Whitney Art Party Preview with Forty Five Ten’s Kristen Cole

Kat Herriman


“We think very much about the life of Forty Five Ten in the mindset of three buckets: art, design and fashion—Hudson Yards provided a unique place to explore them all at the same time,” says Kristen Cole of Forty Five Ten, the Dallas-based department store owned by Headington Companies opening its first New York location this spring in the city’s newly minted commercial hub. “What appealed to me personally about the location was its proximity to Chelsea and the galleries, I’ve always wanted to open a boutique in that neighborhood to be part of that conversation.”

Tonight Cole will be at the center of it all as this year’s Whitney Art Party co-chair. Forty Five Ten is co-sponsoring the massive fundraising event but it’s not the first time Cole has lent her hand and vision to bolstering an art institution. Back in Texas, the boutique has partnered with major players including Dallas Contemporary and the Dallas Museum of Art. “What makes this event unique is obviously its scale,” she tells me. “It was a very collaborative process and I think people will feel that.”

One of the elements where people can admire Cole’s hand is in the selection of artist partners including Caitlin Keogh who donated a significant new work to the benefit auction that Forty Five Ten then translated into a silk shirt. This limited-edition top will be available at the New York store starting in March allowing those not in attendance to take home a little bit of the evening’s magic. When I ask about the journey to this conclusion, and the steps along the way, Cole laughs. “I’m not here to get in the artist’s way. If I”m collaborating with someone my goal is to clear the way for them to present something they are proud of. I was very happy to speak with Caitlin as she is an artist I very much admire but this was her vision.”