Summer is an easygoing season, days of traveling light and taking it slow. When fall comes ’round, though, it’s time for some serious shopping. Happily, these recent arrivals on the New York City retail scene can help refresh your fall and winter wardrobe.
Even in ever-trendy TriBeCa, 180 The Store stands out. Maybe it’s the little garden of potted plants that greets you at the door or the row of shiny new bikes opposite them—all for sale, by the way. Behind them stretches a large, white, sunny room, with racks of Boho-chic clothing—menswear on the left, womenswear on the right, technically speaking though, the flowy shirts and cargo pants have a unisex vibe. Trestle tables filled with toiletries and eyeglasses occupy the middle. The clothing labels come from all over the world; Japan, Britain and good old NYC, small, ecologically minded companies you may not recognize but would like to get to know.
You’d be forgiven for mistaking Luana in SoHo for a living room instead of a store, complete with silvery gray settee, white-painted fireplace, rug-covered, wide-planked wood floors and paneled walls. Look again, though, and you see that the chic space is filled with leather handbags, wallets and belts, draped across a side table or displayed like art objects in the honeycomb shelves of black and gold étagères. A vintage Italian brand that’s been recently revived, Luana’s style runs to the brightly colored and color-blocked; the purses tend to be ladylike, hard-edged bags—none of your slouchy hobos here—adorned with the label’s signature tassel.
Upper Madison Avenue has long been a mainstay for luxe boutiques. Stubbs & Wootton is scarcely bigger than a shoebox, but it sports a hefty array of footwear for both men and women. The store celebrates the slip-on in all its infinite variety: slippers, sneakers, even an espadrille or two. The brand, which began in Palm Beach, Florida, gives the NYC locale a tropical feel, with lattice-patterned wallpaper and lots of white accents. Made in velvet, leather, linen and needlepoint, and adorned with whimsical designs, the handcrafted shoes come in an infinite variety of patterns and colors or you can design your own.
Several blocks down lies the fantasy land of Elie Saab, the designer who dresses the likes of Halle Berry and Meryl Streep for red-carpet affairs. So, if you’re a woman with a special occasion to shop for—or even if you don’t—this sizable boutique, all marbled and mirrored, its two floors connected by a spiral white stairway, is the place for a little star quality, whether your taste runs to chiffon gowns, sequined separates or short crepe frocks. And, of course, there are shoes, accessories and perfumes to go with.
Many pundits predicted that online shopping would bring an end to brick-and-mortar stores but the opposite seems to be happening: E-retailers are opening actual emporiums. One such is Amazon.com, getting back to its literary beginnings with Amazon Books.
Lit by a series of illuminated squares on the ceiling, the black decor is simple, letting the book covers—every title is displayed faceup—provide the color. The hardcovers and paperbacks are arranged both by genre and by Amazon website ratings; every title is also accompanied by snippets from online reviews and, often, a directional arrow pointing to a similar book—“If you like this, you’ll love that."
Sprinkled with little reading nooks and kid-sized play stations, the store also sells electronics from tablets to smartphone chargers and other things Amazon, including the hands-free speaker and virtual assistant, Alexa, and various smart home devices compatible with it.
For decades, the East 40s have housed an array of men’s haberdashers, and now Bonobos, another online retailer-gone-brick-and-mortar, is the latest, a neutral-toned venue where you can actually see all the styles that make the website so popular, from slim-fit suits to button-downs in patterns ranging from no-nonsense—checks—to fun—pink sharks. You don’t walk out with any merchandise, though. A salesperson determines your best size and fit and then has it sent directly to you—perfect for a visitor with limited luggage space.