First Look: Topdrawer on Newbury Street
If you’re about to fly off for your first official summer getaway, it might be wise to make a pit stop in Back Bay where Boston’s newest paradise for nomads has opened its doors. Topdrawer, an off-shoot of the popular 112-year-old Tokyo-based stationary company Itoya, debuted this week at 273 Newbury Street.
The shop boasts a globally curated collection of “tools for nomads,” including comfy collapsible house-shoes for questionable hotel room floors, minimalist canvas weekenders, portable speakers; anything and everything you might need while traveling with the added benefit of streamlined and modern design. Shoppers will be delighted to find unusual up-and-coming brands like Monbento (Japanese bento-box style lunchboxes) and Kolo (American-made bags, pouches, and even photo albums) alongside a bevy of classic standbys. Think: Moleskine notebooks and travel-sized Windsor & Newton Cotman watercolor palettes. Everything, however, is minimalist and very portable. The name Topdrawer, in fact, is a reference to their stock of “things you would keep in your top drawer.”
Not only is the Newbury Street location one of only two outposts in the United States (the other is in San Francisco), the company has moved its international headquarters to Boston. “When I was asked to run it, I decided to really focus on Boston for recruitment,” says Topdrawer President Peter Dunn. “I live here, first of all! But we were also able to tap talent from some of the best schools. MassArt students – industrial designers, graphic designers, video production, photography – we have people from Bentley and BU. We can really build a great team. Boston is perfect.”
After settling here in Boston, the idea, says Dunn, is to expand the the Topdrawer tools for travel concept around the country and eventually back in Japan. “We think we can open three to four stores in Boston. I think we could put one in Harvard Square and I think we could put one in Brookline. We’re going to focus on Boston first because this is our lab, and then once we get that squared away we’ll start expanding in San Francisco, open in Chicago, Washington D.C., and maybe New York eventually.”
For now, this Boston showroom will be your only access to the brand’s minimalist lifestyle supplies – but Dunn hopes to see the e-commerce site launch within the next three weeks.
Below, get a first look at the modern Newbury Street brick and mortar.