Fivestory's Clearance Returns Downtown + Dover Street Market Transforms For Fall

The Sample Sale Season has tapered off by now, and if you haven't gotten your fill from Proenza Schouler's one day sale yesterday, then you might want to head to the Bowery Hotel sometime between today and Wednesday the 23rd for the return of FIVESTORY's Hotel Sale (pictured above). The Upper East Side's quirkiest luxury store has brought back its off-site clearance for what looks to be a seasonal event. The Shophound stopped by for a preview yesterday and found the unassuming basement space crammed with goods. A broad range of the store's exclusive range of designers was included on those tight rolling racks, but as with most such sales there wasn't more of one or maybe two of a particular style to be seen, so there is a little bit of luck in finding a great item in your size —but that's really what these things are all about. We saw notable pieces from labels like Balmain, Alexander Wang, Carven and Giambattista Valli to name a few. Spring '14 items were marked at 60% off the original retail, but the real deals were the previous season items at 80% off. There were greater size ranges for men, and many sportier items whose sale prices even fell under $100 from cult labels like Wings + Horns, White Mountaineering, Sacai and Visvim. Beautifully made leathergoods from Lotuff were standouts as well as bins full of cashmere knitwear from designers like Christophe Lemaire as well as classics from Fivestory's own label. What you may want to do first is check the shoe stacks, of which there was an abundance. Gianvito Rossi, Aperlai, Sergio Rossi were all well represented for women, and Mark McNairy New Amsterdam fans should head there immediately for the men's shoes which also offered Del Toro slippers, Ovadia & Sons classics and Maison Martin Margiela's Converse collaboration. The space is a bit cramped and can crowd up easily, but anyone hankering for just one more Summer bargain should make a point of visiting before the sale ends. Have a few looks at the sale in the gallery below.

For those of you who are sick of clearance and ready for new goods, DOVER STREET MARKET is undergoing its first tachaigari in New York. This is the Comme des Garçons-operated store's seasonal "new beginning" for the upcoming season in which a whole new look id created for the multi-level boutique. Promised changes include a redesigned 4th floor and new environments for Prada's and Nike's shops with new exclusive items throughout the store. Closed since yesterday, the store reopens on Saturday when it will introduce new collections like Hood by Air, Melitta Baumeister and J.W. Anderson's first collection for Loewe as well as a host of fresh collaborations including Sacai x Vans, Rick Owens x Adidas, Raf Simons x Adidas and the latest batch of Riccardo Tisci's Nike x R.T. sneakers. If that's not enough to entice you to Kips Bay, remember that on Saturday only, the store's popular Rose Bakery will be serving free drinks and snacks all day long, which is definitely not something that happens every day.

FIVESTORY Hotel Sale through July 23 at the Bowery Hotel, 355 Bowery, entrance on 3rd Street, East Village
Dover Street Market reopens on July 19, 160 Lexington Avenue at 3rd Street, Kips Bay. 

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Avant-Garde Vortex Edition

09zJPCRITICAL1-superJumboRight on cue, today's Thursday Styles has the Critical Shopper take on the extravagant Comme des Garçons Dover Street Market multi-brand complex that opened last month near absolutely nothing in Murray Hill. It is the male ocunterpart Jon Caramanica who takes on this task, but gender hardly matters at the store which mixes men's and women's lines randomly throughout the store. Our shopper sees it as a Wonderland for those New Yorkers, native or not, whose aesthetic proclivities might find them disenfranchised elsewhere, represented in microcosm by the staff, which "— uniformly beautiful, uniformly friendly — suggested the population of Rei’s Ark after rescuing everyone living at fashion’s edges: chipper kids in beat-up Rick Owens next to neo-organicists in Visvim next to willowy things in Demeulemeester dresses, all huddled for warmth." Like Alice's Wonderland, however, there are pitfalls along the trails.

On the days I visited, around the recent snowstorm, the place was filled with tourists, so it’s no wonder half the floors feature what essentially boils down to a Comme des Garçons gift shop. This is the gauche shadow cutting across Dover Street: the PLAY Comme des Garçons Converse sneakers with those now-unbearable hearts, or any number of goofy wallets, or the distractingly pajama-like offerings from Comme des Garçons Shirt.

His tip is to avoid the tourists and their designated merch, and instead watch for the adventurously styled locals who have come to pay tribute to patron saint Rei Kawakubo. That's where the show is, and if you happen to be one of them, you will immediately find yourself at home.

Critical Shopper: Inside With the Outsiders By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)
Dover Street Market New York 160 Lexington Avenue at 30th Street, Murray Hill/Kips Bay
Auspicious Arrival: Dover Street Market Opens With An Eclectic Splash


Dover Street Market Opens With An Eclectic Splash

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We knew it would be an event, but we weren't totally sure that we would see a line stretching all the way around the block of people eagerly awaiting entry when Comme des Garçons' Dover Street Market opened its doors for the first time on Saturday morning. The Shophound groaned, but begrudgingly queued up and felt a little bit better when we noticed that the president of Estée Lauder was a couple of people behind us. At least it was a high-class line, full of Comme des Garçons enthusiasts dressed specially for the occasion. A few minutes after 11 AM opening moment, however, we were relieved when a staffer came down the line to pull out anyone who wasn't waiting for a special Supreme limited edition release, and let us right into the store. So, the line really wasn't as bad as all that, but it made for a dramatic picture (below).

The question was whether or not this store could live up to the full year of anticipation for what was supposed to be New York's most exciting new store in some time? The answer depends on what excites you in a store. If you like a posh, plush shopping environment where things are clearly ordered, categorized easy to find, then you might be flummoxed by Dover Street Market's cerebral and occasionally surreal seeming set-up, but if you are the kind of shopper who likes to explore a store and searches for surprises, then the shop for you has arrived.

The key to enjoying DSM, is not to think too much or have a particular destiniation in mind, at least at first. The store is designed for wandering and discovery. Things start out looking logical and ordered on the first floor with the Rose Bakery, a jewelry and accessory section, and a three-month Louis Vuitton section under a wooden cage that will switch from men's to women's in Fesruary. Venture upstairs, however, and thing begin to take on a more free-form arrangement. There is no distinction between men's and women's designers, though some designers will put their men's and women's collections in different area. Customers are encourage to ignore such arbitrary distinctions, and much of the sales staff happily demonstrate the results of such thinking. If you are concerned about the proper gender requirements for wearing culottes, then keep moving up Lexington Avenue until you get to Bloomingdale's. You'll be happier there.

As promised, wood is the pervasive design element throughout the store, in all its forms, mostly unfinished. Rough wooden shacks placed in the middle of each floor serve as dressing rooms, and the whole place kind of smells faintly of a lumberyard, at least for now, while everything is new. Of course, some designers like Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent and Thom Browne simply adapted their signature retail schemes to their sections, and seemed less exciting for it. Others took the opportunity to have some fun. Even hyper-controlling Prada decorated its intimate space with an unusual mural that seems inspired by the set from the recent Spring 2014 runway show rather than boilerplate Prada store interior. Vuitton's wooden cage resembles nothing found in its own boutiques, and fit in more with the spirit of the store even if its current offerings, a men's Spring collection featuring signature pieces with specially designed badges and appliqués designed by artist Terence Koh, falls on the more conservative side of things.

Odd surprises abound. Tucked into a corner we discovered what almost looked like a storage closet, but was actually the Good Design Shop offering a Muji-like selection of humble and practical items. Nearby, a display for Michael Costiff's World Archive offers a rotating selection of antiques and artifacts from faraway lands. We could go on and on describing each corner, but it won't compare your own visit. we spent about an hour inside, and still feel like there's plenty of stuff we missed, so we are looking forward to a return visit. Luckily, the staff was not terribly discouraging of photography (which will probably change soon), so have a look at the gallery at the top for just a few interesting views of the store, and plan a visit for yourself when you are in an adventurous shopping mood.

Dover Street Market New York 160 Lexington Avenue at 30th Street, Murray Hill/Kips Bay


Dover Street Market Opens In 1 Month

We have been waiting, and true to its promise that it would open beofre the end of the year, Dover Street Market will open its doors on December 21. The Saturday before Christmas is generally an odd date to debut a store what with it being right as pre-Holiday markdowns start to kick in, but Comme des Garçons, which owns the multibrand multi-level store, is clearly in it for the long haul, last-minute Christmas business be damned. We will soon know not whether customers will flock to the corner of 30th Street and Lexington Avenue for the store (We are pretty sure they will), but how, if at all,  an exclusive luxury store will affect the surrounding, slightly sleepy Murray Hill neighborhood. Will there be a gentrifying DSM effect on Murray Hill?

Included in the announcement is a list of labels to be available at DSMNY, as this third iteration of the international chain will be abbreviated. Along with some of the usual suspects like all of the Comme des Garçons brands and other shoo-ins like Saint Laurent, Thom Browne and Azzedine Alaïa, there are a few intriguing, unfamiliar names on the list, which goes as follows:

A.P.C., Aganovich, Alex Da Corte, Alexander Wang, Andre Walker, Ann Demeulemeester, Arakawa and Gins, ATTO, Azzedine Alaïa, Bamford Watch Department, Black Comme des Garçons, Calxvive, Casely Hayford, Casey Casey, Christopher Kane, Comme des Garçons, Comme des Garçons Comme des Garcons, Comme des Garçons Homme, Comme des Garçons Homme Plus, Comme des Garçons Shirt, Comme des Garçons Shirt Girl, Daniela Gregis, DSM Bag Space, DSM Jewellery Space, DSM Showroom, DSM Sneaker Space, DSM Shoe Space, DSM Sunglass Space, DSM Wall Shop, Erdem, Ganryu, Giambattista Valli, Good Design Shop, Graham Hudson, Greg Lauren, Jil Sander, Jonathan Saunders, Julien David, Junya Watanabe, Junya Watanabe Man, Juun J, J.W. Anderson, Katerina Jebb, Lauren Kelly, Lena Lumelsky, Leo Sewell, Lewis Leathers, London Fieldworks, Louis Vuitton, Magda Sayeg, Mark Cooper, Maison Rabih Kayrouz, Michael Costiff’s World Archive, Moscot, Nike, Nina Ricci, Noir Kei Ninomiya, Paco Rabanne, Peter Pilotto, Play Comme des Garçons, Prada, Raf Simons, Repossi, Rick Owens, Rose Bakery, Sacai, Saint Laurent, Simone Rocha, Supreme, Thom Browne, tricot Comme des Garçons, Undercover, Visvim, Yang Li and many, many more…

It's an interesting, eclectic mix. We can't wait to see how it all shakes out when it opens, so join us in marking our calendar for Saturday the 21st.

Dover Street Market New York opens December 21 at 160 Lexington Avenue at 30th Street, Murray Hill
Under Construction: Dover Street Market Is Quietly Gestating In No Man's Land