With Fall collections now arriving in stores, Manhattan's retail scene is ramping up with a steady spate of new and refurbished spaces -- even if half the city seems to be away on weekends in the Hamptons. SoHo has been undergoing something of a retail renaissance throughout 2013, with high-profile openings ranging from Versace at 160 Mercer Street to a 4,000-square-foot, Hedi Slimane-designed Saint Laurent boutique at 80 Greene Street. Of course, any SoHo debut is sure to draw celebrity attention: Kanye West and Linda Evangelista turned up to greet Donatella Versace at her high-wattage housewarming, while Mia Moretti and Dree Hemingway were among those to attend a more intimate cocktail party for Chloe at 93 Greene Street.
A little further south, watch and bicycle brand Shinola Detroit recently opened its New York flagship, a multi-use space at 177 Franklin Street in Tribeca that includes a cafe and newsstand alongside its vintage-vibe watches and city bikes crafted in the Motor City. The Rockwell Group-designed store features an industrial-age feel dominated by an oversized 1930s world map in metal, culled from Rockefeller Center, to provide the framework for a variety of American-made products, from leather-bound journals likewise crafted in Michigan using paper from sustainable forests to curated pop-up shops featuring works from Detroit artists.
About 85 blocks north, Barneys launched into its plan to transition its Co-Op stores into full-on Barneys New York locations with the opening of its Upper West Side store at 2151 Broadway. Rather than the off-price collections and pieces previously found in Co-Op locations, the new stores will feature more of the curated edit found at Barneys on Madison Avenue, which mean Upper West Siders like Tina Fey and Cyndi Lauper now don’t have to trek across Central Park to get their fix of Proenza Schouler, Azzedine Alaia and Alexander Wang. Other Barneys locations planned to make the transition include the Grove in LA, set for its transformation this month, and Brooklyn in November.
Speaking of curated, what would New York retail be without the undeniably artful pop-up shop? Rick Owens, he of the oversized-meets-industrial-meets-touch-o’-goth sensibilities, has opened Ephemere, a temporary store featuring his secondary line, the vowel-challenged DRKSHDW (read that as Dark Shadow), at 70-72 Wooster Street in SoHo through Oct. 26th. Owens will open a second shop in London on Sept. 4th and calls both “a microdrkshdw world” that will carry men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories, with exclusive pieces for each location. Or is that lctn?
If oversized black coats aren’t your cup of tea, perhaps something in red? Earlier this summer Valentino -- the label favored by Anne Hathaway, Tilda Swinton and Gwyneth Paltrow -- transformed its boutique at 746 Madison Avenue as the latest in the label’s plan to highlight a new store conceived by co-creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, who collaborated with British architect David Chipperfield. Far more stark and modernistic than its previous incarnation, the new store design features a series of rooms that reflect the more forward-thinking attitude of Chiuri and Piccioli, though it still doesn’t stray too far from a posh La Dolce Vita vibe. “They wanted to create something that felt more like a palazzo, a home, to provide the client with that special, one-of-a-kind experience,” notes Stefano Sassi, president and CEO of Valentino.
Other openings on the horizon include Proenza Schouler’s second New York boutique, at 121 Greene Street in SoHo, set to open its doors in the fall (perhaps during New York Fashion Week?), while Michael Kors also has a high-profile SoHo store in the works, though perhaps not due for opening until 2014. Also in 2014, look for Valentino to follow up its Madison Avenue refurbishment with a new, 20,000-square-foot store at 693 Fifth Avenue, the size making it the brand’s largest flagship in the world. Also to be designed by Chipperfield, the store (in the former Takashimaya building) will feature the complete Valentino universe, though it will put a particular emphasis on accessories, which Sassi says is the label’s most successful category.