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WHISK's Flatiron Shop Is Ready For Cooking

A few decrepit looking storefronts near the Flatiron Building have just been rehabbed, and there's something satisfying in seeing the first one opening not with yet another of the national brands that pounce as soon as a retail space in the neighborhood becomes available, but a young, local chain. Popular Williamsburg kitchen store WHISK has just opened its first Manhattan location on Broadway between 21st and 22nd streets, offering a smart complement to nearby ABC Carpet & Home, Fish's Eddy and Eataly. If it's selection and depth that you need, then Bed Bath & Beyond is over on Sixth Avenue, but if you want to save time and avoid annoying crowds, then Whisk has the Kitchen Aid mixer that you are going to wind up choosing anyway. In fact, the store has a stock of solid, quality goods that are just as well curated for an enthusiastic home chef as they are for someone who is just starting to put together a kitchen from scratch. The folks here seem to have weeded out the cheap, entry level merch as well as the excessively opulent choices like big, expensive multi-piece cookware sets in favor of well- considered individual items you can buy one at a time. Even the costly Mauviel French copper pans seem chosen for people who want them for actual cooking rather than just hanging them from the kitchen ceiling for show.

Aside from merchandising expertise, Whisk has charm and personalized service on its side as well. Expanded from the Brooklyn original, the baking section is designed to look like a vintage candy store (pictured above). The bar section has also been expanded for the more urbane location, and while Whisk's knife selection looks promising online, that particular corner is still not yet set up. So if you are weary of picking through superstores or hoping to find what you need at discounters, Whisk has now arrived in Manhattan to keep your kitchen in order.

WHISK 933 Broadway between 21st & 22nd Streets, Flatiron District.


Nordstrom Officially Taking West 57th Street Location —In 2018

Well, we said don't believe it until it's confirmed, and yesterday's press conference at the company's Treasure & Bond specialty store in SoHo with Mayor Bloomberg in tow should be confirmation enough for anyone. Seattle based department store chain Nordstrom has finally chosen the base of yet to be built skyscraper planned for 225 West 57th Street at Broadway for its first New York City store. Here are the facts you have been waiting to hear:

The store will be Nordstrom's tallest at seven floors encompassing 285,000 square feet. That's bigger than Barneys and Bergdorf's Women's Store, but smaller by half or more than Saks, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale's and certainly Macy's Herald Square. The site extends through the block to 58th Street and is expected to have a main entrance on Broadway. So far, no architect has been chosen for either the store, or the building it will be anchoring which is being built by Extell Development. Interestingly, Nordstrom will not be paying rent, but will buy its space as a commercial condominium for a price that was not disclosed, but is sure to be breathtaking. Ultimately, store executives found the 57th street tower to be a less risky location than the Hudson Yards site the company had long been rumored to be circling according to Nordstrom’s director of merchandising, Peter Nordstrom who appeared at the conference as well as Extell President Gary Barnett.

There will be endless discussion about the effect Nordstrom will have on the neighborhood and the city's shopping scene in general, particularly in regards to the chain's famous high service ethic, but the store is not expected to open its doors for six years, so that will give competitors plenty of time to up their game.

Nordstrom will have a bit of work to do as well before it sails into Manhattan, particularly in securing vendors. While many customers know Nordstrom as moderate to high end store, it's flagship locations carry designer collections comparable to Saks, Bergdorf's and Barneys top offerings. The chain will want to put its best merchandise in the New York store, but many of those exclusive designers operate with very exclusive distribution strategies. It may take six years to convince some of the vendors they will want to carry to add another point of sale in midtown Manhattan without cannibalizing strong businesses thay have developed at Saks, Bergdorf's and Barney's along with their own boutiques.

But now the game of speculating where Nordstrom will go is officially finished. Now we have six years of watching the skyscraper and store go up and waiting to see what happens when everyone's favorite store from the Pacific Northwest goes up against a team of native New York retail powerhouses.

Nordstrom To Open First Full-Line Store In NYC (Nordstrom.com Press Release)


Adam Lippes To Return As Designer Regains Control

ADAMss2007Fans of Adam Lippes' sumptuous t-shirts can take heart.
They're coming back!
Lately there has been a continuing industry story as young designers have run into disagreements with their backers that pushed them out of the labels that bear their names or shut them down entirely. Recently we have seen acclaimed designers Simon Spurr and Doo-Ri Chung leave their own brands, and Adam Lippes' ADAM label shut down by its parent company along with his NoLita and Meatpacking District boutiques shuttered.

Today brings news that Lippes, at least, will not be down and out for long as he has bought his brand back from Kellwood, the huge apparel company that had been backing the label for the past couple of years. The deal also nullified Lippes' non-compete clause, so he will be re-launching his signature collection as well as the popular men's and women's ADAM basics lines (those t-shirts) next Spring.

When ADAM debuted on the runways (pictured above), he garnered a coveted WWD cover as well as support from Anna Wintour, a mainstay at his early shows, but the designer ran into trouble after Kellwood purchased his brand and management changes caused difficulties including late deliveries. Now Lippes will keep things small with a three-person SoHo-based design staff. He tells WWD,

We’re not interested in the very big commercial business where more is more, more, more. I want to go back to how we started out, which was more about friends and family. I want to go back to almost taking the ego out of it. I want there to be an appreciation for what we do. The business had lost its charm and intimacy.

Sounds like the words of one who has been burned by a corporation. Here's hoping that Spurr and Chung get the opportunity to regroup and relaunch as well. In the meantime, we'll be waiting for more of those sweet t-shirts to his stores next year. You can never have too many of those.

Adam Lippes Buys Back Namesake Label (WWD)


Latest Nordstrom Rumors Focus On West 57th Street

1780BwayAt some point, Nordstrom will build a full-line store in Manhattan, but, for more than a decade, the question has been where? The chain has been placed at numerous sites in the city from the former Drake Hotel site at Park Avenue and 56th Street to the Hudson Yards development on the far West Side to any number of other spots around town WWD tells us that the latest location under serious consideration is in a skyscraper set to be built at 225 West 57th Street with a main entrance at 1780 Broadway. In a point of confusion, WWD has mistaken the building for another being developed by the same landlord at 157 West 57th Street between Sixth And Seventh Avenues which was also under serious consideration by Nordstrom. This more recent choice is reported to be under rapid development, and expected to be completed by the end of 2013, which could put a Nordstrom opening as early as Spring 2014.

There are pros and cons in many of the sites Nordstrom has considered, but this one looks like it may be  among the most favorable. Nordstrom almost always insists on its own buildout with its own very specific store design. This would be one of the rare sites in midtown Manhattan that would allow for this requirement. The corner store on Broadway and West 57th Street would put the chain in an area with a golden combination of wealthy residents, high tourist traffic and hotel density and close proximity to numerous subway lines. Nordstrom may never get an opportunity for a better location. Drawbacks may include the fact that the site is far west of Manhattan's luxury sweet spot which begins at 57th and Fifth and extends East to Park Avenue. Moving West on 57th street, one finds a less prestigious mix of stores heading toward Broadway, though Nordstrom's strength as a draw could ultimately change that. The Shops at Columbus Circle has already improved the area's retail mix somewhat. Still, its neighbors would include a TJMaxx and a (possibly faltering) Daffy's, not Chanel and Prada. The store ultimately could serve as a West Side counterpart to the Bloomingdale's Flagship at 59th and Lexington Avenue, creating a new luxury shopping corridor between Fifth and Broadway. After all, if there's any city that loves a new shopping corridor, it's New York.

As with any Nordstrom news, this is to be taken with more than a few grains of salt, but this rumor seems to have a lot of traction. Nothing is official without an announcement from the family-controlled company, and they have been notoriously picky, so stay tuned, and expect a twist or two.

Nordstrom Search for Manhattan Flagship Continues (WWD)
Nordstrom selects different West Side Extell space for its New York City flagship (The Real Deal)
Nordstrom finally coming to Manhattan (NYPost)


Perry Ellis Getting Its Own Retro Rebranding This Fall

It's official. Returning a brand's logo to a look that reflects more exciting times is a fully fledged thing. Fashion bloggers are still abuzz about Yves Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane's decision to return his company's ready-to-wear brand to one resembling its original 1966 look. Saks Fifth Avenue did it a few years ago when it ditched a '90s era logo for a new version of the fancy script that identified the luxury store in the '70s and '80s, and now the Perry Ellis brand is returning to the iconic logo that was originally created for the label in 1978. This fall, the company will unveil a new mens' collection for Spring 2013 designed by Duckie Brown's Daniel Silver and Steven Cox meant to elevate the brand out of the moderate category and back into the designer arena where it was born. The Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown label is expected to look something like this:
That's part of the image that Silver and Cox posted on their brand new Tumblr to announce that the collection is now being shown by appointment to retail executives and buyers in advance of a runway debut set for New York Fashion Week in September. The elegant, widely spaced Helvetica font is very much the same as the one the Perry Ellis company used until several years ago when it was replaced with the one you can currently find on the brand's products. Though Perry Ellis has been regular menswear participant during Fashion Week for quite a while now the company stopped producing designer level collections after Marc Jacobs was fired as designer during the early '90s in favor of focusing on licensed products and a moderate men's line that has been a longtime mainstay at stores like Macy's and Dillard's. Even the women's collections designed and shown by Patrick Robinson nearly a decade ago were never put into production, a source of frustration for both the designer and the stores who wanted to buy the line. This new co-labeled collection, however is meant to put an end to the brand's odd tradition of just-for-show-fashion shows. The new/old label evokes the heyday of the brand as the company re-enters the category in which it most flourished.

So who will be next in this retro-rebrand trend? Should Versace revive the wiry, Art Deco-inspired logo from that brand's inception? After all, it's recent men's runways show looks like it was sent by time machine from 1992. It looks like the "Heritage" trend that has been sweeping through men's sportswear and workwear for the past few seasons is now finding new life by winding its way through the ranks of designer names.

Duckie Brown Journal (Tumblr)

How's That Yves Saint Laurent Store Coming Along In SoHo?


Nike Running Hits The Finish Line
This Thursday

InsideNikeRunningLast week, we shot this look through an open doorway at New York City's first Nike Running store while it was under construction, but the folks at Nike have just informed us that the store is already almost ready for customers. Opening day is this Thursday, so running enthusiasts should mark their calendars. The store will feature 9,000 square feet on two levels designed to cater to their every athletic need.

This will be the largest Nike Running store in the U.S. and is slated to include a host of high-tech gadgets and services including digital gait analyses, Nike+ technology and other interactive programs.

In addition, Nike has pulled out all the stops to be as responsible in the construction of the store as possible. It has been registered with the U.S. Green Building Council, and is anticipating LEED® Gold certification for optimizing energy efficiency and using recycled and reclaimed materials —including reclaimed wood from the bleachers of a local, New York college. For customers, the store will offer the Nike Reuse A Shoe Program which will recycled customers's old, donated shoes to produce all kinds of things including sport courts, bags and new shoes for starters.

How did New York runners ever survive without such a place until now? The store will be found at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 20th Street not too far from hometown sports superstore Paragon and  independent fave specialist JackRabbit Sports, but more importantly, Nike Running will be just a stone's throw from New Balance's recently relocated Experience store, making that stretch of Fifth something of a battleground for the two running shoe brands. You can enter the fray This Thursday at 10 AM.

Nike Runing Flatiron 156 Fifth Avenue at 20th Street, Flatiron District


Narciso Rodriguez, Geren Ford, Surface to Air, Brian Atwood, Paul Smith, Grenson, Missoni, Ferragamo, Tory Burch, Theyskens' Theory

Here is your weekly sampling of some of the brands you can expect to find on the bigger online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events, and be sure to check for the correct start time for each sale. Happy clicking!

Badgley Mischka/Mark & James, Judith Ripka, I.Miller by Delman, Plenty by Tracy Reese, Stuart Weitzman, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Façonnable, White + Warren, Noir, Gryson, Narciso Rodriguez, Kenneth Jay Lane, Firth, Rachel Pally, House of Harlow 1960, Geren Ford, Surface to Air Shoes, Vince, Foley & Corinna, Sigerson Morrison, Susana Monaco, Brian Atwood, Magaschoni —join HERE
Paul Smith, Happy Socks, Mason's/Gilded Age, A. Testoni, DKNY Underwear, WeSC, Hyden Yoo, Grenson, Vanishing Elephant, Puma, Pro-Keds, Dolce & Gabbana, Façonnable, Pantherella, VBN, Valentino, Oliberté —join HERE
Missoni Home, Bath & Robes, Bric's, Cuisinart, Bashian Rugs, Kai Fragrance, Steve & James Outdoor Furniture, The Land of Nod, Melissa & Doug, Toobydoo, Bensiomn Kid's Shoes —join HERE
Tory Burch, Hanky Panky, Bobby Jones, Josie Natori, Nat Nast, Charles Jourdan, Theysken's Theroy, Cloé/Balmain/Just Cavalli, Peacock Alley, Casadei, Betsey Johnson, Kenneth Cole, Cuisinart, French Sole —join HERE
Kinetix, Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada, Cynthia Steffe, Kooba, Alexander Wang, Tom Ford, Corso Como, Pour La Victoire, Kenenth Jay Lane, Loro Piana, Wyatt, Gucci —join HERE
Covet, DL 1961, Kenneth Cole, Sonicare, THML, Matiko, Naya, Tart, Yansi Fugel, Lenox/Gorham —join HERE
Stitch's, Project Alabama, Calvin Klein, C&C California, elie Tahari, Dolce Vita, Kensie, Cosabella Swimwear, Dockers K-1 Premium, Betsey Johnson, O'Neill, Silver Jeans, Puma, D&G, NAOT, Jessica Simpson —join HERE
MG Black Label, ZIRH, Anna Sui, Billy Reid, Lafayette 148 New York, Alpha Industries, Ruffoni, Yves Saint Laurent, Original Penguin Shoes, General Idea Sunglasses, Melissa, Carolina Amato Scarves, C'N'C CoSTUME NATIONAL, French Connection, Big Star Denim, Eva Franco, Hale Bob, Donald J Pliner —join HERE Damiani, Isabella Fiore, SIGG, Melissa & Doug, Saint-Honoré Watches —join HERE
Pandora, Rösle, Caravan Pacific, Vinylux, Old Mountain, MONO Case, Uglydoll, Dwell, Broksonic, nuLOOM, PilyQ, Gewoon Jewelry, Culinarium —join HERE


Matthew Williamson Is Exiting The Meatpacking District

If you are a Matthew Williamson fan, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that there's a great sale at his West 14th Street boutique right now. The bad news is that it's because the store is closing after tomorrow. Racked is reporting that designer is looking to relocate, possibly uptown to Madison Avenue. We have no further details, but with Stella McCartney gone and Alexander McQueen always said to be on the verge of ankling the neighborhood, it looks like the neighborhood's shift to bigger brands that can cover higher rents is accelerating.

Matthew Williamson in Meatpacking Is Closing on Saturday (Racked)


A Muted Pride For Downtown Shops

As the big New York Gay Pride Parade approaches this Sunday, The Shophound has become accustomed to seeing city retailers, especially those located downtown, express some support for LGBT Pride month with window displays, but this year we have noticed that many stores are taking a pass this year. We'll admit that we haven't done an exhaustive search —mainly because it's 100 #$@&ing degrees outside— but fewer stores seemed interested in participating even as the President recently expressed unprecedented support for Marriage Equality and New York State has legalized gay marriage. Even some Bleecker Street stalwarts like Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren's newly re-shuffled stores seem to be sitting it out this time around.

BloomingdalesPride2012That doesn't mean that display windows are entirely free of sentiment, however. Bloomingdale's has teamed up with underwear brand 2(X)IST for a rainbow of underpants and a headless mannequin (at left) in the Broadway windows of its SoHo store to celebrate Pride, and the Gap's Flatiron store on Lower Fifth Avenue (which is on the parade route) has installed the traditional rainbow of colored t-shirts (above) along with a mannequin couple and an image from the chain's recent GAPpride2012-A"Be Bright-Be One" campaign featuring a male couple that got conservative activist groups all hot and bothered (at right).

Of course, there are always the unofficial acknowledgements that are up for interpretation. We have argued that it's always Gay Pride time at Abercrombie & Fitch, and over at sister store Hollister in SoHo, it has officially been Summer for a few week now as the pair of doormen flanking its entrance are now in their surf shorts for the duration of the season. As always, you can make of this particular work uniform what you will.