New store report card
With holiday shopping season in full swing, it’s tough to have anything but store-hopping on the brain. We visited recently opened shopping destinations around the city to give New Yorkers the lowdown on the newbies on the block.
560 Broadway, 212-966-1099
Jack Purcells. Chuck Taylors. Boots. Star Chevrons. Leather. Canvas. Flannel. Snakeskin. The new Converse store in SoHo has it all. And we’re not exaggerating. The shop — the 102-year-old brand’s second location (the first is in Boston) — houses an impressive 250-plus footwear styles, 50 of which are exclusive to the location. A handful of styles are available in extremely limited quantities and won’t be reproduced. When we visited the store last week, 15 pairs of men’s worn-in, tumble-washed high-tops, below right, sat on shelves ($150). And if you can’t find something you like, there’s a customize-your-own sneaker stand, where, for an extra $10-$25, you can choose among 300 graphics to add to any pair. Half the store is dedicated to shoes and the other half to clothing — all in the vein of Converse’s sportswear-meets-street aesthetic. Like the footwear, the clothing isn’t over-the-top price-wise — denim runs $78-$98 and sweaters cost less than $100.
119 Spring St., no phone
Unfortunately, the Kardashian sisters’ SoHo boutique is exactly what you’d expect from the cheesy reality stars: a shrine to said cheesy reality stars. Oversized portraits of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe greet customers, and kitschy DASH souvenirs litter the store. The most offensive? A $10 bottle of water emblazoned with the ladies’ pictures. We repeat, a $10 bottle of water (and not the reusable kind either). Second to the Kardashian brand comes the clothes, evidenced by the fact that the window display doesn’t even feature fashions — just mannequins constructed from disco ball material. The racks’ contents are filled with the type of club gear the K-sisters wear on the red carpet and on their TV shows — stretchy mini-dresses, metallics, feathers, jumpsuits, animal prints. Some are wearable on a New York night out, but most feel distinctly Los Angeles (where the gals are from). Designers include alice + olivia, Torn By Ronny Kobo and Backstage. (Julie Gordon)
32-34 Little West 12th St., 212-647-0991
Ted Baker’s new Meatpacking District boutique takes inspiration from its British roots and its New York digs. Displays filled with English antiques look perfectly at home alongside subway tiled-walls and exposed brick. Same goes for the clothing and accessories. Classically British pieces — a velvet smoking jacket, the perfect slim gray suit — would easily work into a New York guy’s closet (Baker started as a menswear designer). The women’s pieces have the same type of sophisticated yet fun vibe. (Julie Gordon)
25 W 38th St., 212-631-8099
Yeohlee Teng chose the Garment District for her recently unveiled eponymous brick-and-mortar outpost – her very first. The cozy 950-square-foot store carries Teng’s women’s wear collection plus quirky recycled rubber jewelry by Kathleen Tucci and sneakers by Bensimon. The minimally outfitted space is accented with studded brick walls, exposed metal beams and locally pleated black Tyvek as dressing room drapery. The industrial feel of the shop, an homage to its neighborhood, complements Teng’s trademark minimalist yet eye-catching designs — a striking red poncho ($430), lightweight nylon trench coats ($650) and voluminous and structural skirts ($420-$595). (Chadner Navarro)
5 Mercer St., 212-996-2145
Local designer Victoria Bartlett’s first shop for her line of women’s clothing combines her two greatest passions: design and fashion. The spacious one-floor SoHo outpost replicates the feel of a fin de siècle gymnasium with Bauhaus flourishes. Manila ropes, an English pommel horse, Swedish climbing bars and French medicine balls are among the many sporty visuals that serve as the backdrop to Bartlett’s ready-to-wear, athletic, swim and lingerie collections. Known for bridging everyday wear with underpinnings, VPL’s maiden storefront is filled with lingerie-style pieces like soft racerback tanks and billowy cotton tops anchored by hip chunky cardigans, structure vests and immaculately draped dresses. Fruits of VPL’s collaborations with other designers like LD Tuttle (footwear), Brian Crumley, Lizzie Fortunato and Alyssa Norton (all jewelry) are also offered. In addition, the shop carries an assortment of exclusive merchandise culled from Bartlett’s personal collections, including Interview magazines from the ’80s. (Chadner Navarro)
Photos: Converse, courtesy of Converse; DASH: Andrew Hinderaker; Ted Baker: Courtesy of Ted Baker; Yeohlee: Michael Kirby Smith; VPL: Courtesy of VPL