Style on 79th
By Robert Beck
I met a resident of the building where my studio is located, and in our first conversation, she told me my wife had to go to Studio 79. So much for things being about me. The store is located a few doors west of me on 79th Street, and I took her there a few days later.
Studio 79 is a classy space with jewelry and women’s fashion, but it’s a showroom salon, not a warehouse. You can sit in a comfortable chair, look at a book, listen to music, and have an espresso if you’ve time. Why not?
Marialuisa sells select women’s clothing. The business is called Affordable Chic. The clothing is all lovely and remarkably inexpensive. Virve Deutch makes and sells her own handcrafted jewelry under the Virve brand. This isn’t bead stringing or hobby art: it’s beautiful work. Clearly, we were in a special place where quality and style are foremost, but without extravagance or excess. Personal relationships are important too. We were sincerely welcome.
This is not the store for a Gap-minded individual. It’s not designed to make you buy something or get in and get out. You don’t shop; you visit. The phonograph plays a delightful selection of midcentury popular music and jazz on vinyl while you decompress. You can relax, breathe, and feel your blood pressure drop. You can also buy some very nice clothes and jewelry if you like.
There isn’t much in the store for men, but that didn’t keep me from wanting to paint it. The room toward the back has a baby grand piano, and they hold intimate Thursday evening events such as talks and concerts. That view spoke of the partners’ shared personality and vision. It also gave a glimpse of the office, and the hard work and long hours that go into running a small business. I had to pass on the espresso while I worked, but I raided the chocolate dish several times.
It certainly was a pleasant subject and environment. I had a nice conversation with one of their regular customers. She didn’t seem surprised that someone was painting in the store. I felt that I belonged there too.
You can contact Robert through his website at robertbeck.net