels + Vanity + Wearables

Orla Kiely is coming to NYC!

Photos courtesy Orla Kiely’s Spring/Summer 2011 Lookbook

Imagine my excitement this morning when I learned that Orla Kiely—she of perfect textiles, perfect bags, perfect wallpaper, perfect pattern, perfect everything—is opening a store in New York City! Yes, it’s true, this September Orla’s first US store (2300 square feet!) will open at 5 Mercer Street in SoHo.

I’m actually not someone who gets terribly excited about big-name clothing or accessory designers, but Orla Kiely is an exception. I love just about everything she designs, and every season I’m excited to see her new collections (there’s a lot more to her work than the classic stem print!). To be able to see everything in person will be such a treat—after all, I don’t buy everything I admire from afar, but sometimes it’s nice just to touch coveted items with my greedy little paws.

Some of the Orla Kiely magic in my life: The wallpaper in my vestibule, this bag, another bag (yes, Evan bought it for me after I wrote that post!), and this bag too…oh, and that vase, and all of the other little things I’ve amassed but never documented. I really will need to contain myself when the store opens. But hey! Now Evan knows where he can go whenever a gift-giving occasion arises!

You can read more about Orla Kiely’s soon-to-be New York City store in Vogue UK and on the New York Times blog.

Edited to include the short film by Mercedes Helnwein that was shown at the Orla Kiely welcoming party at the Ace Hotel on Tuesday night…

And I can’t resist throwing in a few photos of Orla at home here, too. Since, you know, it’s perfect and all.

Top row: Photos from Grazia Living; Bottom row: Photos from LivingEtc (left) and Mail Online (right)

(Huge thanks to @GennersB for the tip!!)

Previous Post Next Post

Other Stuff You Might Be Into


  • Reply Liz June 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I totally love her prints and enjoy visiting her origninal store in Seven Dials. You will love visiting your local, I’m sure. I rarely buy but the staff are so helpful and friendly they don’t make me feel bad and it really is great to see so much brilliant design in one place. ENJOY!

  • Reply Martina June 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Anna…I am a lurker but have to come out of the word work now!! I didn’t realise how enthusiastic an Orla fan you were! I think I am the biggest! I have been buying everything Orla since about 2001 and whenever I could afford it. I have saved for her stuff and I treasure every piece I own…I started to buy her clothing (again, when I could afford) in 2006 and can still wear any of them quite happily today…I don’t think anything she designs dates at all! I am glad you will get to enjoy her stuff up close and personal!! Your post is making me wonder if I should pull out and document it all on my blog! And, by the way…if you don’t already have her book Pattern, I strongly and highly recommend it. Love your blog. Martina.

    • Anna @ D16 June 16, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      Martina, I think that sounds like a great post idea! I know I’d love to see your collection. If you do it, be sure to let me know. 🙂

    • Martina June 17, 2011 at 4:24 am

      Well it might be fun…I get teased a lot about my OK obsession…”well, how many bags do you actually have?” and truth be told, I don’t really know! As another person commented, the etc bags are really mainstream now in Dublin. When I started buying, and up until about 2008, they were few and far between. Now, I don’t buy the etc so much and save hard for the mainline collection. I will indeed let you know if I ever get around to pulling all that Orla stuff out and doing a post!

    • kelly w June 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      let us all know! i would love to see that. 🙂

  • Reply Martha June 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I can very much relate to the need to just *touch* Orla’s creations. I stopped in a Nordstrom recently hoping to check out her bags, despite their being a bit beyond everyday affordability, and was disappointed to learn Nordstrom no longer carries her work. It’s nice to know there’ll be an NYC storefront soon… and we can always hope for a reprise at Target 🙂

  • Reply Lena June 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I can understand you. As a poor student I can’t really aford her bags, but when she collaborated with Tesco and made a simple, cheap, but beautiful shopping bag, I couldn’t resist buying one, altough being in Switzerland that meant paying a few extra pounds on ebay. Looks so pretty in my room!

  • Reply Benita June 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Another reason to come to NYC then! I also have the Tesco bag mentioned above. A reader sent it to me and I love it along with just about everything Orla designs.

    • Lena June 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm

      Oh really? that makes me really happy that I have the same bag like you!

  • Reply satsuki | zakka nouveau June 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    oh my!!!! i just received her pattern book in the mail yesterday + was gushing over how wonderful it would be if i could see her work in person. then i saw your posting this morning + was so excited as i will be making a trip out to nyc in late august…. but then realized i’ll just be missing her opening…. i guess that means another trip out soon hopefully!

  • Reply Rachel Kay June 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    That’s brilliant! Her shops are so pretty. You can buy her products in quite a few places in Dublin, but there is no stand alone shop. I visited the one in Covent Garden in London and was so smitten! Left empty handed though, but it was such a treat to browse!

    I’m 7 months in a new job and decided that, after being made permanent, it was about time to personalise my desk, and my first port of call was to pick up an Orla Kiely mug to use as a pencil pot. Just that one piece makes such a difference!

    I’ve always been put off buying an OK bag because of their popularity over here (I know that’s a silly reason, but they are ridiculously popular here), but I’ve a few other bits (wallet, wottle, bedding, teapot, storage jar, tea caddy, and her perfume is my current favourite scent).
    Do you have her ‘Pattern’ book? I often take it off the shelf to drool over her gorgeous designs

    • Anna @ D16 June 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      I don’t have the book (it’s been on my wishlist for ages…I just keep hoping someone will buy it for me!), but I’ve thumbed through and it is indeed gorgeous!

  • Reply jodi June 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    omg. you just made my day!!! i heart orla so very, very much.

  • Reply Catherine June 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Oh, you’re in for a treat. The first time I went to the store in Covent Garden I almost cried at the perfection of the floors, which have her stem pattern inlaid into the floorboards ! You can kind of see them in this picture here

    • Anna @ D16 June 16, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      I will definitely take photos of the New York store when it’s open! I can’t wait to see what they do with the space. 🙂

  • Reply jennifer in sf June 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Oh man. On the one hand I AM TOTALLY JEALOUS!!!! On the other hand, it’s really best to keep some distance between me and Orla Kiely stores. It is really hard to resist the gorgeousness in person. Both times I’ve been in the Covent Garden store I’ve barely talked myself down from spending every penny I had!

  • Reply Amy June 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Oh good cause I was seriously considering a trip to London just to visit her store!

  • Reply Tina June 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Not only are the fabrics gorgeous, but the simplicity of the clothes are something that will look good next year and the year after that.

    • Anna @ D16 June 16, 2011 at 11:42 pm

      Agreed! They really are timeless. I love that they feel a bit retro without being costumey, and the color combinations are so modern that they don’t feel stale at all. Instant classics!

  • Reply anne b. June 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    that red painted stair ‘runner’ in the last picture is fab! I might have to steal that idea.

  • Reply Jules June 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I always wanted to use the stem print wallpaper on an accent wall in the shared room for our sons (much like you did with the black wall in your bedroom). They don’t share a room, yet, but they’re dying for the day we finally pull the trigger. That will happen once I make a decision on furniture, design, etc. What do you think? I don’t think the print is too feminine, and the colors are so darn happy. Some people disagree with me.

    • Anna @ D16 June 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      I don’t like to assign gender biases to colors or patterns…and my inclination would be to ask THEM what they want. 🙂

    • Jules June 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

      Oh, I don’t know. If I do that their room will look like the interior of the Millennium Falcon. 🙂 They’re only 4 and (just turned!) 7. They don’t think about practical things like, say, beds or lamps. Uh, not that wallpaper falls into the list of practical items. I’ll have to show them the wallpaper and see what they think. I think they will get a kick out of all the colors.

  • Reply Audrie June 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Oh man… this is trouble. I might as well go ahead and file for bankruptcy now lol

  • Reply moparbrownstoner June 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Hello! Well, this isn’t too relevant to Orla Kiely, but I have been dying to post that we were in Newburgh last weekend and I was just floored by the remarkable architecture of the area on the bluff overlooking the Hudson.

    My husband was going to the library book sale, and I was tagging along, so just by accident I walked all up and down Grand St. snapping photos of almost every building. I couldn’t believe 1832 neoclassical church, the ruins, the red brick Romanesque revival for sale (my favorite — that’s where I want to live), the former synagogue with the round windows overlooking the Old Town Cemetery, etc., etc., etc. There’s a building from every era going back to the 1600s and almost every one is architecturally distinct and special in some way. So many Federal and Italianate, but plenty of late Victorian too.

    Not to mention the lovely river view and the perfect foggy breeze.

    At Washington’s HQ, I got a bunch of brochures about garden and house tours and what not. Are there any you recommend?

    • Anna @ D16 June 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      Yep, Newburgh is pretty darned awesome. You know my house is right next to that “bluff overlooking the Hudson”, right? It’s so fun to see people’s reaction to the incredible architecture in Newburgh—and it’s all just waiting to be cared for and loved!! So glad you got to see both Grand Street and the Washington Heights area.

      I’ve actually never done a formal tour in Newburgh. Embarrassingly, I didn’t even know there were any until I read your comment! Well, except the candlelight tour of historic homes that they do every winter. I guess I’ll have to look into that!!

      Soooooo…when are you moving to Newburgh?? 😀

    • moparbrownstoner June 16, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      Yes, it’s awesome. It’s an old house lover’s dream. It’s better than any house museum tour ever. It’s probably better than any old town I’ve ever seen. I was just flabbergasted.

      I did in fact know your house was near the Hudson because you posted a photo of your street overlooking the water. In fact, as soon as we drove into your neighborhood, I was like, I bet Anna lives over here! Because the houses were the right era. I have to admit, we did in fact drive down your street, but your house went by in a blur. I hope this doesn’t sound too creepy stalker-ish.

      Alas, we can’t move to Newburgh or anywhere until we either win the lottery or stabilize our falling-down vinyl-sided Victorian, which, given how slowly we’re progressing, could take another three or ten years.

      The candlelight tour did catch my eye. I wonder if a lot of houses on Grand St. are open for it.

      You will find three quite interesting brochures at the Washington HQ visitor’s center: Old Town Cemetery with map & list of who’s buried there, Historical Society 2011 Calendar of Events, and Experience! the City of Newburgh, which has a map, photos, and descriptions of most of the significant historical public buildings.

      Did you know the creators of the Goudy typeface are buried in the cemetery?!

    • Anna @ D16 June 16, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      It’s official, you now know more about Newburgh than I do! Hahaha. Considering we live less than a mile down the road from Washington’s Headquarters, it’s really kind of ridiculous that we’ve never done a real visit there (short of walking on the grounds).

      (And for what it’s worth, no, I don’t think that’s creepy at all! It’s not like I’m secretive about where I live, and I want people to be interested in Newburgh!)

  • Reply Nicole June 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Oh my goodness. When the first row of outfits loaded I actually sucked my breath in through my teeth and clutched my chest like a drama queen.

    I want that grey dress with an ardor that cannot be contained by mere words.

  • Reply Ana June 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Wow, now I really wish I lived in NY. I’m a total Orla junkie and have a ton of her bags, including the plum leather purse I’m carrying today. I’m geeking out with you. 🙂

  • Reply mixette June 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Totally made my day to hear this! I made a “pilgrimage” to her London store in 2007 but New York: so much closer 😉

    Her Pattern book is also a really good read in addition to the swoon-worthy photos. She writes in depth about her early influences, her process, and how she has run and grown her business.

  • Reply Liz June 17, 2011 at 3:51 am

    I recently found out about Orla’s diffusion line; not cheap but a bit more affordable. I still prefer the prints of the original line although I bought a lovely yellow stripe cardi in a sale last month. The current collection and stockists are here:

  • Reply JanyH June 17, 2011 at 4:41 am

    i definitively live in the wrong city/ country….well, i’ll have to continue to go to London for a Orla Kiely shop ( the Covent Garden shop is lovely !) or buy online. Sigh.

  • Reply megan June 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I think I’ll take one of each.

  • Reply moparbrownstoner June 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Oh good, that’s a relief! You can come stalk my place in Brooklyn any old time! 🙂 Alas, Brooklyn is not nearly as interesting as Newburgh.

  • Reply Paul June 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Unrelated question: I’m painting a wall of bookshelves backed with 70s wood paneling. Would you recommend high gloss, semigloss, matte, or what paint finish?

    • Anna @ D16 June 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      Hmmm. I guess it really depends on the look you want! Whatever you do, sand and prep the wood first, and make sure you prime. 🙂

  • Reply Annie markantonatou June 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    A very talented designer, but not really my style, 60’s mod

  • Reply tinajo June 18, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Oh my goodness – those dresser are fantastic! I´d buy any of them, bummer they are not sold in Sweden. 🙁

    Are they to be found in Chicago by any chance? I´m going there in September so that would be something…

    • Anna @ D16 June 18, 2011 at 9:21 am

      There’s a list of stockists on her website. 🙂

  • Reply tinajo June 18, 2011 at 5:53 am

    dresseS, not dresseR – couldn´t spell there in my exitement..! 😀

  • Reply Schuyler June 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I’ve loved Orla Kiely for years and beyond excited that she’s opening a store in NYC. Thanks for posting!

  • Reply PhillyLass June 19, 2011 at 11:33 am

    With all the fab happening in these photos, I’m most stuck on Orla’s amazing boots. I think I’d be willing to blow a whole paycheck on a pair of boots that cool. Alas, they probably cost more than one of my wee small paychecks, so I’ll just envy them from afar.

  • Reply Sarah @ June 20, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Um, I think you just made me so jealous I cannot stand it!!! I’m here in California with a BIG heart Orla Kiely! I mean even my baby bag is from her!!!!! =(

  • Reply maomau October 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    tried to tweet it but you can’t see my response. ha! so its here but not open yet? [link]

    • Anna @ D16 October 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Oh, I know where the store is, I just don’t know if it’s open yet!

    • maomau October 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      It opens on 10/21 & 10/22,11am-7pm,the first 200 customers to spend $150 @ our Soho shop receive a gift with purchase!

    • maomau October 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      oops, this is via their tweet.

    Leave a Comment

    Door Sixteen is a hate-free, drama-free, spam-free zone. Open dialogue is welcome, but comments designed to harm or deceive will be removed.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Get D16 in your mailbox

    Sign up to receive weekly digests and (occasional) other updates from Door Sixteen! I promise to not bombard your inbox.