Talking Shop With Yosi Barzilai
When did you open? Our official launch party at 31 Howard St. happened in September 2016.
Why SoHo? I originally opened Sarajo in SoHo in 1989 but then relocated to Maine for eight years. When I decided to return and was looking for a new space, I found this spot on Howard Street and loved that it was reminiscent of the old SoHo–something a bit undiscovered.
Who designed the space? Maine-based Carol A. Wilson, an award-winning architect whom I had worked with on our Portland store. I knew she was capable of delivering the design I was looking for: The space is clean, modern, open and airy; plus, it has plenty of wall space to hang our beautiful textiles. I also needed a small photography studio where I could shoot textiles, and one of my favorite ideas she came up with is an elevated area for our office that offers a view from the rear of the entire gallery.
What’s on the floor? I wanted to focus on my love of antique textiles and offer the finest examples I could get my hands on, like Indian phulkari, Rabat embroidery, suzani from Uzbekistan, Japanese kesas and Indonesian ikats.