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.
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.
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.
Downtown meets Uptown at this eclectic, West Village-ish boutique, known for groovy gifts carefully selected by owner Phoebe Cates (Kevin Kline’s wife).
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.
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
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.
Though it’s located a bit north of the main Madison Avenue shopping drag, 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 Lim 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 Fischer 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).
This Upper East Side treasure trove brought uptown girls some seriously cool style when it came along in 2012. The concept store mixes costume jewelry and finds from around the globe with boundary-pushing designers like Alexander McQueen and Preen. Twentysomething owner Claire Distenfeld took inspiration from some of the world’s top concept shops, including Colette in Paris and Milan’s 10 Corso Como.
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.
Hermès US Flagship
To serious fashion lovers, Jeffrey’s is not just a mini department store, but also a massive, expertly curated walk-in closet. The Meatpacking District stalwart opened in 1999 under the keen eye of former Barneys shoe buyer Jeffrey Kalinsky, and thanks to his sophisticated eye, the airy space is now the number-one stop for all things high fashion. The ready-to-wear fashions hail from the likes of Altuzarra and Roland Mouret, which stand alongside the impressive menswear section. The shoe collection is a highlight.
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 Jason Wu, Roland Mouret, Stella McCartney and Nina Ricci but you can also find cutting-edge up-and-comers here.
Lee Anderson Couture
A secret weapon of stylish Upper East siders for decades, Lee Anderson sold her designs out of townhouse on 67th Street for years. She has since 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.
Specializing in all shapes and sizes, Malia Mills carries sexy swimwear—bikinis, tankinis, and one-pieces—that’s sure to be a perfect fit.
In a neighborhood overrun with vintage and thrift stores, Swedish owner Malin Landaeus’s eponymous shop has become a go-to for editorial shoots and designer research. Go for the exquisite collection of antique and vintage womenswear, and stay for the friendly vibe and vegan baked goods (served every Sunday). In addition to racks of decades-old duds, find hand-dyed silk clothing and Erica Weiner jewelry.
Housed in a former funeral parlor (thus, the name), Resurrection is where designer vintage comes back to life. This isn’t your grandmother’s closet—unless your grandmother had a wardrobe of Chanel and YSL. Designers such as Marc Jacobs seek out this shop in the highly fashionable Nolita neighborhood for inspiration, while celebrity stylists use it as their secret source; yes, that was Rihanna, rocking looks from Resurrection.
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.
A shoe wax that was popular in the early 1900s (and which also coined a certain phrase) has been brought back to life in the form of an all-American brand: Shinola. This Detroit-based company became an overnight sensation, with its well-crafted watches, bicycles, and leather goods, not to mention some of the smartest looking pencils we’ve ever seen and a line of simple notebooks made by Michigan artisans. The TriBeCa flagship store is like a museum of great design, complete with baristas serving up perfect cups of coffee.
Smythson of Bond Street
The first U.S. outpost by the venerable British company, Smythson's 57th Street boutique is a welcome respite from Midtown bustle. You can find everything from fine stationery and whimsical notebooks to the company’s high-quality leather accessories, including travel wallets, jewelry boxes and handbags in gorgeous colors.