In a time where the future of even the most mammoth retail brands is uncertain at best, the number of smaller, independent (gasp!) brick-and-mortar luxury retailers that make it past the five-year mark (in Manhattan, no less) are increasingly few and far between. Seriously. Count 'em on your fingers. But then there's Jeffrey, and the boutique's namesake founder, Jeffrey Kalinsky—a real-live visionary in the retail space, who just celebrated his store turning the big 2-5. While you might know Jeffrey as the Meatpacking District boutique that's pretty much made it impossible to so much as visit the city without stopping by, Kalinsky first opened his namesake store in Atlanta, before making the move north to the Big Apple.
Kalinsky welcomed us into his Greenwich Village home (only a Céline cuff's throw from the boutique), clad in one of his favorite vintage tees and a pair of butterfly-print Valentino shorts. Kalinsky basically has the whole laid back, weekends-at-Fire-Island (where he has a home) thing down—save for his very serious Hermès collection (watch your back, Tina Craig) and assortment of Bottega Veneta desert boots and Thom Browne suit jackets.
As we styled Ralph Lauren and Rick Owens around his place, Kalinsky schooled us on everything from entrepreneurship 101, opened up about making the choice to open in Atlanta before New York, the selling of the stores to Nordstrom a decade ago, and the art of making sales on the floor. Maybe you've noticed that Nordstrom has upped its game as far as avant-garde, high-end designers go—yeah, all Kalinsky.