October 1, 2011

These Boots Were Made for Walking: AvroKO Designs Frye’s New York City Flagship

It’s a fashion milestone. The 148-year-old Frye Company, said to be the oldest continuously operating shoemaker in the U.S., has finally opened a Frye store, a 6,000-square-foot flagship in a century-old cast-iron factory in New York. Since the manufacturer as well as its leather footwear and accessories have stood the test of time, the design team at AvroKO showcased them among suitably vintage fixtures and fittings. Taking inspiration from early 20th-century workshops and toolboxes, the firm constructed a cash-wrap desk from vintage industrial drawers and blackened-steel panels. Above the sales floor, locally fabricated brass pendant fixtures flank a ceiling installation of more than 400 leather straps, each fitted with a brass ring meant to recall Frye’s Civil War-era boots.

AvroKO racked up enough LEED points along the way to earn Platinum certification for Frye. Rolling display cases were built from reclaimed American walnut. Flooring is reclaimed oak, oiled and stained. Original structural columns and brick walls remain, but there are some key additions: the HVAC system, low-energy lighting, and low-VOC finishes.

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