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IF was founded in 1978 by three siblings: Jeannette Bird, Johnny Farah and Soha Farah and is probably one of, if not the oldest clothing store still operating in Soho.

Opening the first location on West Broadway between Prince and Houston Street in the 70’s was a bold but practical gamble.  The area south of Houston was not yet developed and considered to be one of the grittiest places in Manhattan.  Full of sweatshops and small manufacturing businesses, it was a time when more and more artists and designers moved in which put Soho on the map as the cultural epicenter.  With beautiful and historical iron cast buildings and huge loft spaces, more stores and many famous galleries soon followed.

 

If Boutique - 70s         West Broadway - 70s

 

The story is told that Andy Warhol was appalled but impressed by the audacity of the move and gave IF free advertising on the back page of his magazine, Interview, for a full year.  Around the same time, Jean-Michel Basquiat roamed Soho, tagging his graffiti artwork and sometimes sleeping in front of stores.  He would leave some of his artwork scribbled on little pieces of paper, that actually turned out to be very expensive artwork today.

 

Andy Warhol - Jean-Michel Basquiat - Interview Magazine - If Soho New York         If Movie Poster

 

IF first started off with collections including Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Moschino along with IF's founder and owner Johnny Farah's own leather accessories collection.  In the early/mid 80’s, IF was known to be the first in New York to sell the collections of designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Comme Des Garcons and Danish designer Ivan Grundahl.  These collections can still be found here today.

In the early/mid 90’s shortly after the gentrification of Soho began, IF moved to 94 Grand St between Greene and Mercer, where it is still today.  Many more clothing and accessories collections have been added including Paul Harnden, Elena Dawson, Guidi, Marc Le Bihan, and M.A+.

Although the 90’s gentrification almost drove out all of the galleries and small boutiques, IF still retained the old, gritty and artsy feel of the past which reflects in their collections through the exceptional curation of the founders and owners Jeannette Bird, Johnny Farah and Soha Farah.

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