I spent some time visiting friends in New York recently. While out and about downtown, I had my antennae roaming for anything new and noteworthy in the style realm. Here’s are some of the intriguing items, brands and concepts that I stumbled up on in the big apple. #NewYorkDiscoveries
In Soho, one dress after another caught my eye at the Zimmerman Store on Mercer St. The Australian label has been in this location for about 2 years but somehow I hadn’t stumbled on it before. They stick to what they know: clever, sexy cuts and bold prints in swim and dresses at a price point that just undercuts the high-end. Right up the block and to the left is the Jerome Dreyfuss store (475 Broome St.) whose cleaned up, logo-free take on bohemian handbags are on the nose with this season’s 70’s trend domination. Next door at Kirna Zabête (477 Broome St.) I discovered Drunk Elephant, a skincare line that only uses safe ingredients, and challenges preconceptions by excluding fragrance – synthetic or natural – from its products. The Beautypedia on Paula’s Choice took a strong liking to Drunk Elephant, something worth noting because they are usually tough critics over at PC. But back to Soho. I may have buried the lead on Kirna Zabête: it’s also one of the outposts to order Mansur Gavriel bags, those surprisingly understated and well-priced leather bucket bags and cross-body bags that have been steadily adorning magazine pages and blog-scrolls for the past couple years. I have my eyes on the mini-mini…
Makeup bars are the new blow dry bars. That was one takeaway from my trip to New York. Rouge NY at 130 Thompson St. in Soho and Blushington in midtown’s Parker Meridien Hotel (W. 56th St.) are drop-in bars designed to rouge your face when the need arises. I think this convenience-driven sector of beauty is just at the tip of the iceberg. Rumors are that both companies are looking to open more locations in New York. Let’s hope they make their way to Chicago…
Nothing beats a highly anticipated perfume launch. Miu Miu’s first fragrance came out this September and I had to pop into their boutique at 100 Prince St. while I was in town to get a whiff. I liked it: a big bouquet of lily of the valley hits you first and then it reveals a spicier alter-ego. This struck me as a Spring scent so the timing of the release seems off to me. Go try it and let me know what you think.
One of my focuses while in NYC was jewelry research. With my wedding approaching this Spring I wanted to gather ideas on wedding bands. Anna Sheffield‘s little shop at 46 Orchard St. on the lower east side is a treasure trove of distinctive, romantic, yet understated pieces, especially the little stacking rings.
Continuing with jewelry, the Steven Allen Annex at 103 Franklin Street in Tribeca is another secret hiding place for a spectacular assortments of delicate rings and necklaces from small local designers. Ginette NY and Blanca Monrós Gómez are two new favorite lines I discovered there on my recent trip.
FiDi/BATTERY PARK CITY
The Financial district and Battery Park City dwellers are enjoying a renaissance of their lower Manhattan. Between the arrival of the luxury shopping center, Brookfield Place, at 200 Vesey St., and the new flock of restaurants (like the impressive Le District eatery connected to Brookfield Place), I hardly recognize my old stomping ground. Beauty addict that I am, I was particularly curious to go scout out Cos Bar, a luxury beauty retailer that opened its first NY location inside Brookfield Place. At first, it seemed completely indistinct from the existing luxury apothecary chain such as Blue Mercury or SpaceNK, or the Bloomingdale’s beauty floor for that matter. Upon chatting with the store manager I began to understand that it’s not so much about differentiating itself from the competition in terms of brands carried. Their strategy is to pinpoint and open shops in regions that are remote from department stores and deficient in luxury beauty points of sale, places like lower manhattan or affluent vacation towns like Aspen, Cos Bar’s first location. That makes sense for now but once it goes up against Saks Fifth Avenue which opens in Brookfield Place in 2016, it’ll no longer be a big fish in a small pond. The icing on the luxury cake of Brookfield Place has got to be the Hermès Parfumerie housed in the mall. This is the brand’s first-ever scent-dedicated boutique. My visit coincided with its opening and for the occasion, Hermès’s team created a dangling canopy of overhead flowers to walk under along Battery Park City’s promenade. I believe the lyrics go, “Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting”…