Written by Pat Grace Friday, 13 May 2011 00:00
The Gibson, when open only a week, had already attracted, surprisingly, shoppers from surrounding towns. Brothers David and Afshin Haghani’s newest store in town is located near Dunkin’ Donuts on Plandome Road. “We are in a community with immediate texting, immediate phone calls,” Afshin said. “If shoppers find something they like, or something a friend might like, they text and photograph on the spot and send it to a friend saying, ‘Look what I just bought. You must see this store!’”
So in the first few days—“no curtains on the dressing rooms, no sign out front yet,” laughed the brothers, people from other towns were walking in asking what was the name of the store.
The Haghani brothers owned g Couture on the corner of Park Avenue and Plandome Road but decided that store had had its run. Parking is always an issue in Manhasset yet, David Haghani said, people still found them. However, the brothers wanted to be closer to the center of town. G Couture was a destination in itself, and that worked for a long while, Afshin said, adding, “Fashion is about change. We needed to move on.”
The Gibson is a fantastic location in the heart of town with parking in the back, but, for security reasons the entrance is in the front. Ed King is the landlord, has been their landlord for 20 years, and the brothers have only positive things to say about him.
The name “The Gibson” was chosen because the intent was to have the store sound like a destination— like a club, restaurant, cool lounge bar — like a really cool downtown hotel. It was designed with that in mind, David explained, and the three chandeliers, dressing room light fixtures and exposed wonderboard, also in the dressing rooms, as well as the music, all contribute to the hotel lobby vibe.
The store is ageless; does not target a particular age group, Afshin said, but rather caters to a more diverse clientele. Different from Gallery Couture and the Loop, in that the store does not feature wardrobing—a service for the client who visits three or four times a year and is outfitted for the season. The brothers select outfits, put together, jeans, a few tops, jackets, cardigans… Gallery Couture and Loop are known for their wardrobing service. Gallery Couture carries more designer clothing while Loop is more casual.
The Gibson is all about items, pieces. “Not wardrobing,” David emphasized, “but a trendy, cool piece. People come in and buy a top, a pair of pants, for that special night out.”
Additionally, The Gibson has gentle price points, nothing exceeds about $250 and items start at around $45, maybe a little higher for fall merchandise.
The designers featured are up and coming designers; not well known (yet) from New York City and some from Australia. More often, Afshin said, “The designers find us. We have been in business 20 years and we have a reputation. They seek us out because they want representation in Manhasset.” Afshin acknowledged that, “Designers in general are knocking on our door. You know, we were the first to carry Tory Burch. This store is where we nurture the up and coming talent, those that may not have the backing of a large corporation, that are mom and pop owned or a young 20 something girl that has started designing.”
That, they affirmed, is where the trend is going. Spend $100-150 for a top and wear it 3-4 seasons. The Gibson is the trendiest of their three shops in town and it was designed with that in mind. And you don’t necessarily have to be a trendy type of person to enjoy the store, they agreed. It is a place to update your wardrobe, predominately, though not exclusively, for the client 18 years old to the upper 40s.
“We are Manhasset. We are here for our Manhasset clientele. We met so many in their 20s and now they are in their 40s. We have grown up with them, we know their taste—we know their families,” Afshin said.
The new store is about 1,000 square feet and is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.