Fashion / Shopping

Brian Bolke Pulls Off a Highland Park Village Surprise, Quietly Opening The Conservatory

Buzzy New Spot is Anything But Just an Ordinary Store

BY // 09.23.19

Just six months after opening his new retail concept, The Conservatory, inside New York’s mega-devolpment Hudson Yards, retail entrepreneur Brian Bolke is at it again — this time back home in Dallas.

Bolke quietly opened The Conservatory at Highland Park Village this last week, an opening that has been speculated about (and hoped for) by many Dallasites since he announced plans for a New York store last year.

The Conservatory is a rather novel concept in the ever-changing realm of retail. The store combines a strong edit of elevated, purposeful fashion and beauty essentials mixed with specialty items for life and home — all with the look, feel, and experience of a sleek showroom.

The store serves as a window into the brand’s digital flagship, theconservatorynyc.com. Consider it e-commerce come to life:  While most items can be purchased on the spot and taken home, others (particularly in the fashion realm) can be ordered in-store and shipped directly to you.

The Conservatory popped up quickly in Dallas in the space that formerly housed The Tot — Nasiba Adilova’s brand of products for kids. The Tot closed its Highland Park Village storefront in June — and any vacancy in Highland Park Village leads one to wonder which luxury brand will make its entree to Dallas next.

Most recently, Goyard and Audemars Piguet made headlines, with openings slated for November for the former and early 2020 for the latter. But today, it’s Bolke and his Conservatory that are the biggest news in Highland Park Village.

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Bolke is, of course, the name behind luxury retailer Forty Five Ten, the boutique he founded in 2000 with the late Shelly Musselman and Bill Mackin. In 2014, Headington Companies acquired Forty Five Ten, subsequently moving the store from its original, ivy-covered McKinney Avenue location and into spacious new digs in Downtown. In the years that followed, Headington Companies has rapidly expanded the brand’s footprint with stores opening in Napa, Aspen, and, most recently, New York.

After parting ways with Headington Companies in August of 2017, Bolke spent the following year hatching his next chapter. When he opened his Hudson Yards store — designed by Dallas-based Droese Raney Architecture — a contingent of Bolke’s industry friends (designers Derek Lam, Narcisco Rodriguez, etc.) and his longtime Texas fans flocked to New York to celebrate the opening.

Since then, much has been whispered about, as to when and where Bolke would open his second boutique. Would it be Dallas, we all wondered.

Even when PaperCity posed Bolke with the question as to whether Dallas was on the brain for another Conservatory, during an interview earlier this year, the answer wasn’t clear. The focus, he said, was strictly on Hudson Yards. But not for long — as we now know.

The Conservatory Dallas
The Conservatory Dallas

In Dallas, The Conservatory is much smaller than Bolke’s sprawling New York store — but it packs the same aesthetic punch. Droese Raney Architecture worked wonders on the petite boutique, with an air of casual elegance that has long been synonymous with Bolke.

In store, look for the following: wardrobe staples for men and women by the likes of Adam Lippes, Misha Nonoo, White + Warren, Tamara Mellon, Jil Sander, Todd Snyder, CDLP, and Want Les Essentials; jewelry by Eva Fehren, Francisca Botelho, Jennifer Fisher, Katey Walker, Paige Novick, and Shihara; wellness essentials by Salt & Stone, Vapour Beauty, Bastide, Aerin, Dr. Loretta, Acqua di Stresa, and others; and books and objects from Phaidon and Rizzoli, Peacock Alley, Lalique, L’Objet, Georg Jensen, and more.

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