Buckhead resident Lauren Amos brings her fashion concept ANT/DOTE to Upper Westside.
Lauren Amos has had a fashion dilemma. For more than 20 years, she’s wanted to shop particular styles and designers in Atlanta but hasn’t had access to them in her hometown. That meant going to New York, Tokyo or Paris to shop. You might have seen her around town in her architectural outfits, from designers such as Iris van Herpen and Comme des Garçons, while perusing art at the High Museum or at other galleries, as she is a passionate art advocate and collector.
But now this Atlantan wants to bring home the caliber of fashion she’s seen internationally, and she knows Atlanta is ready for it. “I think there’s a lot of people with passion who know a lot about designers and are curious and interested,” she says. “And they’re ready to have access to these pieces that they may not have had access to before.”
All of this meant creating an oasis in the middle of Atlanta, one like ATL has never seen before. Amos, who is inspired by Rei Kawakubo and Jun Takahashi’s retail endeavors in Japan, found a space on the Upper Westside that spoke to her desire for the building to have a sense of history but also to her need for a convenient location. A preview space on Moreland Avenue in Little Five Points preluded the permanent one.
The new store, ANT/DOTE, which is slated to open in February, feels like a museum of sorts, with museum- quality pieces, many of which are exclusive to Atlanta. Sculptures, paintings and more from local Atlanta artists will dot the space.
But Amos is adamant she does not want anyone to feel like they are in a place of reverence. “I really want people to get in there and try on the clothes and feel like a million dollars, and to not feel intimated by this experience,” she says.
Amos, who is partnering with friend and co-founder Eugene Rabkin, will bring quite a few fashion heavy-hitters, such as Junya Watanabe, Hyke and Dries van Noten, to name a few. But she wants to avoid elitism at all costs. “I hope to create an environment where every single person is welcome. And even if you can’t afford anything in the shop, we can sit around and talk about fashion. I want to help cultivate an excitement around fashion and a community,” she says.
There will be many exclusives but also a good mix of designers and brands Amos just likes, such as Wolford, Rick Owens and Jil Sander. Expect jewelry from brands such as Bibi van der Velden and Paco Rabanne. Scents from Perfumer H and Mad et Len will also be on offer, both of which are exclusives. ANT/DOTE will be the first store in the U.S. to carry Perfumer H’s new hand-blown glass bottles, specially made with ANT/DOTE’s name on each bottle.
The motto of ANT/DOTE is “one must be absolutely modern,” which is reflected in not only the assortment but also the building itself. The exterior is made from pressed and stained concrete imprinted with wood that acts as a palette cleanser before you enter. Hand-poured terrazzo floors and plaster walls are beautifully made but quiet to give the fashion a proper showcase.
As for what “absolutely modern” means to Amos? “It’s a strive for excellence, a strive for beauty, a strive to be the best I can be,” she says. “It’s about human excellence, about culture, about progress, about never resting on our laurels.” And, of course, the clothing. She says, “I can’t sleep at night sometimes, I get so excited about clothing.”
STORY: Lauren Finney Harden
Simply Buckhead is an upscale lifestyle magazine focused on the best and brightest individuals, businesses and events in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Chamblee. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, the magazine serves as the authority on who to know, what to do and where to go in the community, and its surroundings.