With NYFW and LFW coming to an end and MFW just beginning it’s difficult not to think about shopping with all the buzz about; and while most of us do our shopping online (100% guilty!) traveling to a city as fashion forward as New York, it’s hard not to come home with a few new clothing souvenirs.
Unlike the days where coming to New York meant you were able to finally shop at luxury stores like Gucci and Chanel, as well as stroll through the halls of Saks and enjoy the infinite scents of every perfume imaginable, these days you can find most of these items at your local Nordstrom, Bloomingdales or Macy’s. When the era of traveling just to shop is coming to an end, where do you go in New York to grab something truly special?
While most tourists travel on down to Soho to partake in the shopping craziness that overtakes Broadway, it’s just a few streets east that you’ll find yourself some exceptionally unique pieces.
While Broadway going west holds the traditional stores ranging from Victoria’s Secret to Chanel to even a Crocs store (yikes!), going east to Mulberry St. you’ll find lesser known brands like Upton (who currently has a collaboration with Frankie), Cydwoq which makes handmade shoes, and Westerlind which creates some seriously cool outdoor gear. Also make a stop over at Space Cowboy for some chic cowboy boots, especially since they seem to be making a comeback, and don’t forget some awe inspiring shades from Illesteva just a couple blocks away.
If you’re looking for some more Hypebeast brands, just a street over on Lafayette St. you’ll get your Dita, Kenzo and Supreme to tide you over; and as long as Supreme keeps being sold out online, coming in store might just be the only way to get it.
Artist & Fleas
Now with locations in LA, Chelsea Market, Williamsburg and Soho (where the old Armani Exchange used to be), Artists & Fleas is exactly what it sounds like: a large space devoted to new and upcoming artists and designers looking to sell their handmade jewelry, bags, clothing, and whatever inspiration they’ve put into being to the public.
This is where I love to check out new pieces of jewelry, pieces that would normally go for $100+ you can get for anywhere from $20-$80; and depending on the seller sometimes they give you a discount for buying more than one piece (never against a bargain). If you head down to the Soho location you’ll find an amazing bag maker Min and Mon which create lovely structured bags with a twist. Some of their bags may have blue fur, eyes or a little octopus that just charm the pants off of you while looking absolutely chic!
There are two ways to go when shopping ‘new’ in the West Village, either you can take a stroll down Bleeker St. (my favorite street!) or you can make your way down Hudson St. to start your shopping extravaganza. Both streets are full of up and coming designers trying to fill the void of what’s missing in today’s fashion (whatever that may be).
A great little spot to check out on Hudson is the Monocle Shop. Full of a little bit of everything from clothing to stationary, this tiny gem is a perfect stop to get something a little bit different to take home. When you’ve finished, take a stop over at 3NY on Bleeker St. (or Broome St., their second, and larger, location). A little bit of edge and a whole lot of color makes this store the envy of the fashion world. While still sporting familiar brands like House of Harlow and DL1961, they also take a kick at poking fun at the other big brand names; taking what would be a casual grey sweater with the known “Supreme” logo and changing it to “Stupid”. No harm in a little bit of fun *wink*.
You can’t get more unique than buying vintage, and New York has no shortage of vintage stores to choose from. Be warned though, vintage shopping is an art in of itself that not everyone is cut out for; being able to find the gold amongst the trash is a talent, so if you don’t have the eye, like me, there are a few store’s that make it a little easier for you by only collecting the best.
La Vie, a consignment store for high end designers brands, makes for some beautiful shopping, especially if you’re looking to purchase a bag; but remember, these are high end brands, so the price tag is going to match. Everything is laid out and organized impeccably, with shoes all in order and clothing displayed as if in a Chanel dream closet, but if you are having a little trouble choosing/finding don’t hesitate to ask for help, these employees are quite the stylists themselves.
Another great choice is Housing Works Thrift Shop. With everything so beautifully laid out, it’s hard not to find something. This one contains more home items than clothes; little jewelry boxes, colorful plates, and decorative pieces to spruce up any home, and whats better than a cute little figurine to tell your friends is one of a kind from NYC?
Still having trouble sorting through vintage items? Don’t worry, The Vintage Twin has you covered! Inside you’ll find racks with little pictures telling you what they contain, some with funny comments like ‘Grandpa Sweaters’ and ‘Lounger’ to brighten your day. They also sort areas by looks, so if you’re looking for something a little more street style or for an evening out just follow the signs.
While shopping at Zara, Nordstrom, Topshop, and other well established stores will always be our go to, it’s always a great feeling when someone asks, “Where did you get it?” and you can say New York.
What’s your favorite place to find something unique in NYC? I would love to know in the comments! Remember to follow my daily adventures on Instagram, and, as always, safe travels!