Peggy Noland is in a sea of plush
Designer Peggy Noland’s shop on 18th Street undergoes radical transformations every few months. Until a week ago, stepping into the shop was like walking into a cloud. Now, it’s like a baby’s playroom on ‘roids. Every inch of the place is covered in stuffed animals, which Noland collected from friends and garage sales and through solicitations on Craigslist.
“It’s kind of weird showing up at a stranger’s house, like, ‘Do you have a trash bag full of old toys for me?’ ” Noland says from behind her plushy podium. “I bet we have a sample of every kids’ germ in here. Want chicken pox? It’s right over there.”
I didn’t feel like I was gonna catch the pox — the shop is stuffed but clean. The toy animal zoo stays until June 1, when it’ll be replaced by an installation Noland’s doing in collaboration with Bec Stupak and Malcolm Stuart, two members of an art collective called Assume Vivid Astro Focus. Stupak is well-known for her videos, and Stuart does work with airbrushing but hasn’t airbrushed garments before. Obviously, Noland’s going to change that. The collaborative clothing collection and installation will fill the shop for most of the summer.
And THEN — this is the most exciting part — Noland will travel to Berlin in July to oversee the opening of Peggy Noland Berlin on August 1. Her ticket is open-ended, and she’ll live in an apartment in the back of the store while setting up shop.
“I expect good things, customer-wise,” says Noland, who’s been well-received in Berlin before. “I’m excited for the opportunity and excited to see how it all turns out. I speak fluent German — JUST KIDDING! I don’t speak anything but English, so I have two people who are going to help with translation if needed. I’ll see the space for the first time in July and we’ll be able to feel out the amount of English speakers in the area.”
Noland’s current plushy wonderland shows what she can do with a ridiculously tiny storefront. Her Berlin store will be bigger. Berliners won’t know what hit ’em.