When you walk into The Eight Senses flagship store in Soho, you immediately know you are in a unique and enticing environment. This is no ordinary clothing store, even by Soho standards. The Eight Senses is actually a formula: “To make the simple —> special.” The concept extends into the entire “senses” shopping experience, from the Zen-like display of clothing, to the stone-themed décor, to the scented atmosphere, and to the fitting rooms with hooks conveniently labeled “Yes,” “No” and “Maybe.”
Chief Creative Officer and Brand President N Baranes, who grew up in Ramat Gan, Israel, is leading the design of The Eight Senses clothing to be “Intuitive . Purposeful . Beautiful.” These three words are the brand’s essence, followed by the “senses” philosophy of The Eight Senses brand. In addition to the five senses, the next two senses are intuition and common sense. Finally, there is wit—the sense of humor—which is incorporated into some of the designs in subtle ways, such as lapels sold separately as a fashion accessory, that can be worn to enhance an outfit, even upgrading the look of a basic T-shirt.
In many ways, The Eight Senses’ styles are magical as much as they are fashionable, because many garments are enhanced with hidden functions that are truly amazing. For example, the lightweight, cozy puffer coats provide warmth and protection against New York’s harshest winter chills. Then the magic begins. The sleeves have pull-down mini-gloves to loop around the thumbs. The right sleeve has a small mirror sewn into the wristband for discreet checkups; the left sleeve has a clear section that can be pulled down to view a wristwatch. If the weather unexpectedly warms up, or for travelling, the full-length coat can be folded into a self-contained bag in the coat’s lining for easy carrying.
Another magical feature of many garments are the hidden pockets—part of The Eight Senses’ “bag-free living” idea. “Especially on weekends, most women don’t want to carry heavy bags,” says Baranes, “so I create garments with built-in pockets, sometimes designed into seams with nearly invisible zippers, so women can carry their essentials of keys, money, cards, makeup and phones without needing a separate bag.”
Chief Executive Officer Michael Durbin explains, “Our brand is not just about the clothing. It’s about respect. Our customer is intelligent. We appreciate and respect the customer.” He adds, “Our clothing has a beautiful feel. People touch the clothing and fall in love.” The fabrics are comfortable and flattering including silk, jersey, chiffon, angora wool, cashmere and extremely soft faux fur.
Function, fluidity, fabric—this describes each garment in the collection. Looking runway-ready yet feeling as comfy as wearing your favorite “at home” clothes is the feeling that The Eight Senses fashions deliver. “The styles and the soft fabrics make you feel good, which adds to your confidence,” Baranes says.
Customers at The Eight Senses are a mix of New York locals and tourists enjoying the modest styling, which features tunic lengths or longer with many layering options. “Wardrobe is part of one’s self-expression, so options are very welcome,” says Baranes.
Because the right wardrobe can be empowering. – N Baranes
“Modest yet edgy,” is how Durbin describes the style. The brand’s goal is to do more than just cover, but to cover in style.
Baranes’ path to fashion began after serving in the Israeli Army as an officer, followed by graduating Shenkar College for Engineering and Design in Israel. The Eight Senses’ path as a fashion brand in New York City began as a pop-up store on Wooster Street in Soho in 2015 leading to the store’s grand opening on West Broadway in August 2017. Next up is e-commerce, planned for spring 2018.
And for customers who want their dogs to look as fashionable as they do, The Eight Senses designed a doggie puffer coat and a raincoat inspired by G, the chow. You can see him on The Eight Senses website and may even sometimes find him greeting customers in the store!
414 West Broadway, New York City (between Prince & Spring Streets)
Store Hours: 11am to 7pm