Madeleine Alder-Cossitt

Photo: Brad Paris

Tell me the concept behind the store.
Every year, we choose one country, feature its designers, and pit them against Americans like Mary Ping, Rachel Comey, and Patrik Ervell.

So it’s a competition?
It’s not like there’s a winner. The point is to have an eclectic mix. We’ve done Brazil, Hong Kong, and Germany. Now it’s the U.K. We have a mini TopShop boutique upstairs, and Barbour coats, and then small, lesser-known designers like Richard Nicholl, and Martin Andersen’s menswear. TopShop’s selling the best.

Which country is next?
Next September, we’re doing Sweden. The Acne line has great denim and interesting takes on classic styles.

So it’s like a fashion gallery with rotating exhibits. Do you see clothes showcased in museums?
Recently, the “Fashion in Colors” exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt was great. They had everything from prerevolutionary clothing to Yohji Yamamoto, organized by color.

Hey, I like your shorts.
They’re by the store’s creator, Humberto Leon. He does wearable silhouettes with a twist. For instance, this past season he did a shirtdress, but on the front, there are all these knots.

Do you design?
I sketch and I knit. I get really ambitious, but then I don’t have so much follow-through, so I do a lot of hats. I’m definitely not better than the average grandmother.

Madeleine Alder-Cossitt