Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New York’s Happening Retail Scene: Part I

Looking at the Manhattan retail scene, all I can say is: So many stores, so little time. The days before the holiday shopping season begins in earnest and are always filled with a rash of store openings. Here are four of my early favorites:

• Miss Sixty/Energie have opened their first-ever dual flagship, on Broadway and 20th St. The 7,000-sq.-ft. store is filled with everything from men’s and women’s denim, to apparel and accessories on two electric-colored levels. The opening marks the debut of Energie’s footwear line in the United States.

• Mickey Drexler’s latest concept, Madewell, has opened a pop-up in SoHo. It features a full denim wall, filled with skinny and bootleg styles in a variety of washes, tables full of striped henleys and chunky knit sweaters, and racks hung with baby doll dresses.

• Japanese import Muji has launched its first U.S. store, in SoHo, and on opening day there were lines snaked around the block to enter. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Muji was giving away its signature bags packed with goodies to the first 500 customers. The store is spacious and clean, with a spare, streamlined design. As for the merchandise, it is affordable (but not all that cheap) and of good quality.

• Jacques Torres, otherwise known as the "king of chocolate," has opened a handsome new store—his third in the city—on the Upper West Side. The décor is elegant and refined, with oak flooring, crystal chandeliers and dark walnut walls. The shop is filled with all sorts of calorie-laden treats.

• CB2, the GenY format from Crate & Barrel, has opened an 8,000-sq.-ft. space in SoHo. The store looks smart and modern—just like the goods it sells. And a plus, most of the furniture seems actually designed for apartment living.

That’s it—for now.

—Marianne Wilson

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