Destination: New York
For its first boutique in the U.S., Swedish cult label Acne Studio settled on a gorgeous space on SoHo’s Greene Street (further up, don’t miss Kirna-Zabête, Kiki de Montparnasse, Alessi, By New York and, fellow newcomer Kisan). The soaring, 1,000 square-foot boutique, with its white pressed-tin ceiling, glass installation covering one wall and black and brown–checkered wooden floors, provides the perfect backdrop for the hip basics on sale here. Expect ribbed wool dresses, cropped knit cardigans, slinky blouses, designer tees and, of course, a large variety of the brand’s famous jeans in ultra-soft denim and a variety of colors.
The feminine creations on display at Adam, in the Meatpacking district, are exactly what you would expect from a designer who worked as Oscar de la Renta’s creative director for seven years. Up-and-comer Adam Lippes broke out with his own label, Adam + Eve in 2003 and the lines’ luxe basics quickly became bestsellers at Bergdorf Goodman and other high-end stores. In 2007, the designer changed gears with the launch of his more grown-up line Adam, on sale at this boutique. The racks are filled with gorgeous pieces that are classic enough to work at the office but can also be transformed into post-work attire, like the fitted tank dress that fans out into a frilly pleated skirt or the super-soft short-sleeve turtleneck made of a mix of bamboo and cashmere. Luxe products, like Costes candles and Rizzoli book complete the look at the 2,500 square-foot boutique that was designed by by Zaha Hadid disciple Filipe Pereira. The space, which also features a small men’s collection, is divided into comfortable lounge areas with mid-century furniture that’s also on sale—a cultivated enclave from the MePa district’s hoopla.
This shop features glamour-girl fashions by emerging designers and must-have accessories, like metallic open-toe high heels and clutch purses.
THIS BOUTIQUE CLOSED IN 2009
British style icon Allegra Hicks just opened her first U.S. store, replete with colorful caftans and bold feminine prints.
A favorite of Oahu local Sheila Donnelly, this Hawaiian store—the original opened in Honolulu in 1995—recently arrived in New York, in a gleaming new space close to the new Rick Owens boutique. (The somewhat misleading name refers to the boutique’s first incarnation as a vintage trove.) The well-edited collection features an inspired and often-changing array of high-end but lesser-known designers, like Thomas Wylde, Communn, Foundation Addict and 3.1 Phillip Lim. The excellent website, which carries more big names, like Ann Demeulemeester and Alexander McQueen, has long been a secret source for fashion insiders who bought up the season’s hottest items without having to fight for them in stores. But it’s worth hitting the pavement for this outpost whose staff could not be more enthusiastic and helpful.
Asprey has a refreshing new look to rival Tiffany and Cartier (and a new location), but still delivers luscious luxe (picture a divine silver frame with purple enamel).
Known simply as “Bergdorf’s” by most New Yorkers, Bergdorf Goodman is the most legendary and most luxurious of Manhattan department stores. Its two Art Deco buildings (one for men, another for women) rest on a prime piece of real estate, directly across from the Plaza Hotel. All the big couture names are well-represented as well as more modestly priced women’s lines like Theory and DKNY (on the fifth floor) and, in the men’s store, trendier collections such as DSquared and Thom Browne. In the women’s building, the ninth floor’s John Barrett hair salon keeps socialites—like those featured in Plum Sykes’ chick-lit hit Bergdorf Blondes —well-coiffed while the seventh floor’s BG Restaurant is a most convenient stop for refueling and people-watching.
Betsey Bunky Nini
A well-edited collection of haute—but fun—labels, including Paul Smith and Alberta Ferretti.
Downtown meets Uptown at this eclectic, West Village-ish boutique, known for groovy gifts carefully selected by owner Phoebe Cates (Kevin Kline’s wife).
Butik is proof that its owner, Danish supermodel Helena Christensen, knows a thing or two about style—and seduction. The shop’s highly personal selection of flowing dresses, weathered garden furnishings and enchanting toys from Denmark, Sweden and France is hard to resist.
When it opened in 1995, this was the first American outpost of Christiane Celle’s St. Bart’s boutique. Now her shops can be found in watering holes from East Hampton to Palm Beach. It’s a great source for pretty embroidered beach cover-ups and white lacy dresses.
This boutique sells easy, appealing marine-inspired jewelry at equally appealing prices.
The Danish-born designer—dubbed a “future star” by British Vogue —relocated from London to New York in 2006 and opened her first boutique this August. The Little Italy location is far from fashionable, but Staerk’s innovative creations—Scandinavian minimalism meets sultry Parisian—deserve the short detour if you’re already shopping in nearby Nolita. The sliver of a boutique is as sexy and sleek as the collection it holds, with Mies van der Rohe and Arne Jacobsen furniture and moody art work by realist Hans Henrik Lerfeldt. The Fall 2008 collection, inspired by a photograph of expressionist sculptor Louise Nevelson, features scooped tank dresses, chiffon blouses with layers of leather fringe and high-cut A-line skirts, all in the most exquisite materials and with handmade details. Don’t be surprised if you hear the muffled sounds of a sewing machine: Staerk’s atelier is located in the rear of the store.
Designer doggie goodies ranging from off-beat plaid leashes to cashmere sweaters. Their treats can’t be beat.
CH Carolina Herrera
In addition to her eponymous fashion boutiques, the star-designer launches her first lifestyle and accessories venture, CH Carolina Herrera. The Upper East Side store features suitcases, books, jewelry and men’s accessories alongside her signature women’s collections.
Every new outfit deserves a new pair of stilettos. Here, Christian Louboutin displays his chic shoe creations in niches, as if they were objets.
Though it’s located a bit north of the main Madison Avenue shopping drag, the recently opened Edit should be on your radar. Set in a two-story Lexington Avenue townhouse, the boutique is meant to resemble a private club and indeed, the interior—conceived by San Francisco based designer/architect Chris Barriscale—heightens the overall shopping experience. A winding staircase separates the two mostly marble floors and a chandelier hangs above the glass jewelry cases downstairs. For bored companions, there’s a stylish upstairs sitting area—complete with a flatscreen TV and fireplace—as well as a backyard garden. The merchandise doesn’t disappoint either. When assembling their inventory, owners Valerie Feigen and Alissa Emerson cull their favorite pieces from designers like Michael Kors, Derek Lam, Phillip Lam and up-and-comers like Charles Chang-Lima. The overall look is classic-chic with lots of billowy shirts and tunics as well as tailored blazers, jackets and trousers. Sprinkled throughout the mix are handbags and shoes from Anya Hindmarch and Henry Beguelin, basic tees and sweaters from Velvet and Christopher Fisher Cashmere, as well as a few ultra-luxe pieces, like the latticed bracelets by Australian jewelry designer and gemology expert Ray Griffiths (some of which cost upwards of $10,000).
Twirl with delight in Riviera-chic ballet flats of every color, print and fabric (the ever-popular pony hair for winter) and you’ll find yourself center stage.
Groupe 16sur20 is typical of NoLita’s idiosyncratic entrepreneurial spirit. A “vertically integrated fashion cooperative,” the shop sells its Seize sur Vingt bespoke-inspired shirts and suits, hosts installations of art photography and serves as an automobile showroom. You read that right: currently there’s a black 1983 Aston Martin for sale.
UPDATE: This store closed in January 2009.
The source for beachy looks for London’s “It” girls has arrived Stateside on the Upper East Side, offering the cashmere mafia moms an alternative to Calypso and Roberta Freymann. If you need a complete seaside transformation, this is the place to find unusual cover-ups, bikinis, straw bags and hats in a light and airy boutique with super friendly sales girls.
This shop sells sleek, beautifully made, ultralight bags that somehow recall Halston’s no-nonsense modernity. Maybe it’s Mariën’s innovative use of Ultrasuede.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Helen Mariën is now closed.
UPDATE: In late 2008, Hollywould closed its boutiques in New York and Palm Beach.
At fashion veteran Holly Dunlap’s shop, glam ballerina slippers, grosgrain wedges and basket-weave bags rule.
THIS BOUTIQUE CLOSED IN 2009
When a label’s very first suit was made at the request of Sports Illustrated, you might think that their bikinis would only be of the eye-popping variety. But Inca, who counts Halle Barry and Salma Hayek as fans, specializes in beachy looks that are both totally glamorous and wonderfully practical at the same time. The line’s founders, Stephanie Hirsch and Stacy Josloff, take inspiration from their travels and translate the global looks they love into a chic collection of handbags, swimwear and cover-ups. If you can’t find a fit that flatters, have the in-store seamstress take your measurements; a custom suit will be cut for your shape, and you can choose the color and trim. The flowing caftans can easily transition from poolside cover-ups to evening attire with a change of footwear. And now even the smaller set can enjoy Inca’s fashion, thanks to a new girl’s line. The brand recently opened their first boutique, an inviting shop located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and they’ll soon launch another store in Miami’s Gansevoort Hotel. Keep an eye out for their tabletop collection, too, which will bring the groovy Inca vibe indoors.
J.Crew at Liquor Store
Tribeca locals were up in arms when J.Crew took over the space of beloved downtown watering hall Liquor Store, but to its credit, the clothing company preserved some of the space’s gloriously faded details, including the original dark-wood bar, for this, its first stand-alone men’s shop. In an effort to move away from the predictable preppie look associated with Crew, the company asked Andy Spade to curate the store—a concept they plan on exploring further in the future—so that the boutique now features an interesting mix of lines. A very pared-down selection of J.Crew men’s favorites share the space with limited-edition products from Selima Optique glasses, Globetrotter’s old-fashioned luggage, Aesop skincare, Borsalino hats and Thomas Mason shirts. The bookshelf in the front of the store, curated by the Strand, features first-edition books. Who would have thought that one of Manhattan’s most original fall debuts would arrive courtesy of J. Crew? A women’s concept store is in the works for the Upper East Side.
For original handbags, Jamin-Puech offers the last word in Paris chic: exquisite, exuberant, couture-worthy purses, clutches and satchels, crafted from an inspired array of materials—silk, raffia, rhodoid, nacre, silk and fur—and constructed employing diverse techniques—macramé, crochet, beading, embroidery and patchwork. My favorite purse, Quintino, is covered in miniature sleigh bells—so much more fun than a Kelly bag, and a comparative bargain.
Bergdorfs Beware: Jane Soudavar’s pint-size boutique is chock full of designers (Blue Marine, Les Copains) who’ll dress you for far less than runaway runway labels.
If you’re staying at the Montauk Yacht Club or have lunch reservations at the Surf Lodge, stop by this brand-new boutique at Montauk’s Plaza, where owner Kelly Bogetti has assembled a breezy mix of summer fashion, accessories and swimwear. Prices are reasonable and the girly fashion, including cocktail dresses, light-weight cover ups and flowy dresses, is the where both moms and their teenage daughters can find something.
Kiki de Montparnasse
This shop brings discreet but uninhibited sophistication to the selling of lingerie, intimate accessories and bed toys. The boudoir-style boutique invites you to commune with your inner mistress, especially when your master is paying. Never has being naughty seemed so nice.
This avant-garde SoHo boutique might not be new (it opened in 1999), but young, fashionista owners Sarah Easley and Beth Buccini make sure the hip displays are stocked with the latest and greatest fresh off the runways. Big name designers include Derek Lam, Narciso Rodriguez, Stella McCartney and Nina Ricci but you can also find cutting-edge up-and-comers here. Kirna Zabête recently opened a second branch in Tokyo to much fanfare, proving just how cool their well-edited little fashion emporium has become.
Lee Anderson Couture
A secret weapon of stylish Upper East siders for more than twenty-five years, Lee Anderson sold her designs out of townhouse on 67th Street for years. She recently moved to a larger space on Lexington, where her ready-to-wear and couture clothes offer an elegant take for women who feel comfortable in high-quality tweeds and taffeta.
Lucyann Barry Showroom
Read about this by-appointment-only showroom focused on top-notch vinatage fashion and accessories, especially Chanel jewelry as well as Louis Vuitton, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Carolina Herrera.
Maison Martin Margiela
There’s nothing conventional about the cerebral Belgian designer Martin Margiela, known for fashions like a parka made of ski gloves, so don’t expect the typical boutique. The nondescript entry is marked by a window box with whitewashed plants.
Specializing in all shapes and sizes, Malia Mills carries sexy swimwear—bikinis, tankinis, and one-pieces—that’s sure to be a perfect fit.
Marc by Marc Jacobs
For West Village hipsters, the Marc by Marc Jacobs boutique is something of a clubhouse. The ever-changing array of inexpensive baubles Jacobs vends there makes it possible for just about anyone to “enjoy the brand.”
Early September will see the anticipated arrival of the famous French jeweler, founded in 1827, in a sprawling 7,000-square foot space on Madison Avenue, which some are likening to Paris’ Place Vendôme thanks to an influx of national and international jewelers (the David Yurman headquarter is moving in down the street in October). Occupying the glam space that used house Shanghai Tang, Mauboussin will reportedly include a chocolate bar in midst of the cases of decadent baubles.
Jane Mayle displays her vintage-inspired clothes in a charming shabby-chic setting.
Ubiquitous on the slopes of Europe’s chicest ski resorts, Italian luxury outerwear specialists Moncler finds its New York home in an enormous 3,000-square-feet store in Soho. It boasts a hip chalet-vibe and one-off designer collaborations.
Peter Elliot Blue
There isn’t a real Peter Elliot but the name connotes a very clear style. The man behind the cluster of Upper East Side boutiques bearing the Peter Elliot name is Elliott Rabin, and he has a taste for beautifully tailored clothes—just as an English uncle with the name Peter Elliot would. This branch focuses on men and boys’ clothing, from striped bathing trunks to navy blazers and cashmere overcoats.
The 16,000-square-foot Rhinelander Mansion on the corner of 72nd Street and Madison Avenue was home to the Ralph Lauren flagship store for over twenty years, and is now re-launched as the brand’s first men’s-only boutique. Polo, RRL, Black Label, Purple Label and RLX Collections are displayed across four floors in unique, contrasting boutiques from the gentleman’s-club feel of Black Label to the contemporary aesthetic of Polo, complete with interactive ‘Create Your Own’ plasma screens.
Note: slated for opening in late Fall, the flagship women’s fashion and homewares store will be housed across the street at 888 Madison Avenue, complimenting the Rhinelander Mansion with its own Beaux Arts façade.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Julia Stiles are among the celebs known to wear the superfeminine clothes of New Zealand designer Rebecca Taylor.
The flagship store of Coach creative director’s eponymous label displays his signature feminine fashions and exquisite leather handbags alongside specially commissioned furniture from Mattia Bonetti and Maarten Baas.
Edgy American fashion designer Rick Owens, a favorite of Madonna, opened his first New York boutique this summer (Owens relocated to Paris in 2003, where he has a store at the Palais Royal). Occupying a sprawling, all-white space, with floor-to-ceiling windows and towering mirrors, the New York boutique features Owens’ cool urban designs—fur-adorned vests, asymmetrical coats, ankle boots and lots of leather—as well as select pieces of his furniture collection. This stretch of Hudson, south of Houston Street and north of Tribeca, has been tapped as the next It shopping neighborhood, but it’s not quite there yet, so it’s best to take a taxi to the store and stop by nearby Aloha Rag on your way back uptown.
A Bohemian Rhapsody come true. Best known for its boho-blouses (and pj’s, too!) decorated in Indian-inspired prints—not to mention ethnic-inspired big belts, separates and accessories—all at attractive prices.
Roberta Roller Rabbit
The sister shop of Roberta Freymann, this is full of irresistible pillows, bedspreads and furniture.
San Francisco Clothing
Despite the name, this longstanding Lexington Avenue shop stocks conservative, Old Guard clothing from tweed blazers, velvet pants and elegant cashmere wraps to more rugged, English country-club Barbour jackets and Hunter rubber boots.
Stubbs & Wootton
Innumerable needlepoint, embroidered and velvet slippers in outrageous Palm Beach-y patterns. Perfect for easy mornings around the house or a light lunch on the water. The original shop was located on Lexington Avenue, but it has recently opened a tonier boutique in the Carlyle Hotel.
This store is now closed
This treasure trove of a store (the only U.S. branch of the Japanese emporium) spreads across six floors and offers everything from unique fashion finds and wonderful objets d’art to stunning floral arrangements and a gem of a tea salon. Everyone from Giorgio Armani to the Princess of Denmark shops here. Creative director Liz Conover is an avid traveler, and her inspired touch is particularly evident on the exciting Jet Set floor, featuring a cool mix of clothes, accessories and books sourced from around the world. Don’t miss the Tea Box Café, on the lower level, a perfectly serene spot to linger over a cup of Rose tea. The first floor is dedicated to high-end beauty products (starting in December, look out for the handmade soaps and lotions from Tulum’s Coqui Coqui retreat) and also houses a small Babor spa.
A tiny treasure housing (literally) millions of buttons of every sort including Lucite, leather and fossilized ivory that will lend a twist to your favorite frock (bring a blazer and see it—voila!—transformed).
At Ford’s spacious new boutique, you can luxuriate in the glam minimalism of his sunglasses and men’s clothing.
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