The past few months have seen a flurry of store openings in New York City. Here’s a rundown on some of this summer’s hottest new must-sees as chosen by my go-to expert on Big Apple retail happenings Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail division at Prudential Douglas Elliman:
1. Owen: This 1,800-sq.-ft. Meatpacking District boutique boasts one of the most interesting interiors I’ve seen in while: The central defining element is a continuous surface made from 25,000 stacked paper bags that arches from floor to ceiling. The honeycomb-like structure has a warmth that contrasts with the existing industrial brick and concrete space. (18 E. 69th St.)
The stop features a carefully edited assortment of up-and-coming contemporary brands for men and women. This is the company’s first retail outing, but it’s meant to serve as a preview of more to come. (809 Washington St.)
2. Fivestory: Located in a brownstone on the Upper East Side and featuring some 100 luxe brands of clothing, accessories and home décor, Fivestory was inspired by the Paris concept shop Colette. The brands run the gamut from the up and comers to cutting edge runway names.
3. 12 Lions Studio: Made up of a handful of in-store boutiques from emerging designers, all housed under the one roof, 12 Lions Studio into one location, features clothing, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and children. The offerings change frequently as the vendors sign short-term leases, usually for about a month. (684 Broadway)
4. Ernest Alexander: This is the brand’s first standalone store, and it includes the entire menswear collection, along with Alexander's own collection of home décor accessories. With touches of the company’s signature grays and red, original wood flooring, tin ceilings, and Ernest’s own collection of antique knick-knacks strewn about, the store resembles a handsome, but well-worn masculine living room. (98 Thompson Street)
5. DwellStudio: The furniture and accessories wholesaler makes the leap into retail with a 2,700-sq.-ft. store in SoHo. Known for its boldly patterned textiles, the company offers chairs, sofas and beds available in a wide range of upholstery fabrics, along with decorative accessories and vintage finds. (77 Wooster St.)
6. Nicholas Kirkwood: Consolo says it best: “How can you not love a shoe store with a hannock and a garden? Seriously? Plus, of course, Kirkwood’s fabulous footwear.” (807 Washington St.)
7. Rebecca Taylor: Simply charming. This is the first uptown store from the designer, who already has two locations downtown, and the interior is replete with her trademark style and good taste. (980 Madison Avenue)
8. Maison Kitsune: The Parisian fashion and music label is now a full-fledged retail brand and this is its first North American foray. The store has a distinctly Parisian feel, with walls adorned with Art Deco prints of some of the French capital’s most famous buildings. (1170 Broadway, NoMad Hotel)
9. The Little Shoe Store: Started as a online venture and a weekend pop-up before opening in its permanent space, The Little Shoe Store is a great example of niche retail: It sells womens’ shoes, sizes three through six.
According to reports, the owner plans to delve into the other end of the market — women's sizes 10 to 13 — by the end of the year. (58 Orchard Street)
10. Loft: Loft’s new store design concept makes its New York City debut in a midtown space. The format groups items and accessories together in little mini-departments, or “style closets,” and offers vignettes of merchandise styled so as to suggest a complete look. (1230 Avenue of the Americas)
More As I See It entries.