It was after 6 when I walked in with two friends, but if sunlight were for sale, I think I’d shop for it in Hesperios: With so many tiny items on the shelf-lined walls, there must be some gorgeous hours with stretched little shadows. There are Hesperios pens, and a set of colorful notebooks with legends like Hesperios Musings and Hesperios Reflections.
When you learn that the name Hesperios means “evening star” in Greek, the notebooks seem less like a branding exercise and more like taking a moment to stop and ponder starlight. Broad tables with marble tops invite you to sit, and it almost feels as if Ms. Hruby would rather her customers write than shop.
Perhaps the logic is that the longer you’re there, the more a $450 Greek wine vessel or an $85 porcelain splatter-paint beaker with grooves like a peach pit seems necessary. It’s like Vegas for sober, aesthetically obsessed minimalists, lured and kept until they make choices outside their means.
“Once you get in there, you never get out,” a saleswoman said when my friend sat down in a spare metal-framed rocking chair in the corner next to a marble block lamp made-to-order by the architect Andrew Trotter. On Mr. Trotter’s website, it says the marble is hand-carved by a stone worker named Jean Briac.
My friend asked, “Is that a sweater or a blanket?” when we saw one of many meticulously arranged piles of beautiful knits (it was a sweater, for $325), the colors of which look sourced from a sun-faded page of paint samples propped in a window of an old hardware store in the Swedish countryside. The only clothes in the shop besides the knitwear are ornate dresses by Mark Fast, made-to-order from London. One dress looks like chandelier prisms hooked on a silk fishing net ($3,000).
Before it was Hesperios, the Cleveland Street space was a vape shop. I like imagining disappointed vapers peering inside, shaking their heads and exhaling orange-scented nicotine smoke against the windowpanes before skulking away.
There’s a clementine tree potted at the front of the store. I asked if the saleswomen eat clementines from the tree throughout the workday. “I think I would be smacked on my hand if I did,” one said.
Inspired by a tiny leaf stalk placed in a glass jar on the shelf (not for sale), I decided to try on two green knit sets, one with a ribbed turtleneck ($283), the other a crew neck with a more textural weave ($283), each with a pencil skirt. A lot of Ms. Hruby’s designs are monochrome full knit looks. There are even sets of high-waist underwear ($122) and bralettes that remind me a little of Yeezy Season 1 knit separates. What is it about an allover sweater that feels so luxurious?
Hesperios contains all the trappings of perfect taste: The store is a banquet set to let you know about a life well read, well traveled, well indulged.
In my green set (ribbed pencil skirt, $331), which I was impressed to see had delicate side pockets in the skirt, I looked like I, too, could be a leaf in a glass on someone’s windowsill. What would I see from there? Would the person who placed me actually be reading a print magazine on their bed, consulting “The Physiology of Taste” with a piece of toast on a ceramic plate beside them, or composing a handwritten note at their desk? I just don’t believe it. But I’ll take a cheese plate.
23 Cleveland Place, 212-226-2413; hesperios.com
The Space Hesperios is a multi-hyphenate: a knitwear line, concept shop, a literary journal, a cafe.
The Vibe Inside the space, you might not know what to do with yourself or how long to stay, but it’s so sunny and serene, you may forget you had questions at all.
The Goods Aside from the knitwear, many things in the shop are made-to-order, like ornate dresses by Mark Fast and lamps by the architect Andrew Trotter. It’s shopping as you would in a friend’s living room: asking who makes a piece, and hoping you’ll remember to look it up later.