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The home decor pieces that Elisabeth Weinstock produces and sells in her new West 3rd Street boutique are not your run-of-the-mill tchotchkes. The designer, who got her start in interiors in 2002, prefers to work with exotic skins like boa, croc and python, which she uses to cover everything from a men's humidor to a chest-high jewelry bureau.
Weinstock sources her material from all over the world and is also incorporating flat leathers into the collection for those who don't love the flashy nature of skin. The LA native came up with the idea for her line, she said, when she came across an tall jewelry case in another shop. "It was made of burl wood and it was a completely different shape, but for some reason I thought it would be incredible to make a giant jewelry case wrapped in a skin that was exotic." She realized not everyone would be interested in or able to afford such a piece, so she branched into smaller skin-covered goods like clutches, cosmetic bags, business card holders, belts, flasks, tampon boxes, humidors and even boxing gloves and footballs. Her pieces were a hit at Maxfield and were snapped up by celebs like J Lo, Jennifer Aniston and Shakira. "You don't need to maintain the skin," she says of her products. "The skin maintains itself. I carry one of the clutches on a daily basis and I'm rough. I could bring it into the store and sell it like new." They range in price from $96 (for small leather goods) to more than $25,000.
Last night, Weinstock hosted an opening bash for the store, which was opened on the ground level of a former home; her ex-husband is the landlord. "He's been telling me to open a store forever," she said. "When he bought this property he said, you're putting a store in here." It sure pays to be friends with your exes: The gorgeous boutique is composed of four rooms (plus a bathroom!) and has the feeling of a well-appointed European apartment. There are separate domains for different product lines (the men's room or "man cave" is painted a dark cerulean, and is appointed with a bar that's been turned into a display case); the walls feature original black-and-white artwork by Weinstock's boyfriend, Brett Hammond.
"I've been working seven days a week, since two days before Thanksgiving [to get the store ready]," Weinstock said. "And here we are. I really want a vacation!"
· Elisabeth Weinstock [Official Site]
· Elisabeth Weinstock's New Home For Him, And Her [StyleFile]