Donna Karan Alum Opens New York’s First Lingerie Concept Store

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Nestled between North 7th and 8th streets on Williamburg’s Wythe Avenue stands an inviting new lingerie concept store. A glorious mix of luxury intimates, heady scented candles, fine jewelry, and leather whips (what is lingerie without a little erotica after all?), The Great Eros offers an alternate shopping experience for discerning customers put off by the stuffiness of traditional department stores and the brash tackiness of the average, jelly-rubber-filled New York City sex shop.

The store is the brainchild of founders Emilio Ramirez and Christina Viviani, who are partners in business and in love and have been residents of the increasingly-popular Brooklyn neighborhood for a good few years now. Between them, the duo boast some fairly impressive credentials: Ramirez is the former owner of indie-label store Personnel of New York in the West Village and Viviani cut her teeth designing textiles and fabric at Donna Karan before going on to launch her own line of intimate apparel called CV New York / Curriculum Vitae, which drew to a close in 2015 after running a successful operation for three years.

Next door to The Great Eros is the couple’s design studio, which they use to dream up pieces for the shop’s in-house collection. Centered around a foolproof foundation of anything-but-basic basics, Viviani’s tapped into her expert knowledge of fabric (and her family ties in Italy) to create a range of elegant slips, wrap tops, bras, thongs, and high-waisted briefs, while Ramirez manages the intricacies of its production and the curation of the store’s other, outsourced offerings.

Tying into the brand ethos of spreading sensuality and body positivity, (the word ‘eros’ is derived from Ancient Greek and means ‘love’ or ‘desire’), Ramirez’s selections range from thoughtful to rare, to beautiful and bizarre. The good includes small batch fragrances by fellow Brooklyn brand, D.S. & Durga and pave diamond rings by Gabriela Artigas. And the great includes originial one-of-a-kind nude artwork by Tanya Posternak and incredibly hard to come by vintage literature erotica circa Helmut Newton, sourced by the same vendor who stocks the shelves of Dover Street Market’s Idea Books.

The couple plans to roll out site-specific versions of The Great Eros in a select handful of new locations in the city over the next year, which will likely come as a relief to the many who share our concerns that a luxury lingerie retail concept like this in New York is long overdue.

The Great Eros is located at 135 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249

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