Hey, all you Birkin Babes and Kelly Cuties — Hermès will open a location of their luxury brand in Williamsburg, according to WWD. A long-term pop-up will operate starting in 2023 until a flagship store fully opens in 2026.
Arguably there have been several death knells signaling Williamsburg’s descent into a fully gentrified retail hellscape, exclusively made for the 1%. Wall Street Journal recently reported how much Williamsburg retail benefitted from locals working from home, so it’s easy to see why a brand would want to cash in on Williamsburg’s (deteriorating, but hanging on by a thread) cool factor.
But a Hermès store seems like a strange addition to the neighborhood, perhaps even stranger than Google’s recent opening here (as one of my favorite social media comments put it, “Are we supposed to pop in and ask a question?”) While construction takes place at the flagship a few doors down, the pop-up will be located at 91 North 6th Street, currently surrounded by brands that plebs like myself can afford, such as Madewell, Urban Outfitters, and Everlane. The flagship store will be located at 111 North 6th Street, currently occupied by the Birkenstocks store. This begs the question — is Hermès kicking Birkenstock out??? Is Hermès honestly kicking out a far more utilitarian brand that adorns the feet of approximately 99.9% of the neighborhood?
This is not Hermès’ first foray into Williamsburg. Last fall, they hosted HermèsFit, a fitness pop-up where customers could choose from classes like “Mirror Mirror With Small Leather Goods,” and a 30-minute “Voguing With Hats” session.
Participants were led through a cardio session while clutching a wallet, all of which were promptly snatched back at the end of class. I wish I were a writer for the Onion, but no, this really happened.