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March 15, 2019

Dallas Morning News /
Dallas' luxury pro Brian Bolke opens The Conservatory in New York's new Hudson Yards mall

The Conservatory, which makes its debut in a new mall that opened Friday in New York, was designed by Dallas-based Droese Raney Architecture.

The Conservatory opened Friday in New York's Shops at Hudson Yards. The store is a new concept that merges luxury online shopping with physical space from Brian Bolke, co-founder of Dallas-based Forty Five Ten. (The Conservatory)

NEW YORK — Dallas entrepreneur Brian Bolke, whose new concept store opens Friday in New York's Shop at Hudson Yards, loves the details. So he made sure there were plenty of sense-awakening reasons to stop in The Conservatory, his "in real life" shopping concept that he says merges online and offline shopping.

He devoted 500 square feet of the shop's 6,900 square feet to an entrance courtyard with amazing smells and a place to sit for a while. The store was designed by Dallas-based Droese Raney Architecture.

Inside, the clothing is displayed in groups of half a dozen pieces that face forward on a rack and immediately conjure up images of when and how you can wear each piece. The idea is to show off a few good pieces, he said. The store also has a 100-square-foot room where shoppers can chill for a few minutes if "you're having a really crappy day," he said.

The store's adjoining Teak Tearoom is a few steps from the park at Hudson Yards, the High Line elevated park and the Culture Shed, a new event space in the office and residential development anchored by the Shops at Hudson Yards.

Brian Bolke, co-founder of Dallas-based Forty Five Ten, opened his first new concept called The Conservatory in New York's the Shops at Hudson Yards on March 15, 2019. (Sansho Scott/ / The Conservatory)

The store's offerings include men's, women's, jewelry and a few home accessories. Shoppers can try on clothes in the store and order them directly from 57 designers.

The Conservatory doesn't carry inventory, but it does have every piece in every size, similar to a Bonobos guide shop. Closets against the wall hold Stella McCartney vegan leather jackets and exclusive women's knit coordinating pieces for spring from Narciso Rodriguez.

The only things customers leave The Conservatory with are fresh flowers and one-of-a-kind items.

Bolke, co-founder of Dallas-based Forty Five Ten, sold that company in 2014 and stayed on as president until August 2017, when he left to launch an independent consulting firm.

The idea for The Conservatory started to emerge after he turned to shopping online because he was no longer constantly in a store after leaving Forty Five Ten.

He started feeling the friction of online shopping and the guilt of "seeing the truck leave his driveway with a package he returned," he said.

For shoppers who buy apparel online, there's a 40 percent return rate, he said: "What a waste."

In a few weeks, the store will debut its relationship with Farfetch, The Conservatory's online platform partner and one of the largest luxury online stores.

Vignette of The Conservatory, Hudson Yards, New York, a new concept store by Brian Bolke (The Conservatory Hudson Yards)

The Conservatory name is a "triple entendre," Bolke said. "It's a place of study and discovery, a place that brings nature indoors and place that suggests the idea of conservation — of respect for resources and time."

Time is a luxury too, he said, and he invites shoppers to literally "stop and smell the roses."

Written by: Maria Halkias
Originally posted in Dallas Morning News.