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Monday, September 12, 2005

Fashion Critic's New York City Shopping Guide - Map included!

UPDATE - MAP ADDED!
Shopping guides are like opinions – everybody has one. It's easy to get lost in the maze of these guides, just like in the maze of any type of information. I personally have been frustrated plenty of times by shopping guides that offered Bloomingdales as a prime shopping destination. What I want to present here is a shopping guide tailored to my fashion philosophy – stores with an interesting selection by creative designers. Reading my recommendations will also let you shed some light on my personal tastes.


So, without further a due:

ATELIER – My personal favorite. A beautiful, dark, romantic space filled with beautiful dark, romantic clothes – I can not ask for more. This is a small men’s shop and the people who own and work there – Karlo and Jo-Jo are knowledgable, friendly, and have a genuine passion for what they do. The store carries: Carpe Diem/Lmaltieri/Linea, Carol Christian Poell, Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Undercover, Number (N)ine, Cloak, and jewelry by Sean Leane. Black and white colors dominate the racks.
125 Crosby Street, between Houston and Prince – SoHo
http://www.ateliernewyork.com/

IF – A great unisex boutique, but the service can be very spotty. This store has been in business for a long time and has a loyal, artsy clientele, somewhat more mature than most store. IF was responsible for introducing Martin Margiela to the US, and has been his biggest supporter ever since. Other designers in store: Comme des Garcons, Junya Watanabe, Dries van Noten, Undercover, Sacai, Carpe Diem, Paul Hardnen, Veronique Branquinho, Gary Graham, and more.
94 Grand Street, between Greene and Mercer - SoHo

SEVEN – A young cool unisex store that is not afraid to take chances. The staff is really laid-back, which is always a plus. Their stock is a mix of “indie” hype (Imitation of Christ), and substance (A.F. Vandevorst). Other designers featured – Raf Simons, Boudicca, Veronique Leroy, Preen, Bless, Gaspard Yurkievich, Cosmic Wonder, etc.
They should be moving into their new space any day now (which is what they’ve been saying for half a year already), but for now you can shop directly from their website.
110 Mercer Street (coming soon) - SoHo
http://www.sevennewyork.com/

KIRNA ZABETE – This is a women’s only boutique. I have mixed feelings about the store, as I can’t exactly underline their aesthetic. Some of it is very girly la-la land type of clothes, but sometimes it has flashes of brilliance. Designers featured, Rick Owens, Gaultier, Hussein Chalayan, Viktor and Rolf, Chloe, etc…
96 Greene St – SoHo
http://www.kirnazabete.com/

OTTO TOOTSI PLOHOUND – Shoe Mecca, baby!!! A large and interesting unisex selection of shoes in their three locations. Goodies by Dries van Noten, Collection Privee, Prada (meh), Costume National, and many other, more obscure, but nevertheless interesting designers. They mix and match as they please from season to season, which is pretty cool. Beware – their flagship store on West Broadway closed because of the greedy landlords. I think their best location now is on 5th Ave.
137 5Th Avenue – Flat Iron
273 Lafayette St – Nolita
38 East 57th St – Midtown

CLOAK FLAGSHIP – Finally, Cloak, which is the only good brand that came out of the US fashion in a while, opens a store of its own, thanks to the owners of The Opening Ceremony (thank you, Umberto!). The space is beautiful in its austerity and seriousness. A dark library-like back wall hides a back office and fitting rooms. Gorgeous!
10 Greene St – SoHo
http://www.cloakdesign.com/

COMME DES GARCONS FLAGSHIP – Well, this is pretty self-evident. The service is aloof, if you care. The thing I like about the store (besides the funky interior) is that they have more CDG/Junya Watanabe accessories than other places and they sometimes are not that expensive.
520 West 22nd Street – Chelsea

ISSEY MIYAKE FLAGSHIP – Even if you are not into Miyake’s clothes, you must visit it for the architecture alone! The interior, designed by Frank Gehry is made of huge sheets of twisted metal, which makes a nice juxtaposition of the solid and the fluid.
119 Hudson Street – TriBeCa
http://www.tribecaisseymiyake.com/

DESTINATION – This store has mostly accessories and shoes, but also some clothes in a very eclectic mix. The space is vast and white, and the staff is friendly and non-chalant. They have stuff from Xavier Delcour, Collection Privee?, Kashura, Mastermind Japan, Jack Henry, and many many others. It’s definitely worth checking out. Besides, there is not much interesting left since the Meat Smelling District suffered from Death by Trends.
32 Little West 12th Street – Meat Packing District

VIA BUS STOP - This is a newcomer. The outpost of the Japanese Onward Kashimaya might prove to be a hit. Any store that carries Hussein Chalayn gets props from me, regardless. Other highlights include Ann-Valerie Hash and Viktor+Rolf. Women's only for now. They should get the menswear next spring.
172 Mercer St at Houston - SoHo

BARNEYS – Well, I guess I don’t have to tell you about this one. However, I go there for different reasons than the bubbleheads from Sex and the City. I like their service – none-intrusive, yet helpful. Their selection can vary by season from wonderful to so-so. What I like about Barneys is that they are willing to take a chance on an upcoming designer, as they’ve done with Label Under Construction, Ato and Cloak. They also don’t have problems dropping one (in my shopping history they’ve dropped the menswear by Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simons, Carpe Diem, Carol Christian Poell, etc.), but hey – if one has to choose from the big bad department stores – Barneys is way better than the rest.
Men’s highlights – Dries van Noten, Martin Margiela, Comme des Garcons Homme Plus/Evergreen/Shirt, Junya Watanabe (unexplainably stuck on the 5th floor, while the rest of the designers is on the 3rd), Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Dior Homme, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Carpe Diem, Premiata and Collection Privee? footwear.
Women’s highlights – Ann Demeulemeester, Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garcons, Junya Watanabe, Boudicca, Rochas, Dries van Noten, Veronique Branqhuino, Rick Owens.
Madison and East 61st – Upper East Side
http://www.barneys.com/

20 Comments:

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wow faust..this is a really good blog! i'll be checking in lots.

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don't stop posting Faust! tell me more.

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Anonymous jcjaylaca@aol.com said...

hi there! love the blog.. i really like the insight. i have a question for you.. any idea where i can find those dior homme arm warmers they had from a few seasons back? they don't have to be dior homme arm warmers i would buy from any designer?? any suggestions

Thanks .. and keep writing

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi could you please post a number for IF, i'm in the UK and struggling to find a number. Thanks

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Blogger Fashion Critic said...

IF # is (212) 334-4964

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