With the Critical Shopper column apparently back in rotation, today's Thursday Styles offers Jon Caramanica's assessment of the Hedi Slimane-ized Saint Laurent boutique in SoHo. Though it's technically not the flagship which is on 57th Street, it is the city's fullest iteration of the creative director's vision for the brand. As has become his habit, Caramanica brings along a friend, this one a lady who has been steeped in high end retailing, to cover the women's sections of the store, and she seems to be having a ball. While he deems the store "gorgeous," our shopper has slightly less luck when it is his turn to try on the goods and the once friendly service suddenly starts to lag,
I picked a few items I wanted to try on and looked around for our clerk, but his doting days were done. First he was gone, then he served another customer, then he pulled the wrong sizes and forgot to bring out all the items. He offered a follow-up call about jeans that weren’t in stock, but never followed through.
And then the illusion falls away. As a menswear designer, our shopper sees Slimane "mostly knocking off himself," which is not a great place to be when you have only been running the show for two seasons.
Critical Shopper: Bridging a Generation Gap at Saint Laurent By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)
Saint Laurent 80 Greene Street between Prince & Spring Streets, SoHo