Product range. Dover Street Market is a brainchild of Rei Kawakubo, the founder of Comme des Garcons. Kawakubo herself define her multistorey retail spaces as 'an ongoing atmosphere of beautiful chaos: the mixing up and coming together of different kindred souls who all share a strong personal vision'. DSM is equally successful in selling the complete range by Comme des Garcons, Dior, Valentino, Miu Miu, and Ann Demeulemeester, as well as limited editions by Vans and Nike. Geographically speaking, the store is all-inclusively and carries Japanese fashion designers on a par with Gosha Rubchinskiy.
Originality. DSM is unrivalled in its idiosyncratically curated selection. According to Adrian Joffe, CEO of Comme des Garcons, DSM is highly appreciative of the budding designers who work hard and pursue their own untrodden paths. Dover Street Market regularly buys their collections to fulfill its vision as a place to share with young talents.
Pricing. Needless to say, DSM stores are expensive, but this is somehow eclipsed by their cult status.
DSM stores (as of 2016, there're four stores opened worldwide) also serve as a contemporary art gallery of some sort. Dover Street Market retail space blends site-specific installations and art objects created by fashion designers and contemporary artists. For example, the whole retail space can be filled with a mountain of clothes or mimic a nondescript barn of a house. Or, think of the New York store that features a must-see World Archive display assembled by Michal Costiff with exotic pieces galore, while CDG tees are available from vending machines. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, the online Dover Street Market store is all we have access to.