J. Press
by Stephen Garner

J. PressJ. Press, the “tailor-of-choice” to generations of Ivy League men, has returned to Madison Avenue with the opening of the brand’s new flagship store, located at 49-51 East 44th Street at the ground level of The Yale Club in New York City. The new store reflects an aesthetic and concept of contemporary New England, with a store design that appeals to both traditionalists and newcomers, drawing customers from across generations to the timeless look of J. Press.

Measuring 2,800-square-feet, the new J. Press store houses the Heritage and Blue collection, a robust made-to-measure and custom shirt program, a shoe shine bar as well as specially designed products exclusive to the 44th Street store.

“Since the closing of the Madison Avenue flagship several years ago we have wanted to return J.Press to where it rightfully belongs, in Midtown – near to our loyal customers and where the brand has so much history,” said Jun Murakami, president of J.Press USA. “When this wonderful opportunity presented itself at The Yale Club, our search had ended, it only made sense to reinvigorate the brand in New York.”

Designed by the noted Japanese architect Toshiko Mori, the overall design of the store takes inspiration from both its geographical location in Midtown Manhattan, amongst the iconic New York City skyscrapers, and the lineage of the J. Press brand. Vaulted ceilings throughout the store are reminiscent of the Guastavino vaulting in nearby Grand Central Station, providing a sense of openness and grandeur. Given J. Press’ long affiliation with academia, the store is laid out so that a customer can browse the collection, much like wandering through a library, looking at titles and selecting books off the shelf.

J. Press“The new J.Press flagship store at The Yale Club, with its large south facing windows, allowed us to create an airy atmosphere balanced by fixtures with clean lines and warm materiality,” said Mori. “With hints of historical motifs such as the vaulted ceilings, we wanted to reference landmark buildings in the area to create a connection between the storied buildings around Madison Avenue and J. Press’ history on the block. Overall, we aimed to create a shopping experience that was based on functional simplicity and elegance.”

The shop’s shelving is constructed from natural walnut, providing a sense of warmth to the space. Furniture finds its roots in New England, with sustainably sourced wood from Maine, and a Shaker aesthetic. Wide plank oak flooring and antique bronze finishing used throughout the shop is reminiscent of historic New England architecture. The large glass fronts facing 44th Street have been combined to create a continuous front window display to showcase the latest styles from the Heritage and J. Press Blue collection.

The lighting for the store is unique in that it is the first time a retail space will be completely lit by the Kaneka OLED lighting system. This innovate lighting design providing subtle and indirect lighting that showcases the J. Press product beautifully. The lighting system uses thin sheet material to create soft natural light and eliminates hot spots and glare.

“We wanted to create a comfortable atmosphere with the lighting so we only used OLED lighting in this retail space,” added Shozo Toyohisa, lighting designer. “This new technology in lighting gives natural and rich feeling to the space. We believe this one-of-a-kind shop lighting will help to create a great synergy between people, space, and products.”

J. Press