The designer collective Addo upends East End retail in its soaring Sag Harbor space.
Add? co-managing and co-creative director Jesse Elliott.
“The model of traditional retail is definitely changing,” says designer Jesse Elliott, co-managing and co-creative director (with business partner Shelly Bredau) of Addo, a year-round retail collective in Sag Harbor. Set in a cavernous space on the waterfront, Addo offers pieces by designers from around the world, some of them on a permanent basis and some that rotate seasonally.
Crucially, each showcases its full collection, meaning shoppers can “get the full picture of the brand as they interact with it,” says Elliott— an opportunity not available at traditional retail collectives.
The space was formerly occupied by a dry cleaner, and the 1,800 square feet that once housed tiered racks of clothing now comfortably accommodate a wide variety of apparel, accessories, fine jewelry, home goods, and more.
Inspired by his background in fine arts, Elliott designed the layout so that each vendor’s space—simultaneously integrated and individualized—leads to the next, lending the shopping experience the feeling of strolling through a gallery. Augmenting the sensation is a minimalist aesthetic, including clean white walls, perhaps a nod to Elliott’s own womenswear line, WhiteWash Collection—a permanent fixture at Add?, as is Bredau’s textiles collection, HipWitch. And the space is oriented around a site-specific art installation, courtesy of local artist and poet Jacqueline Farrara, featuring flowing photo-printed banners hanging from the vaulted 30-foot ceiling.
Most important, Elliott says, is that the vendors—including established brands, such as Ramy Brook, and local emerging designers, like Indigo Jane Textiles, whose owner, Hilary Leff, hand-dyes textiles in her East Hampton backyard—are able to engage with their peers, fostering dialogue, motivation, even collaboration. Says Elliott, “We’re all encouraging each other to grow.” 7 Main St., Sag Harbor, 919-5239