by John Russel Jones

Chris Antista, the designer of Fair Harbor’s first store, describes typical ]fashion retail in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood as “an all-black space with rolling racks populated by salespeople who seem very unhappy to be there.” I might add there’s the other extreme of high-concept designed shops which are just plain intimidating. On the other hand, walking down the street on a slightly steamy late-Spring day, and turning into Fair Harbor’s new location is like catching a refreshing, salty ocean breeze. The shop, which just opened this weekend, is light, airy, and welcoming, a perfect match for the sustainable lifestyle brand’s growing collection of men’s, women’s, and boy’s swimwear and lifestyle apparel.

Located just a few blocks from the company’s headquarters, the coastal lifestyle brand’s first stand-alone shop is tucked into a 700-square-foot space that includes not only a storefront but a backyard patio and bamboo garden that leads to a “concept beach shack,” which will be used to promote upcoming collections and collaborations.

Designed by noted interior architect Antista, the store’s aesthetic is inspired by the brand’s namesake, Fair Harbor, which is a small beach community on New York’s Fire Island. Special design elements of the light, beachy space include wide-plank repurposed floorboards sourced from an antique farmhouse in Upstate New York, custom-made birch tables, and light fixtures designed to resemble Delilah, the brand’s beloved orange 1974 Ford Bronco.

The seven year old family brand, launched by siblings Jake and Caroline Danehy, offers men’s swimwear starting at $64, men’s shirting at $36, and men’s pants at $74. The boy’s swim styles start at $38. The new women’s collection, available launched on May 5, has tops, leggings, and shorts all starting at $58. The brand plans to expand to include other categories this year, which will also be featured in the store.

“We’re incredibly excited to open our first stand-alone retail store and concept space in such a dynamic neighborhood,” says Caroline Danehy and Jake Danehy, the co-founders of Fair Harbor. “The 19 Prince Street location will function as both a storefront and a creative space that transports the Fair Harbor experience to Manhattan. In addition, we plan to use this flagship store to establish the framework for an expanded retail strategy.”

The brand, which launched in 2014, is one of the industry’s fastest-growing sustainable beachwear collections, beginning with the simple goal of reducing plastic waste in the water and at the beach. Former Macy’s exec Durand Guion joined the brand back in May as Senior Vice President to help grow the Fair Harbor collection into a true lifestyle brand. 

Fair Harbor is sold online, in Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and more than 250 specialty retailers around the country. To learn more about Fair Harbor and shop the latest collection, visit www.FairHarborClothing.com.