New Kid on the Block: Patron of the New

“I wanted a store that created dreams,” says the debonair Al Abayan, who has just opened Patron of the New at 151 Franklin with partner Lisa Pak. “Sure, there are fancy expensive clothes, but there’s also $10 mosquito spray. There can be anything as long as it’s the right taste level.”

Abayan certainly has room to play: The old Intérieurs space is huge, and his “don’t overpack it” style has left it very open, at least so far. The main room, as you walk in, is what he calls the French ’30s room; black cabinets line the western wall, while a 20-foot table leads the eye diagonally to the other two rooms. (It will soon be joined by a table/case for jewelry.) In the rear is the Pop room, where shoes are showcased on “airplane-wing shelves” over a sloped floor. To the east is the Tribeca loft room—cue the old brick wall, complete with arch—which houses menswear and, eventually, furniture and lighting. Abayan’s goal was for the store to feel like someone’s studio. Indeed, much of the merchandise isn’t even on view: Those black cabinets are filled with children’s clothing and shoes, sunglasses, candles, and more. “We were going to do new concrete floors, but we decided they’d be too polished.” Instead, many of the cracks have been filled with gold paint—perhaps a gilded nod to Andy Goldsworthy.

A Tribeca resident for the last decade, Abayan ran Number (N)ine on Washington Street for eight years. As at Number (N)ine, the clothing at Patron of the New is very downtown—for those of us who remember when that meant something. The brands are not well-known outside fashion circles: Denis Colomb, No Editions, GASA, Ronald Pineau (that’s his sexxxy fringed belt, above), Nicolas Andreas Taralis, Benoit Méléard, ma’ry’ya, Kron by Kronkron, Reinhard Plank…. “I choose the challenging pieces, the ones that took time and energy to create,” says Abayan. So if you want something no one else is wearing, you’ve come to the right place. Ikram in Chicago has Nicholas Andreas Taralis jeans for women’s, but no one else has men’s.

In summer, Abayan plans to throw open the doors, sell flowers on the deck, have dinner parties…. “It’s art, it’s lifestyle, it’s no boundaries,” he says, clearly enchanted by the possibilities.

Patron of the New is at 151 Franklin (bet. Varick and Hudson), 212-966-7144;

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  1. Outstanding!!!! Can’t wait to shop!

  2. We have all been looking forward with great anticipation to the opening!!

  3. ~oh la la ~
    blessings of magical abundance to you Al~
    can not wait to come bedazzle myself *