What you are looking at above is the end of the iPhone line at the Apple Store Fifth Avenue, which by about noon today had wrapped around the GM Building all the way to Madison Avenue and 59th Street. By now, it has probably circled the entire city block. Normally, we wouldn't be quite so abusive towards these enthusiastic consumers, but at this point we can only say that they are a bunch of iPh#$%ing iDiots. Of course, they have all become temporary media celebrities as every network has a crew covering the most hyped product launch since Paris Hilton's jail term. Reporters are interviewing line members all over the place. We half expect CNN to break programming at 6PM to report on the first iPhone sold.
Why so cruel? Please see the line at the AT&T store at Park Avenue and 51st street below.
Yes, Shophounders, that's the entire line. A whopping six, count 'em, six people. Maybe eight if we include the empty chairs, and lets do! We think it's safe to say that they are all going to get a phone! They may be annoyed that there aren't more people waiting behind them, but they would be laughing their asses off if they could see all the fools camping out only a few blocks away.
British accessry designer Anya Hindmarch has found a runaway success in her re-useable shopping bag. Demand had green-minded consumers lined up around the block for the $15 canvas grocery bag. Aren't we are all drowning in plastic grocery sacks? At any rate, the demand has prompted this message in the windows of her stores:
We have been overwhelmed by your support for I'm Not A Plastic Bag.
We are sorry but these bags have sold out in all of our stores.
The bags will be available at select Whole Foods Market stores on July 18th.
For further details please check www.anyahindmarch.com/
Knowing New Yorkers, we are guessing that only a fraction of them are
using it at the supermarket. Our guess is that it's this season's beach
bag of choice. Reports from The Hamptons?
Anya Hindmarch 115 Greene Street, SoHo
also, 29 East 60th Street, Upper East Side
Miuccia Prada has designed her first film costumes, and they are animated.
She is one designer who is always ready to throw us a curve. The film is a Japanese animated feature to be released this fall called "Appleseed: Ex Machina", directed by Shinji Aramaki, a sequel to 2004's "Appleseed", in which humans and their clones are at war in the future.
Leave it to Miuccia to make her film debut in a low-key, offbeat manner.
Turns out the designer may be something of an animation buff. She was attracted to the project as a fan of the first film.
Now, when will she design some costumes for an actual live action movie?
Prada to Design Costumes for Japanese Animated Film (WWD)
Having just given its SoHo Sunglass Hut branch at Spring Street and West Broadway a site-specific luxe makeover, optical giant Luxottica has chosen the former Movado site at the corner of Spring and Wooster to launch its newest retail concept, Ilori which will specialize in expensive and more expensive sunglasses averaging $300 and up in price. Add that to the Solstice shop at Spring and Mercer and the Morgenthal Frederics also at West Broadway and you have a whole bunch more shades to add to all the other shade that gets thrown around the neighborhood.
While that particular Sunglass Hut has always been especially designer-heavy, filled with Chanel, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci frames, even those coveted labels are now relatively commonplace in terms of their sunglass distribution. At Ilori, which should open sometime in August, Luxottica plans to focus on even more rarefied labels like Chrome Hearts, Cartier, and limited edition frames from Persol or specialty items like California jewelry designer Loree Rodkin's gem encrusted glasses retailing for upwards of $1000.
Photo by Donna Alberico for The New York Times
We got a little lift this morning when we saw the byline for this morning's Critical Shopper in the Times' Thursday Styles. Cintra Wilson should have been a perfect choice to point her acid tongue at unsuspecting retailers all over the city, and yet somehow she may have been too perfect for an easy target like the Valentino boutique on Madison Avenue.
Wilson, of the bee stung lips and Dietrich brows who can be scathingly funny in her book, A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as Grotesque Crippling Disease Other Cultural Revelations, is no stranger to glamor. After dispensing with history and current events - the recent sale of his company, his 45th anniversary etc. - she lays into Valentino's clothes, which, apparently, are not hip enough for her.
This is some sort of surprise?
Valentino appears to see the ideal Society Wife today as a streamlined luxury toddler. Current pieces evoke the Pampered-with-a-capital-P innocence of the nursery, yet defy the vigor of either youth or sex. In the baby-doll dresses, there is no ironic infantilism (that flirty “kinderwhore” cuteness that winks at pedophilia) but a kind of learned helplessness that waves a limp hand at actual infirmity.
But this is the sort of criticism that designer Valentino Garavani has been deftly deflecting for decades. He is the first one to say, "I just like to make women look pretty," discouraging anyone from plumbing depths that he claims simply aren't there. And yet, he is skillful enough to claim something as common as the color red as a personal design signature.
It's only a scant two days away from launch time here at the corner of Prince and Greene here in SoHo, and a little Hoover-ville is forming in front of the Apple Store as iPhone anticipation builds toward a fever pitch.
We have our suspicions that those vigilantly holding their places in line here are not actually the customers for this coveted communications device. In fact, Spring street is starting to look like The Bowery used to. We have nothing against the tradition of paid placeholders, especially if you think that the $499 to $599 simply isn't quite enough to pay for your phone. Seriously though, it's about 90˚ out and humid like a rainforest. Wait until the storms predicted for the end of the week. You really have to want to suffer to get one of these things.
For those of you looking for an alternative acquisition method, the first place in this line is being held by representatives from Keep A Child Alive, the African AIDS charity, who will be auctioning off the first phone purchased on eBay to benefit their organization. At least in this case, the premium price won't be wasted on people sitting around for three days.
At 5:00 a.m. on Monday, the two iPhone enthusiasts stationed themselves outside Apple's Fifth Avenue flagship shop in New York City's Manhattan borough, assuring their first and second places in line. Yes -- they plan to remain there till Friday evening and are seeking food and MetroCards as donations.Well, God bless them for having so much time on their hands! We would suggest adding some deodorant to the donation list.
With its plethora of AT&T shops and two big Apple outlets, we expect the city to be full of lines of anxious, determined tech heads waiting to get their hands on the precious, universe-altering device. RACKED tells us that Craigslist is already featuring ads for placeholders to save your spot in what will is predicted to be a mini-heatwave until 6 PM Friday when retailers will close and re-open to launch the phone.
It's going to be a long (stinky) week for some people.
• Barneys has finally been sold!
The troubled Jones Apparel Group has officially uloaded the luxe specialty store chain for $825 million, more than double the $400 million it paid for it only three years ago. The big spender is Istithmar, an investment arm of the Government of Dubai. If they are smart, they will do exactly what Jones did and keep intact the creative and merchandising staff (Simon Doonan, Julie Gilhart etc.) who have hung on through so many ownership changes so customers won't notice any difference. As far as new stores go, now we know there are deep pockets to keep the chain's expansion rolling along. Dubai...don't they, like, grow money over there?
• Our friends over at RACKED tell us that the latest rumor is that Fifth Avenue's giant Mexx store is set to be repaced by a giant, get ready for it...Juicy Couture store!
We know, it's a stunning development. Since Liz Claiborne owns the lease it only makes sense that after they booted a failing brand from their most prominent real estate, that they would replace it with their fastest rising star. The question is just how fast can they burn out this brand in Manhattan? This would be their fourth store opening here in just over a year. Perhaps they discovered that Bleecker Street, for all its exclusivity, is perhaps not the ideal spot for a flagship sized store. Fifth Avenue, however...
Hermès finally flung open the doors of its much-talked-about downtown branch today after a star studded launch party last night. The French luxury legend is a pioneer of sorts in the neighborhood which is soon to be home to a Tiffany while every company from Nordstrom to Jil Sander is said to be casing the area for their own outposts.
Island of luxe though it may be, it is here, insisting on calling the 4,000 square foot store Hermès Wall Street despite the fact that the actual store does not actually front Wall Street at any point. It is in fact on Broad Street, directly across the way from the New York Stock Exchange, the most iconic of locations. The question is will they make it there, or will the store die a slow death, bereft of enough like-minded neighbors?
We think they'll live, and to ensure their survival, the company has predictably merchandised this branch with an eye clearly focused on the district's mostly male and mostly rich weekday professional population. If Madison Avenue is the place to go for an Hermès scarf or to get on the Birkin bag list, then this is the store to visit for a tie. Or perhaps a zillion ties.