ABC Carpet & Home
The ultimate destination for the home has humble roots that go back to 1897 when Sam Weinrib started a business selling used carpets out of a cart on the Lower East Side. What a difference a century (or so) can make: today, the seven-story store on the stretch of Broadway formerly known as “Ladies Mile” is an enchanting souk, with lavish antique chandeliers hanging from exposed pipes and fur throws draped across beds. On the ground floor, an artfully curated collection of jewelry and accessories is sprinkled in for good measure. Take a shopping break at one of star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s two attached restaurants—ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina—which have as much panache as the store itself.
Achille Salvagni Atelier
A fabulous addition to the Upper East Side's shopping scene is the gorgeous showroom of a Roman designer, Achille Salvagni Atelier.
It doesn’t get much more cutting-edge than this new downtown men’s clothing concept that uses digital technology to create bespoke pieces. How does it work? You step into a 3D body scanner, which takes your measurements, then pick out your fabrics, stitching, details (collar, cuffs, lapels), even add a monogram. Started by a Harvard Business School grad and a physicist, the revolutionary approach to men’s clothing takes the guessing game out of sizing—and brings down the cost of hand-tailored men’s clothing. Think $600 for an entry-level cotton suit.
This shop features glamour-girl fashions by emerging designers and must-have accessories, like metallic open-toe high heels and clutch purses.
With Alex Drexler at the helm (whose father, Mickey Drexler, is J.Crew CEO) it’s no surprise that this father-son clothing shop has been a sartorial hit. Set in a converted bakery in Nolita, the boutique carries pared-down preppy pieces that make boys feel like men and men feel very handsome indeed. Specialties include well-fitting chinos and smart oxford shirts, old-school terry hoodies and worn-in indigo vests.
Find pristine vintage for men and women at Amarcord, which has locations in both Soho and Williamsburg. The store’s expat owners keep it well stocked with regular treasure-hunting trips to their homeland of Italy. Expect to find notable designers in the mix (Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo) as well as other European labels that fit the spot’s eclectic, colorful aesthetic. A plentiful selection of leather bags and shoes rounds out the mix.
Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store
A fabulous source for unique gifts and toys, Annie’s moved into this Park Slope space in 2013. Come for a wonderful assortment of paper and card products, games, toys, art and old-fashioned candy. In short, it’s a one-stop shop for a cool gift from Brooklyn.
Argosy is one of those quirky little bookstores that can’t be replicated elsewhere. Signature items here are rare and out-of-print books—the beautiful leather-bound ones that some use purely for aesthetic purposes—and historical maps and autographs. The interior, which many say resembles an old library, has a dark, dusty feel that hard-core booklovers (many of whom are initially drawn to the heavily-discounted offerings on the tables outside) will surely find cool. To view the rarer collections located on the upper floors, you must make an appointment with the knowledgeable (and often, rather appropriately, bespectacled) staff.
Shoppers can stock up on light fixtures at this cutting-edge shop in Soho.
Set on the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, the Vanderbilt mansion was once considered the most impressive house in the United States, with its enormous ballrooms and crenellated towers. Today, the site is home to what is possibly the most remarkable department store in the nation. The eight floors are arranged like a series of small boutiques, selling the best of everything, from haute wedding gowns to personalized stationery to a veritable shoe spectacle. BG Restaurant—designed by hotel impresario Kelly Wearstler—is the ultimate perch for the very stylish ladies who lunch, with views overlooking Central Park. The basement level is a beauty Mecca, complete with a small gem of a day spa.
Whether you’re looking to up your kitchen game or need a last-minute wedding gift, the pieces in Big Night are always a conversation starter.
Downtown meets Uptown at this eclectic, West Village-ish boutique, known for groovy gifts carefully selected by owner Phoebe Cates (Kevin Kline’s wife).
Books Are Magic Montague
Dapper gents beeline to this high-end boutique, which stocks bespoke and ready-to-wear menswear. Founded by a husband-and-wife team who started by offering custom fittings in their Clinton Hill apartment, the collection (which is also stocked by Barneys) ranges from wedding-ready tuxedos to sharp suits and casual chambray shirts.
Founded in 1838, this old-school pharmacy full of hard-to-locate beauty discoveries has been frequented by everyone from Mark Twain to Sarah Jessica Parker. The shop itself is like a piece of history: check out the chandeliers, which were once powered by gas, and the old-fashion wooden cases. And while some things have changed—the soda fountain is no more—the apothecary continues to sell cult products like its rose salve. Complete with vintage-style packaging, the heavenly smelling miracle cream transforms both dry skin and chapped lips.
Leave it to the Brits to create a children’s clothing company with such incredible craftsmanship that your kids will look like they’ve stepped out of a Jane Austin novel. Prices aren’t easy on the wallet, but with exquisite details and vintage flourishes, these are the kind of treasures that get passed down through the generations. The shop also stocks handmade blankets, pint-sized totes, and a well-curated selection of toys and books.
This tiny and much-loved boutique, located in the heart of thriving Williamsburg, offers a meticulously curated collection of jewelry, accessories, home goods and beauty products. Amid a girly, white-walled décor, find dainty pieces from little-known local designers, non-traditional engagement rings and fantastic gifts (whimsical stationary, Rodin oils and plenty more).
Côte À Coast
Creel and Gow
Started in San Francisco in the early 1990s, de Vera is a beautifully curated arts and antiques shop that almost defies definition. Owner Federico de Vera has an exquisite eye, roaming the globe and collecting the offbeat and the obscure—religious relics, Baroque pearl necklaces, Japanese lacquer and oil paintings of barons and hipsters. A visit here is like taking a walk through the behind-the-scenes stacks of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This Upper East Side gallery is a great source for works by Diego Giacometti.
Dempsey & Carroll
High-end stationer that uses old-fashioned engraving techniques and sells note cards with whimsical motifs and will create bespoke styles.
Dover Street Market New York
After setting the London fashion scene on fire with the multi-brand concept store Dover Street Market, Comme des Garçons designer and trailblazer Rei Kawakubo has taken her show on the road to New York. In an unlikely Flatiron District building, installation artists have turned a seven-story space into a veritable museum, complete with a sound experience. (The store will close on a regular basis to completely transform itself.) All the big names are there—Vuitton, Saint Laurent—and in the fourth-floor Energy Showroom, there are up-and-coming designers such as Phoebe English, who crafts clothing from macramé, tulle, even hair. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s also an outpost of Rose Bakery, the beloved Paris café.
This quirky emporium is more than just a little nibble: it is packed to the ceiling with terrific toys, eye-popping gifts for all ages, and a tremendous array of T-shirts for girls. Do stop next door at its sister store, E.A.T., for a light lunch.
A combination gourmet market, restaurant, bakery, and more, Eataly is a grand homage to everything Italian. Started in the northern Italian city of Turin and backed by the Slow Food Movement, the concept came to New York courtesy of a network of food-world superstars—including Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Lidia Bastianich—guaranteeing instant success. When it opened, lines to get in snaked down Fifth Avenue, and though the crowds these days aren’t quite as intense, the quality hasn’t abated.