Last month, The Shophound discovered that Marc Jacobs had quietly closed one of his colony of stores in the West Vilage (above left) with little sign of who would take over the lovely little shop on the corner of West 4th and Bank Streets. This week the New York Times solved that mystery when it announced that the widely admired cult accessory brand Want Les Essentials de la Vie will open its first standalone boutique next month in the West Village, accompanied by a photograph of the label's founders, identical twins Byron Peart and Dexter Peart standing in front of the unmistakable arched windows of the former Jacobs store (above right).
Now that we know that one of the prettiest storefronts in the neighborhood won't be dark for long, we can look forward to the opening of the Montreal-based brand's new boutique. The label's steady rise over the past nine years is chronicled in the Times article, which indicated that while the shop will stock both men's and women's complete Want collections, including the new men's shoe line, it will also, as is the current vogue among independent designers, carry items from other vendors including apparel from Comme des Garçons Forever and objects by Viennese designer Carl Auböck.
There's no specific opening date announced for the Want store, but as the Jacobs store was previously set up as an accessory shop, and it is not a huge space, an opening in October seems quite reasonable, and it will add to what is turning out to be one of the best seasons of new store opening s that we have seen in some time.
Apple's new product announcement event is still going on as we type this, but the biggest fashion news for the tech giant was pushed to the front of the agenda as its first Apple Watch collaboration was announced with none other than the most luxe of the luxe, Hermès.
Is that exclusive enough for you?
This was a development that was conspicuously not bandied about by the tech blogs which have been breathlessly reporting on rumored product developments for the past few weeks (giant iPad Pro with high tech pencil stylus confirmed), so it was a genuine surprise.
The Apple Watch Hermès will be available in October at select retailers. it comes with a classic single strap, signature double tour (see image above) or wider cuff strap, all with a customized Hermès watch face. Perhaps this is the push that was needed to get the Apple Watch into real luxury players like Barneys and Neiman Marcus. So far we have no price info yet for the watches, but stay tuned. We will update as soon as more information is released.
Now that Apple has updated the Apple Watch page, we can offer some more specific details about the new collaboration.
For starters, these are emphatically not separate bands for individual purchase as has been reported by some outlets, but only sold with Apple Watches in polished stainless steel and a custom Hermès face that will only be available on these models. Here are the prices for the three styles:
Double Tour in 38mm with four band colors: Fauve, Etain, Capucine, and Bleu Jean
Single Tour in 38 or 42mm with Fauve or Noir bands. Capucine band only in 38mm
- $1,100 and up
Cuff in 42mm with a Fauve band
The Cuff style has a cut-out in the back of the watch to allow the heart rate sensor to be in contact with the wrist. So far, we do not know if versions of the band can also be purchased with the gold Apple Watch Edition, but it is not listed as an option on the site.
As for stores that will be carrying the watch next month, there are only 17 North American retail outlets listed including Apple Stores in Eaton Center and Yorkdale in Toronto, Aventura and Miami Beach in Florida, The Grove in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Santa Monica. Hermès boutiques to be selling the watch include Beverly Hills, Miami and San Francisco. The only third party retailer listed so far is Maxfield in Los Angeles. In New York, the watches will be available only at Hermès on Madison Avenue and the Apple Stores on Fifth Avenue, Prince Street in SoHo and Broadway on the Upper West Side.
After the jump, click to enlarge some official images of the three styles
As an example of how the bewildering PR system at H&M sometimes works, let us remember about six weeks ago when it was officially announced that the popular contemporary chain COS would be opening its second U.S. store on Fifth Avenue in part of the space on the northeast corner of 42nd Street that had been quietly abandoned by H&M, its parent company. What would take the rest of the space, we all wondered?
Well, no official announcement appears to have been made other than big sign in the window telling us that the other budding chain from H&M, & Other Stories, will be joining its sister for its second store in New York —and the entire U.S, for that matter.
We won't have to wait too long for the trendy chain's expansion. What must be a pretty firm opening date of October 30th is clearly included in the window, which makes this scenario a striking mirror of the stores' arrivals in SoHo when the more sophisticated COS was the first to be announced, but lagged months behind & Other Stories in actually opening to the public. On Fifth Avenue, COS is still "opening soon" which could mean this Fall, Christmastime, next Spring or just when they are damn good and ready.
We aren't complaining. We'll take more COS anytime whenever they want to give it to us, but now we know for sure that both of H&M's up and coming nameplates are on the road to expansion in New York and beyond. If the new stores are as well received in Midtown as they have been in SoHo, you can bet that there will be more of both coming your way soon.
The Complete UNIQLO and LEMAIRE Collection Will Be Exclusive To Only Two New York Stores
Everything you need to know about the upcoming UNIQLO and LEMAIRE collaboration line short of trying on the clothes themselves hit the web yesterday as the Japanese mega chain activated the collection's dedicated web page including price lists and a complete lookbook for everyone to preview. We'll get to the clothes in a minute, but the big news for New Yorkers is that the complete collection for men and women will launch on October 2nd in only two U.S. stores as well as online. Lucky for us, those stores are the two flagships on Fifth Avenue and on 34th Street. Selected items from the collaboration will be distributed to all Uniqlo locations, but from what we can gather they will only comprise about a quarter to a third of the entire offering. One more store, the Chicago unit set to open later in October, will also have the complete collection, but that's it, at least for this round of the project. Sorry, West Coasters.
This all means that the launch in October may recall the +J launches of years past, before we had multiple Uniqlo branches and e-commerce, and eager shoppers would line up outside the single SoHo flagship store to get the best pieces before they sold out —and you can expect some things to sell out quickly from this upcoming collaboration too.
Lemaire is not quite as well known as Jil Sander was when she unexpectedly joined forces with the mass retailer to create the +J line, but now that the collection has been revealed in its entirety —at least in photos— we can see that it was created for the same customer looking for something soigné and sophisticated at mass chain prices. If Lemaire and Uniqlo looks as good in person as it does in the lookbook photos, then they should have another hit on their hands. The prices range from $24.90 for casual knit pieces to $199.90 for a wool and cashmere men's coat. Most items are priced well under $100, with outerwear and cashmere knits comprising the most expensive pieces. The line, like the main Lemaire label, is less about trendy flash than luxury basics with an abundance of merino wool knits to be layered for practicality. Longer, flared skirts, draped tunic sweaters and special pieces like the asymmetrical cape (pictured above, right) show that the chain is not afraid of making a pitch to its more mature female customers, a strategy that files in the face of most millennial-obsessed fast fashion chains. For men (pictured below), there are what appear to be looser fitting shirts and easy, soft trousers that are right in step with the looser, more forgiving silhouettes that have surfaced in the most recent men's designer collections. With the launch just over five weeks away, eager New York shoppers would do well to go online, pick their favorite items and plan to be at either the Fifth Avenue or 34th Stores as early as possible.
UNIQLO and LEMAIRE (at Uniqlo.com)
Cue the Trumpian Xenophobia.
Two retailers from far, far away are set to enter the shopping fray in SoHo as the Fall influx of new stores starts taking shape.
First off, Seattle, Washington boutique Totokaelo (keep practicing saying that) will be opening its first satellite location at 54 Crosby Street between Broome and Spring Streets right next to the backside of Bloomingdale's. The store will occupy 8,400 square feet over five floors (rendering pictured above) and two outdoor areas in a narrow building with dramatic, open skylit spaces. Like the mother-ship in Seattle, the new store is expected to carry a curated mix of directional designer clothing for women and men like Haider Ackermann, Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester to name a few, along with home furnishings and objets d'art. The folks at Totokaelo are so dedicated to the store's expansion that they have moved their creative and merchandising teams to New York permanently. We won't have to wait too long to find out if the risk was worth it. Totokaelo is set to open just after Labor Day on September 10th.
New Yorkers will be somewhat more familiar with Repetto, the French footwear label best known for ballet flats in myriad designs and colors. The brand is set to open its first New York store on November on West Broadway in a 2,350 square foot space near Anthropoligie, Ralph Lauren's RRL and fellow Parisian Ladurée. The store is set to open just in time for the company's launch of the Opera line, its first collection of high heeled shoes. The label will also have space for its new ready-to-wear collection as well as fragrances, a special dance section and an atelier which can offer customization with a choice of 250 colors. Uptown Repetto fans can look forward to another another location near them, probably on Madison Avenue, to be announced soon as the brand embarks on a plan to dramatically increase its presence in the U.S. market and makes the transition form exclusive ballet-shoe resource to fully-fledged fashion brand.
In case you haven't noticed, Target is going all in with plaid for fall throughout its stores. Most of its exclusive brands are adding capsule collections in all kinds of tartan, but the centerpiece of the promotion is an exclusive collaboration with contemporary designer Adam Lippes set to drop on September 27th.
The line encompasses women's apparel —including plus sized looks— menswear —for those who have missed the designer's erstwhile men's collections of years past— accessories, shoes, pet items and tabletop.
Rather than taking the typical root to the Scottish highlands for inspiration, Lippes cleverly started with buffalo plaids and then re-imagined them, blew them up and morphed them into abstract windowpane checks for his collection which nicely reflects his signature, deceptively sophisticated casual style. Take a look below at what to pick for next month's launch, and, as always, plan ahead. Lippes may not have the name recognition of a Missoni or even Lilly Pulitzer, but Target's designer collaborations are back on track after a dry spell, so be prepared.
Many longtime New York dwellers like The Shophound still can't fail to cringe while strolling down Gansevoort Street when we pass the sad empty space at no. 69 where the beloved diner deluxe Florent (pictured above) used to welcome customers almost 24 hours a day. After the neighborhood stalwart was unceremoniously booted from the space in 2008, a succession of restaurants has tried to make a go of it in the space, but none succeeded, perhaps as a bitter reminder of the bad karma that builds up when an ill-advised landlord whimsically decides to push out a thriving neighborhood mainstay.
Well, the space's time as a restaurant has come to an end as Madewell has announced the address as it's newest Manhattan location. Expected to open sometime in 2016, it is not yet known exactly how much the space will be transformed, though it seems unlikely that it will still need a kitchen. While the interior will likely be completely changed, it is not yet known if the original R&L Restaurant sign and diner-style exterior will remain or if it can be altered at all as part of the Gansevoort Historic District. In any event, the string of post-Florent failures has made the space known as a cursed space for restaurants. Perhaps a change of purpose and a burgeoning national chain will revive the building's fortunes.
When H&M's sizable store at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue quietly closed several months ago, the speculation began as the Swedish chain maintained the lease and sources suggested that it would be converted to a new format.
Would it be COS or & Other Stories? One of the two H&M owned chains that debuted in SoHo a year or so ago was bound to be replicated uptown, and now it looks like COS will definitely be opening in the space sometime before the end of 2015.
And maybe the other one too?
The catch is that COS will only be taking 3,982 square feet of selling space, a fraction of the size of the former 2-level H&M store. Even with extra space for stock and back offices, that leaves plenty of room for another store, suggesting that & Other Stories could still expand uptown and take up residence next to its more elegant sibling, unless the rest of the space was subleased out which is another possibility.
In any event, New York shoppers will likely be thrilled to find another COS location. Even though 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue is heavy tourist company, COS has been a huge hit in the city, and the SoHo store is regularly packed with customers snapping up the brand's sophisticated yet well-priced collections. The upcoming store is part of a major expansion for the still relatively young chain. COS announced a major global expansion yesterday that included 5 more North American stores in addition to the Fifth Avenue unit. Look for the COS craze to only get bigger as the Fifth Avenue countdown begins.
Note: we originally misquoted the square footage of the upcoming COS store as 3,357 square feet. It has now been confirmed to us as 3,982 square feet.
In perhaps a new direction for Bleecker Street, the French luxury silver and tabletop brand Chrostofle is opening a small but undoubtedly elegant shop at no. 396 (pictured above), a new space reconfigured to create a retail shop in what was formerly a ground-floor apartment. We aren't exactly sure when the store's official opening is, but it appears that the company has already held a few preview events, and a peek through the sides of the window reveals that the store is fully stocked with the tabletop silver and holloware that Christofle is known for.
For a shopping stretch that has become known mainly for designer fashion, the new store has a whiff of a throwback to Bleecker Street's previous incarnation when it was a destination for fine antiques and luxurious home furnishings. But then the designers came and, well, you know...
Interestingly, for the first time in a while, there is suddenly an abundance of available space on the prized stretch of Bleecker Street between Christoper and Hudson Streets. As it happens, the new Christofle store is currently flaked by the empty former homes of Lulu Guinness and Jack Spade. Ten years after most of the street's longtime independent tenants were ousted in favor of more glamorous fashion brands, leases are coming up for renewal at dramatically increased rents, but where available storefronts were once snapped up as fast as they came up, they now linger. Aside form the Guinness and Spade sites, James Perse took over the large, defunct Juicy Couture store, leaving his previous two storefronts still wanting inhabitants. The former Jean Michel Cazabat turned ASH shoe store is now fully available, and the Manatus restaurant whose ejection bitterly disappointed neighborhood residents, has seen no one take over its space over a year after its departure. Perhaps the new Christofle store is signaling a broader mix of merchants for the West Village, but perhaps an ever richer one.
It is still hard for The Shophound to walk past the space on West 57th Street where gorgeous Beaux Arts townhouse that used to house the Rizzoli Bookstore once stood, but the good news is that the store's downtown replacement is scheduled to open in one week. July 27th is the announced date for the store's return at the respectably ornate 1133 Broadway at 26th Street in NoMad. The scaffolding covering the storefront came down yesterday as workers installed the windows and entrance for the new location (see the rendering of the finished store below), so we got an unscheduled peek inside. While it will be nearly impossible to recreate the midtown store's lavish interior, it appears that the new space will still reflect a similar elegance appropriate to the the St. James Building's Gilded Age style. It was a bit hard to see exactly how big the store will be, but it appears that it may connect at some point to the Italian cafe La Pecora Bianca set to open next month in the same building. We won't have too long to wait to find out for sure. As you can see in the photo above, the books are already on the shelves, so the chance to once again peruse your favorite art volumes, imported magazines and high class porn classy coffee table "erotica" books is only days away.