IN THIS WORLD, EVERYTHING HAS ITS OWN RHYTHM. It can be traced in every detail of life, in a person’s every move. Even with Christmas gift shopping. We all wait for this holiday the whole year, and some people are ready with their gifts months in advance. Others are running around the shops with lists at the last moment (us included).
THE UNITED STATES IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE No. 1 DESTINATION FOR SHOPPING IN THE WORLD. And New York is its fashion capital. There’s no shortage of the most exclusive and unique shopping opportunities in the city. The sheer number of big retailers, classic department stores, designer flagships and trendy indie boutiques are attractive for locals and visitors alike.
We created a list of the places where shopping is always a success: Where it’s impossible to fail in finding the perfect gift. Our list of New York’s most essential shops consists of unique spots in their niches. Many of the store-owners are also great globe-trotters who bring their impressions from years of travel bringing together objects from all over the world. Inside each, you will be able to find not only a variety of amazing presents for anyone on your list (or any occasion), but also find plenty of inspiration just by stepping over the threshold of a store.
IF YOU ARE A LAST-MINUTE SHOPPER (and happen to be in NYC), take this gift list and enjoy the process. The satisfaction of completing your shopping is guaranteed. And if you’re done with your Christmas shopping for the year, save this list for future shopping delight.
The Apartments by the Line
A LIGHT-FILLED AERIE IN THE HEART OF SOHO,The Apartment by The Line is a place to discover and purchase some of your favorite things in an intimate home setting.
“The objects represented — encompassing fashion, home, and beauty items as well as original works of art — get new meaning and relevance through context of interaction.“
The objects in the store are arranged not in display cases but a contextual layout that, though containing only rarefied objects, the company calls “quintessential.”
The Apartment is a child of two twins, Kate and Morgan Wendelborn, together with Vanessa Traina, an alumna of French Vogue and a daughter of the romance novelist Danielle Steel. As the New York Times put it, “they perceive it as an attempt to address cyberspace’s detachment of merchandise from life’s narratives.”
We can add that it was absolute aesthetic delight. The only challenge is to find the entrance — it looks like the entry to someone’s private apartment.
OPENING CEREMONY LOOKS MORE LIKE A WHOLESALE SHOWROOM than a regular store. It collaborates with brands like Topshop, Rodarte, Pendleton, and Maison Martin Margiela, and has become known for its projects with creatives like Spike Jonze, Terence Koh and Chloë Sevigny.
New York Magazine called it “a high-fashion version of a cultural-exchange program” and, every year, Opening Ceremony features fashions from a different country. In order to do so, store owners Carol Lim and Humberto Leon (both came from the corporate fashion world) pack their belongings and go to live for a few months in a new country — to feel the vibe, to absorb the culture, the colors, the trends. After getting all that inspiration, they go shopping. They usually buy several collections that they consider the most representative and which speak most to their personal aesthetics. Then they present these in their store.
Dover Street Market
DOVER STREET MARKET IS LIKE A BIBLE WAREHOUSE of current trends and fashion. And after Rei Kawakubo opened it in 2013 it was a game changer even for New York City. Plan to spend some extensive time there, too, as seven floors of this former school for artists and architects are filled with latest collections from Gucci to more avant-garde Comme des Garçons and of-the-moment names such as Vetements and Eckhaus Latta. Clothes, shoes, accessories, home goods — all those goodies are sprawling over 22,000 square feet of space that consists of tiny nooks, corners that were designed and decorated to the brands’ preferences. We agree with those fashionistas who think that it’s more like a museum instead of a store. It’s also a great place for people watching, and you can easily do that over a cup of coffee or healthy salad in their downstairs cafe.
“The gallery shows a finely curated selection including Venetian glass, Japanese lacquer, ivory carvings, 18th-century religious figures and antique jewelry. Another unique focus is de Vera jewelry incorporating rare antique elements such as Roman intaglios and Georgian brooches, with precious gemstones including rose-cut diamonds, baroque pearls and Sardinian coral.”
The owner of the store, Federico de Vera, is a well-known persona on the San Francisco design scene. He travels the world buying everything from Japanese lacquerware and vintage Venetian glass to 19th-century Philippine Santos figures and European decorative arts, and brings it to the store for your delight. De Vera also creates his own line of jewelry, in which he likes to mix old and new materials.
BDDW New York
BDDW IS A SMALL AMERICAN FURNITURE COMPANY dedicated to the creation of well-crafted, timeless designs. New York Magazine called it “the highest level of craftmanship in furniture making.” In their beautiful, very spacious and cathedral-like space you will find modern furniture pieces that conquer you with super-clean design.
“All of BDDW’spieces are designed by the company’s founder Tyler Hays. Tyler is originally a painter and sculptor, and a talented builder and engineer. Each piece is made in Tyler’s studio in Philadelphia, PA. BDDW is known for their heirloom quality solid wood furniture, traditionally joined, in select domestic hardwoods. The finishes are all hand rubbed with natural oils and lacquers. BDDW has created dozens of classics and constantly producing new and innovative work.”
In Support Of
IN SUPPORT OF IS A UNIQUE BOUTIQUE that curates the collections of exclusively eco-friendly designers who produce locally, like Apiece Apart, Aza Ziegler, Eleanor Kalle, 4779, Tosia, Nikki Chasin, to name the few.
“The boutique features clothing and other items that are unique, detail-oriented, and well constructed; objects that are both wearable and innovative. The project is an extension of Aikaz Showroom (now rebranded as the showroom In Support Of), founded in 2010 by Tanya Sheikh with the goal of supporting talented designers with unique outlooks on design. ‘We love pieces that have a voice and tell a story, designs with an innate sense of beauty in a wide palette of colors and prints.”
P.S. Each year, a portion of the store proceeds is donated in support of various charities. The difficult-to-Google name now makes a lot of sense, right?
TOTOKAELO (which originated in Seattle) IS A MULTIBRAND AVANT-GARDE DESIGNERS BOUTIQUE located on Crosby Street in Soho, in a jaw-droppingly spacious, 5-stories building that looks like a museum way more than just a department store. Here, you can find the experimental collections by Yohji Yamamoto, Maison Margiela, Jil Sander, Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, Gareth Pugh, Nomia, Horses Atelier, The Row, and Lauren Manoogian, as well as many other amazing brands, along with its in-house line of basics. Good news: Along with the big names, you will be able to discover new labels and brands that are not widely available in the U.S., and these are not very expensive. So even those who are on a budget can find something fantastic and prepare to make a fashion statement come 2018.