Back Issue__ Built By Wendy

November 16, 2011 | By

New York City's Centre Market Place is enigmatic. The architecture and lack of motor traffic, make the street seem like it was plucked from some small European country--but you've never left Manhattan. The block long street is also home to Wendy Mullin'sĀ Built By Wendy.

Some may say the current Built by Wendy flagship is a far cry from the record shops that Wendy Mullin began selling her clothing out of in the early 90's. Like so many hungry adolescents of America, the Chicago native packed up her stuff and made her way to New York. Mullin had been making clothes while studying at the University of Kansas, but things really flourished when she got to the Big Apple. She became known for her custom guitar straps, which filled a much needed void in the lineup of skull-themed male-centric options. Mullin's straps rocked. Better yet, they were so great, Courtney Love rocked them. But after years of sweat, sewing, and selling, it was time to transition into a place of her own.

The original Built By Wendy flagship opened its doors in 1998. But the retail store, which carries only the Built by Wendy brand, recently underwent massive reconstructive surgery. We're talking full frontal facelift. Mullin outfitted the store in light brushed oaks, maple wood dowels, heavy creams, earth tones--and lots of custom designed boxes. And instead of the usual pattern of taking your work home, Mullin brought a piece of her home to work. The sales counter space is a wooden inlay sideboard from India that came from her apartment. The two leather chairs in the front window also made the pilgrimage.

Through this reincarnation, Built by Wendy has been turned into a space of openness, where precise geometry meet heavy textures with glittery undertones. But, most of all, the new interior is a glimpse into the trajectory of Mullin's own aesthetic--cleaner and more nuanced.

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