After covering most of the city's other main shopping neighborhoods, it looks like Apple has finally found the right spot to service the Upper East Side's computer customers. The V.B.H. boutique at 940 Madison Avenue at 74th street is about to become Manhattan's sixth Apple Store, and one of its most elegant. No official announcements have come from the company, but as with the Grand Central Terminal store, construction permit applications from Apple's favored architecture firm have confirmed the past few month's rumors. While the exterior is not expected to change —it is protected by being in the middle of the Upper East Side historic district— the gallery-like, Peter Marino designed interior of V.B.H. is expected to be demolished. The building began its life as home to the U.S. Mortgage & Trust Co. and more recently, housed home furnishings brand Mackenzie-Childs before becoming V.B.H. about a decade or so ago. Part of the building is also occupied by jeweler David Webb. There's no word yet on whether or not it will stay put, or have to find yet another new location of Apple takes over the entire building.
This leaves us with the question of exactly what is to be come of the soon to be vacating V.B.H.? Started by Valentino alum Bruce Hoeksema, it was positioned as an uber-exclusive luxury brand featuring lavish precious jewelry and exotic handbags and accessories presented in a discreet but opulent environment across the street from the Whitney Museum. Bergdorf's and Neiman Marcus were wholesale clients, but the brand's recent clearance sale at Soiffer Haskin featured an alarming abundance of handbags, and the brand's website appears to be defunct. Will V.B.H.'s exit from Madison Avenue be its final exit, or is it simply shedding some increasingly expensive overhead? Time will tell, but in the meantime, Upper East Siders can look forward to a more convenient location for the nearest Genius Bar.