Saks Off 5th Coming To East 57th St.

Saksoff5th Honestly, we didn't plan to be spending so much time on Saks today, but news is news and the New York Post is reporting that Saks Off 5th, the chain's off-price division, has signed a lease to take over the former Daffy's space at 135 East 57th street between Park and Lexington Avenues. This is significant not only because it will be Saks' second Off 5th store in Manhattan, once considered off limits to the luxury department store's discount division, but because it comes perilously close to the midtown luxury shopping district on Fifth and Madison Avenues. In fact, the new store will only be about a 20 minute walk from the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship at 49th and Fifth and a mere two blocks from Bloomingdale's. Saks has already announced its first Off 5th Manhattan store opening next year at 1 Liberty Place in the Financial District.
While the Post has no confirmation on the specific size of the lease, it reports that the former Daffy's store was estimated at 60,000 square feet and the store is expected to open sometime next Spring. The three level space includes some street level selling area with most floor space on two concourse levels below. Landlord Charles S. Cohen reportedly held out for three years to sign a tenant that met his requirements which on the one hand demonstrates a tenacious resolve, but on the other, represents a growing problem in Manhattan and other cities where prominent, high priced retail spaces sit empty for months and years on end while landlords wait for deep pockets tenants which may never materialize, creating rent blighted stretches of storefronts in otherwise upscale and thriving neighborhoods.
Anyway, that's all the Saks news we have today. . . until something else pops up.

Off-price division of Saks to open new shop at pricey NYC digs (NYPost)


The Bloomingdale's Outlet Will Open in 11 Days

Upper West Siders have been anticipating the opening of New York City's first Bloomingdale's The Outlet Store, and the retailer's website confirms that the store will open its doors one week from this Saturday, November 21st. The Shophound peeked through that door a few days ago (pictured below) to discover that the store is currently in "finishing touches" mode sprucing up the former Urban Outfitters location which should quickly turn into "stocking the shelves" mode if all activity is on schedule. Passersby can now gauge progress through the diamond-shaped peepholes on the windows pictured above. Like its presumed competitor, Nordstrom Rack, the Bloomingdale's Outlet is expected to carry a smattering of merchandise culled from full-line store clearance, with a stronger focus on off-price goods from similar vendors to those one would find at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue. As the neighborhood has lost two major off-pricers, Lehmann's and SYMS/Filene's Basement, in recent years, it will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Though it's the first to open within New York City, the store will be the fifteenth Outlet store in the Bloomingdale's chain, and given the current dominant business model of full-priced department store chains bolstered with a generous fleet of outlets, it wouldn't be unrealistic to expect to see more of them sooner rather than later. So far, we haven't heard about any opening day promotions yet, but we will be keeping our ears out for them and posting accordingly. In the meantime, let the countdown begin.


When Barneys Returns To Chelsea, It Will Look Very Different

A lot of veteran New York shoppers were delighted last year when it was revealed that Barneys New York would take over part of the original store on Seventh Avenue in Chelsea where it became a retailing legend. Anyone who thought that the old store (pictured below in a 1989 archival photo) would somehow be recreated, however, is in for a surprise. The new Barneys in Chelsea will be doing more extensive remodeling on the space than the intervening tenant, Loehmann's, ever did before moving in.
Were you hoping that those display windows would once again hold some whimsical Holiday displays? Those windows have been blown out along with the rest of the entire street level façade of the building, which we noted a few weeks ago. Yesterday, we spied a flat rendering of the new store's front elevation (pictured above) posted on the plywood covering the construction site which indicates that the dramatic entrance to the previous store is being completely removed in favor of a more innocuous set of glass doors. A stone wall will bear the store's signage, and it appears that most of the rest of the front will be glass. We are guessing that it will offer a view directly into the store rather than serve as display windows, more like the smaller, former Co-op stores in Brooklyn and on the Upper West Side. This will be a disappointment for anyone who had held out hope that Barneys would give a nod to the old Chelsea store by reproducing or at least restoring part of what remained there. Of course, we should know by now that the current executive team has no interest in nostalgia for classic Barneys. In fact, given the opportunity to preserve or tear down anything that would remind shoppers of the original store, they almost always go with tearing down and replacing with slabs of marble and glass. We have become accustomed to this by now, but shopping nostalgists in New York should be prepared for the likelihood that Barneys' grand return to Chelseas may not be quite as grand as they might have been hoping for.

CONSTRUCTION REPORT: Barneys Will Have A Whole New Storefront In Chelsea



Hickey Freeman Heading Back Downtown

HickeyThe Financial District remains a pull for retailers looking to expand in Manhattan, and Brookfield Place is confirming its position as the headquarters for luxury stores with the addition of a new Hickey Freeman boutique slated to open in January next to the upcoming Saks Fifth Avenue store. Commercial Observer is reporting that the fabled men's tailored clothing label has signed a 10-year leaser the 974 square foot store. While Brookfield place has collected an unprecedented group of luxury retailers for the neighborhood together, Hickey Freeman is the kind of merchant —traditional men's clothing— that has always found a home in lower Manhattan with its concentration of office buildings full of men in suits. While its last downtown store was a SoHo outpost for its erstwhile younger label, Hickey, the suit maker has had a rocky run over the past several years, with trouble at its parent companies and changes in ownership and creative direction that stalled its momentum. Things seem to have settled down now, and the brand tapped David Hart, one of GQ's Best New Menswear Designers for 2015, as its creative director earlier this year. The downtown store will be the brand's first under Hart's direction, so it should be a good hint of how a once stodgy suit maker will move forward into the future.

Hickey Freeman Dressing Up Lower Manhattan Dudes With New Store (Commercial Observer)


The Balmain x H&M Lookbook Shows Olivier Roustieng's Greatest Hits

The Balmain x H&M lookbook images have officially hit the web a couple of weeks earlier than we would have predicted, probably as a result of an unexpected leak several days ago  that was probably the fault of H&M's webmasters. Anyway, the looks are out, as much like the majority of H&M's previous designer collaborations, the collection is essentially a compilation of designer Olivier Roustieng's strongest signature looks over the past few years.
Graphic black and white? Check.
Jewel toned satin? Check.
Brass buttoned military coats? Check
Embroidery encrusted minidresses? Check..and so on.
That's a good thing for Balmain fans, and generally, it's also a recipe for a sellout launch on November 5th. Maison Margiela proved that H&M's designer collaboration customers prefer glitz and glamor over cerebral intellectual looks, and Balmain is providing sparkle and shine in generous doses.
Though a full price appears not to have been released, some prices have trickled down so we know that the biker pants in faux leather will be $99, the black and gold ankle sandals will be $199 and the thigh-high suede boots will be $349. The most expensive pieces appears to be the black and white embroidered jacket for $549 and the fuchsia beaded dress for $499, which is really pushing the boundaries of H&M's pricing for these lines, but it seems that there is little price resistance for these collaborations.
After the jump, have a look at the complete lookbook for men and women.


The Balmain x H&M Lookbook Shows Olivier Roustieng's Greatest Hits" »


Want Les Essentials Will Open In A Former Marc Jacobs Store Next Month

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.

The Montreal Brothers Behind a Jet Set Leather Brand (NYTimes)
Storefront Shakeup: Marc Jacobs Eliminated One Of His West Village Stores


APPLE WATCH Meets HERMÈS For Its First Collaboration — Updated With Details

'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
- $1,250
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
- $1,500

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


Continue reading "WATCH WATCH:

APPLE WATCH Meets HERMÈS For Its First Collaboration — Updated With Details" »


& Other Stories To Join COS On Fifth Avenue For A Late October Opening

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.

Flagship Flash: COS To Open On Fifth Avenue In Former 42nd Street H&M


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.


Totokaelo from Seattle and Repetto From Paris Set To Enter SoHo

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.

Totokaelo Readies Crosby Street Location, Repetto to Open First Store in Manhattan (WWD)