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On November 4, Hill House Home founder and CEO Nellie Diamond was outside her brand’s new NYC pop-up at 112 Mercer handing out nap dress-shaped cookies to women who had lined up for the opening. Many came ready for the occasion, wearing the brand’s signature nap dresses.
The space came together in just two weeks, Diamond said. “We wanted to give people a special reason to come in. We had our holiday drop a couple of weeks ago, and we [saved] some of the sold-out styles and styles that we thought would sell out, for the store,” she said. When the holiday styles dropped online, the team didn’t yet have a pop-up lease. The brand’s nap-dress drops have become social media phenomenons — with every drop, Diamond typically goes live on the brand’s site to chat with and advise hundreds of loyal fans of both herself and the brand on how to style them.
At the store, plenty of nap dresses are available. However, Diamond saw an opportunity to also give love to the brand’s products that get less attention. For example, one wall features a bow bar, dedicated to the brand’s bows and headbands. The brand has prior physical retail experience: Its Bleecker street store closed in January 2020.
“I have a theory about headbands and bows, which is that if you’re a headband person, you can easily buy them online,” Diamond said. “But a lot of people haven’t tried them, and they also don’t know how comfortable ours are. So the first thing I said about this store was, ‘We have to make sure we have a headband bar. We need a huge mirror with nice soft lighting where they can see themselves in a beautiful way and try all the headbands.'”
The store, which will be open until January, will serve as a holiday shopping destination. Diamond said she’s cognizant of the fashion world’s neverending supply chain issues and wanted customers to be able to leave the store having checked a box off of their to-do lists. As such, she’s equipped the store will Hill House wrapping paper. Gifts can be wrapped and ready before a customer leaves the store.
Hill House started as a bedding company, but the 2019 launch of the nap dress propelled the company into the fashion space. Diamond sees the nap dress as being pandemic-proof, comfortable enough to WFH in, but elevated enough for the outside world, whether it’s the office or a date. According to her, nap dresses sit at the intersection of “what’s practical and beautiful,” and allow customers to avoid choosing between being comfy and looking presentable.
“My theory about nap dresses is that they’re like jeans. They’re like the foundation of your wardrobe. And now I want to now create products that you can mix and match and make your own with a nap dress. The Ollie Sweater, which is sold out online, pairs perfectly over it, and the Luna Bodysuit goes perfectly under it. And the tights are perfect for layering [with it],” she said. She called these newer items “closet companions.”
In the two years since, momentum around the nap dress has not slowed, and the brand’s apparel offerings have expanded significantly. Plus, Diamond said the company will introduce three new categories next year.
When asked if the brand might try to make the pop-up a permanent store, Diamond said that will depend on customer response. “I plan to spend a ton of time here seeing how people are interacting,” she said. She added that she’ll be available to offer styling tips, something her nearly 67,000 Instagram followers will surely be excited about. “I want to see if they like the space and the location. And then, from there, the world is our oyster,” she said.