Gwyneth Goes Live At Columbus Circle's GOOP MRKT

For whatever reason, Gwyneth Paltrow has become one of those celebrities that "the internet" just loves to try to take down a peg or two. Is it just a result of being a successful flaxen-haired beauty who has an Oscar? Who knows, but when she started Goop, her email newsletter turned lifestyle enterprise, people really got their hackles up despite the venture's obvious success and warm reception among her actual fans. Paltrow has brought her business to another level today by opening Goop MRKT, a Holiday pop-up store at The Shops at Columbus Circle which will run through December 24th. This is her fourth Goop shop, but her first in Manhattan. We are sure that her band of critics will have their knives out, but, honestly, when The Shophound breezed by the shop earlier today, we couldn't find a great deal to criticize. The modestly sized shop neat the 58th Street entrance to the shopping center has been spruced up with a paint job, some judiciously applied moldings and a few eclectic chandeliers. While we will not exhaustively catalog the contents of the shop, we can say with confidence that if this is an expression of her personal style and favorite items, then the woman has some damned good taste.
There are three sections, with one each devoted to food, cosmetics and fragrances and fashion. The food section, which includes a cappuccino machine presumably installed to serve customers, features a combination of cookbooks, new items like Staub cast iron cookware and antique pieces like a particularly eye-catching set of green and white Bavarian chinaware in the window among other items. In the next section there are soaps, fragrances and other cosmetic items, but the main thrust of the store appears to be fashion and accessories, including an exclusive capsule collection of star-spangles separates inspired by Wonder Woman designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri for Valentino. There are antique watches and jewelry items mixed in with brand new accessories, and the label roster includes labels like Nili Lotan, Carven and Stella McCartney to name a few. For a pop-up, it seems quite well merchandised, more like something that could sustain itself far longer than 31 days, perhaps indefinitely. Is it expensive? Sure, but so are about a thousand other stores in New York, so that's hardly much of a criticism. Really there was only one thing that we could find to criticize —that name, Goop MRKT
What? You're too good for vowels now, Gwyneth?

Goop MRKT through December 24th at 10 Columbus Circle at 58th Street, Upper West Side


Nautica & Lands' End Pop-Ups Push Upscale

Let's just put it out there, The Shophound can sometimes be easily swayed by food.
The prompt offer of hot chocolate and cookies from the nearby City Bakery upon our entrance to Nautica's Holiday season pop-up store (pictured above) in the Flatiron District a couple of days ago was a smart move on the part of the moderate department store mainstay brand. We declined the cookies, mainly because we didn't want to look like too much of a hog, but who can pass up City Bakery hot chocolate? That's not some cheap cup of Swiss Miss, and besides, it forced us to browse for at least long enough to finish sipping our rich and creamy treat.
Oh, yeah, the store. Why we found there was a bit different from what you'll come across in pretty much every Macy's in America. Nautica, like nearly every middle of the road menswear brand is looking to capture an upscale customer who won't be caught in a moderate department store. That's why they have made a special collection for the shop, which features luxurious cabled cashmere sweaters and a sweet raw denim peacoat in place of the more prosaic chinos, windbreakers and polo shirts that the brand is known for. To complement the offerings, Nautica has added Jeans from 7 for All Mankind and Jansport backpacks instead of counterparts from their own brand to mimic the label mixing at the stores like J.Crew and Club Monaco whose customers it hopes to attract. In addition, the store is relaunching the Nautica women's line in the U.S. with similarly uplifted items. Will the gambit work? Nautica's signature navy and white palette has classic appeal at any price point, and boating as a pastime always has an air of the upper classes about it. It remains to be seen if Nautica will be embraced by the more affluent customer it is chasing after so many years of stylish runway shows snd presentations of collections never seemed to fully materialize at retail, but the store shows that the brand can make a case for a more elevated product line if they manufacture it and give people a chance to see it up close.
A similar strategy is under way on a larger scale at the Lands' End temporary store at the long empty Fifth Avenue site (below) that has been home to a string of former Liz Claiborne-owned brands (Liz, Mexx, Juicy Couture) for the better part of two decades until that conglomerate broke apart a few years ago. Most of Juicy's glitz has been finally erased from the space except for the elaborate wrought-iron and brass railing on the staircase connecting the two levels. Stripped down to concrete floors, the store's makeshift ambiance is emphasized by unfinished wooden fixtures and installations (pictured above) which is the perfect backdrop for. . . more cashmere!
Eager to shed the association with its former parent company Sears, Lands' End is also looking to upgrade its fashion image along with its customer base, and what better way to do that than with the multi-ply cashmere poncho that greets customers as they enter the store or maybe a surprisingly trendy navy and white sailor stripe crewneck? With some high profile new execs with tonier backgrounds, the company has hinted that it may stick around at its current Fifth Avenue home permanently. At the moment, it is offering a highly curated array of classic items from its vast inventory in addition to the cashmeres. Chief in the offerings is outerwear, a Lands' End staple. The menswear in particular is showing the touch of its new creative director with more colorful jackets and classic heavy flannel shirts in in updated prints. There are plenty of Holiday gift items, of course, but, more importantly, Lands' End has a whole bar and lounge serving hot chocolate along with its own chocolate mint and salted caramel cookies. After all it will be important to keep your energy up during the upcoming shopping season.

Nautica Pop-Up Shop 134 Fifth Avenue between 18th & 19th Streets, Flatiron District
Lands' End Holiday Pop-Up Shop 650 Fifth Avenue at 52nd Street, Midtown


You'll Get The Hard Sell At The HIKE NIKE Pop-Up On The Bowery

It's a constant struggle in stores to find the correct balance between being welcoming to customers and smothering them with attention, information and "experience". At this month's HIKE NIKE pop-up on the Bowery, we aren't sure thatchy are even bothering to try.
A typical complaint in New York City stores is that people either can't find sale help or are treated dismissively by the ones who are available. Not so at Hike Nike. The moment The Shophound walked into the temporary store a couple of days ago, we were descended upon by a genial Nike representative who proceeded to give us a lengthy spiel about the store and its various attributes, which while informative was also slightly oppressive. Let us breathe Nike people. It's not that the store doesn't need a bit of explanation. The front room serves as a mini-museum of sorts featuring the evolution of classic Nike styles such as the iconic Cortez into the more rugged ACG styles that fuse sneakers with hiking boots. If that designation sounds familiar, you may remember the ACG sub-brand from the '90s when it was created for the brand's trail running and hiking styles. Now, ACG is being relaunched more for style under the Nike Lab division, aimed at the city dwellers who probably accounted for much of the brand's success the first time around when they snapped up now classic styles like the Lava Dome and the Terra Humara. The store has even organized a series of "city hikes" over the course of the month to re-acquaint New Yorkers with the concept. Upstairs, there is a preview display of the sleek new ACG capsule collection launching on December 2, and in the back room visitors can try on ACG items to purchase or pre-order —and you will get a lot of help. In fact, we couldn't even enter the back area without making sure we were registered with Nike.com. Once past the gate, the new Nike Lab Sneaker-boots on display looked great, mixing classic Nike looks and flyknit styles with heftier, more rugged soles in serious shades of black and army green. Getting the fashion right has never been Nike's problem, but a lighter touch on the service might do a bit better on selling the Hike Nike concept.

Hike Nike NYC 135 Bowery between Broome & Grand Streets, Lower East Side
Have a look inside of the store after the jump

Continue reading "URBAN JUNGLE:

You'll Get The Hard Sell At The HIKE NIKE Pop-Up On The Bowery" »


Pop-Ups On The Way From Lands' End, Tie Bar, Spyder
and . . . Marc by Marc Jacobs?

Holiday shopping season is almost upon us, which is the perfect time for any number of companies to get their feet wet in New York's daunting retail scene with pop-up stores. There is possibly no better way to gauge customer interest and get some crucial brand awareness than to have a temporary store on one of the city's high-profile shopping streets. here's a few to look out for with plenty more to come.

The Tie Bar is making a return appearance in the West Village at 411 Bleecker Street with an elegant shop already open and filled with impossibly inexpensive furnishings (pictured above). While even mid-range designer ties can reliably cost more than $100, The Tie Bar's neckwear offerings start at about $19 and rarely hit north of $30. Socks, belts, suspenders and, yes, actual tie bars and clips are all similarly priced, in a setting that could easily double for a much more expensive shop. The former James Perse women's store has been transformed into a genial haberdashery that will be open through the Holidays until January leaving plenty of timer any guy to get himself properly turned out for any occasion.

This week, look for upscale athletic brand Spyder's pop-up store at 68 Greene Street in SoHo to open its doors. We aren't sure exactly how long this one will be with us, but they are bringing the U.S. Ski Team to their opening party, so expect it to be a must-visit destination for the city's serious winter sports men and women while it lasts.

LandsEndPopUp650FifthOn November 11th, that white elephant at 650 Fifth Avenue that used to be the Juicy Couture flagship store (pictured at right) will finally get a decidedly less glitzy occupant as Lands' End moves in for for an extended stay through the end of January. While the longtime mail-order favorite has a small fleet of retail stores as well as a diminishing count of in-store shops in former parent company Sears stores, it has never had a flagship-sized store on this scale in a market like New York. After having been spun off from its flailing parent, Lands' End has been staffing up with some impressive hires including key executives with merchandising experience at places like Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and J.Crew. Don't look for the brand to go all haute luxe right away, but an updated fashion image is in the offering. The brand has poached noted menswear designer Ian Velardi away from Bonobos as design director, and we already know he has a gift for adding a modern edge to traditional clothing. If things work out well enough, there's a hint that Lands' End may stay past January depending on the response from Holiday shoppers.

Finally, back own Bleecker Street, there's a bit of a pop-up mystery brewing. The windows at Marc Jacobs' teeny tiny men's store at 382 Bleecker Street have just been blacked out, leaving a message that reads, "Marc by Marc Jacobs Pop-Up Opening August 30th". We all know by now that the Marc by Marc Jacobs label will be history after this season as the line gets re-absorbed by a newly expanded main Marc Jacobs collection. Is the shop staging a final fare-well sale or a greatest hits collection? At the very least, one has to wonder how you can call your own longtime store a pop-up shop? We'll find out on Friday.


Former JCPenney Spokesperson Ellen DeGeneres To Team Up With Bergdorf Goodman For Pop-Up Shops

EllenbyRozmanWWDSometimes it takes a while to find the right business associates.
It was just a few years ago that Ellen DeGeneres became the face of a radical makeover of mass market department store JCPenney. As we recall, it didn't go too well for anyone involved, but since then, Ellen has forged a new merchandising path with a more upscale lifestyle brand, ED by Ellen that launched online earlier this year. In a belated celebration of the new brand, the comedian turned talk-show-host turned designer will make a decidedly more luxurious statement by opening at the city's most opulent retailer, Bergdorf Goodman.
From labor day until the end of September, ED by Ellen Decorative Home will have its own in-store shop in Bergdorf's home furnishings department on the 7th floor. It will be the first time that any of DeGeneres's merchandise will be available to see and purchase in-person in a retail setting. Apparel offerings from the label will be available online at BergdorfGoodman.com, though they don't appear to be scheduled for an in-store appearance at the moment. While Ellen's pared down and casual style, as well as more accessible price points, might seem more suited to store with a broader customer base like Lord & Taylor or even Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman president Josh Schulman told WWD that her "amazing sense of style" will resonate with Bergdorf customers, elaborating, “we do a tremendous business with brands with a simple aesthetic, a refined, clean aesthetic and we believe this will be something fun for them.” Schulman calls the specially curated offerings "the elevated expression" of the brand. Apparel items will range from a $45 T-shirt to a  $1,495 hand-knit cashmere fisherman scarf, which seems priced well within Bergdorf's wheelhouse. In the home section, items will include barware and ceramic tableware and a handwoven cashmere throw going for $3750 among other selections. While the pop-ups are currently slated to be a one-time event, an ongoing partnership has not been ruled out depending on customers' respone to the new brand.

Ellen DeGeneres and Bergdorf Goodman Getting Together for Fashion Pop-up (WWD)


Shoppers Are Going Nuts For Target's Lilly Pulitzer Collaboration Right Now In Bryant Park

Our friends at Racked got up at the crack of dawn, bless their hearts, to see what the response would be to Target's one-day pop-up shop for the upcoming Lilly Pulitzer collaboration. Apparently it was good, because reports have eager customers lined up around the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue just to get inside the tent set up for the event. New Yorkers have been known to swarm to these pop-ups that Target has staged in the past, but they haven't done one in a while, and we wondered if the very specific Lilly style would have as great of an appeal as the Liberty of London and Missoni collaborations had in past years.
It looks like it does.
If you want to hit the pop-up today, plan on a long wait, but if not, now you know to be extra prepared and be an early bird when the collection gets officially launched on Sunday in Target stores and online.

Lillypocalypse: Hundreds Lined Up to Shop Lilly for Target at Bryant Park (Racked NY)


Don't Miss The Todd Snyder City Gym Moving Sale This Week

Todd Snyder's City Gym has overstayed its welcome.
That's not to say that anybody is sick of it. Quite the contrary. What was supposed to be a temporary store created to launch the designer's collaboration with the athletic sportswear label Champion has proved to be so successful that it hung around much longer than planned, and now it really has to close at the end of this weekend. It won't be gone forever, however, A store staffer confirmed to The Shophound that it will reopen again soon in a location that is not quite ready to be announced just yet, so in the meantime, Snyder is holding a moving —not a closing— sale at the spacious Elizabeth Street store. If you missed the extremely good sample sale that took place there several weeks ago, this is another opportunity to save as much as 75% off both the Champion line and the signature collection from the past season, as well as have a second crack at a few choice pieces of Snyder's Southwick-made tailored clothing and furnishings collection whose prices have been reduced even further from the previous sale and are now a real steal.
While the City Gym concept has obviously proved to be successful, we can't help hoping that the new store, wherever it may be, might be even more of a showcase for all of Snyder's collections, and possibly even give us New Yorkers a chance at the more affordable White Label suit and furnishing collection that currently is available only at Nordstrom. So there's a request for you, Todd, if you are listening.
We're looking forward to seeing the new store appear soon, but, in the meantime, take advantage of one more great sale before the Spring season fully kicks in.

Todd Snyder City Gym Moving Sale through February 14th at 242 Elizabeth Street between Houston & Prince Streets, NoLita


There Is Now An Hermès Store In Grand Central Terminal

If you had told The Shophound a few years ago that Hermès would be opening a store in Grand Central Terminal, we would have definitely raised that one eyebrow that we can raise at you. However, in the past few years, the historic train station has seen an unlikely open-air Apple Store arrive on the East Balcony, and an elaborate Hermès installation and pop-up has appeared in The Shops at Columbus Circle.

Having seen all that, our eyebrow remained relatively in place when we discovered an Hermès Silk Bar newly opened at the corner of the Lexington Passage off the main concourse at Grand Central. The tiny shop is offering scarves, ties and enamel jewelry, so it is hardly a flagship, but still an extra handy option for the commuting spouse to stop in and grab a gift for the almost forgotten husband's or wife's birthday. Despite the signature looking geometrically patterned tile floor, it is, in fact, only a pop-up that will close in January. Of course, given the terminal's constant efforts to upgrade its retail tenants, we wouldn't be surprised at all if Hermès ultimately wound up with a permanent outpost in the station.

Hermès Silk Bar open through January at the Lexington Passage at Grand Central Terminal, Midtown


Fendi's Pop-Up Tests SoHo's Waters

We can now count Fendi among the international luxury brands that have added a downtown outpost to their midtown brand palace flagships —at least for the next six months. They may be a bit late to the game (with Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Burberry and Saint Laurent beating them to it to name just a few) but the legendary Roman leathergoods brand quietly opened a temporary store on the corner of Greene and Prince streets in SoHo just this past Saturday (announced on Instagram above). 122 Greene Street, formerly the home of Wolford, will now host a Pop-up Fendi Store through the end of the year featuring a revolving monthly theme including special one-of-a-kind items unavailable in any other Fendi store. This month offers "Minis" which presents small versions of popular Fendi handbag styles like 2jours, Peekaboo and Selleria in a stripped down, bare brick environment with an amusement arcade decor that shows merchandise in the whimsical customized vending machine displays first seen at Fendi's London pop-up at Harrod's last season.

Beyond the general excitement of a new luxury store, the new store marks a new expansion effort from the label that also includes a move of it's main flagship from Fifth Avenue to the corner of Madison Avenue and 57th Street. It's more than likely that this pop-up, if successful, will be a precursor to a more permanent position in downtown Manhattan. “SoHo is one of the most vibrant shopping destinations in the world for local and international customers,” Fendi chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari tells WWD. “It is important for Fendi to secure its presence here and we are fortunate to have the chance for the next six months.” While the 630 square feet at 122 Greene Street may be a little on the small side for a brand with as much to offer as Fendi has, don't be surprised to see the brand showing up in a permanent home sometime in the next year or so. In the meantime, have a look below at Fendi's promotional video below before you head down to Soho to check it out in person.

Fendi to Pop-Up in SoHo (WWD)


Everlane's "Transparent" Pop-Up Store Starts Today In SoHo

We have been intrigued by the online retailer Everlane since their Holiday Pop-Up shop in appeared in the Meatpacking District a couple of Christmases ago. It featured not a typical fashion line, exactly, but a collection of basic but carefully designed items made from high quality materials whose prices were restrained by maintaining low business overhead costs. It was an innovative strategy, and it seems to be working because now they're back, and they have plenty of new products to present. This time there's a company philosophy to show off as well in what they are touting as their biggest pop-up shop yet. Starting today, the Everlane Open House has landed in SoHo where the label will not only offer its expanding product range, but also show the manufacturing progression of every single item including where the materials came from, where they were manufactured into the final product and every cost along the way. The brand hopes to encourage customers through this unprecedented level of transparency, and while most of the line will only be available to try on and order, their popular, meticulously made t-shirts and accessories will be available in stock for take-away purchase for the first time. In addition to general shopping, ther's a whole schedule of events throughout the two weeks with partners like Kaufmann Mercantile, simplehuman, and ABC Carpet & Home, which are filling up fast. The shop will run for the next two weeks, and though a permanent Everlane store might fly in the face of the brand's low-overhead philosophy, it certainly wouldn't be an unwelcome addition to the city's shopping scene.

Everlane Open House through June 28th at 199 Lafayette Street between Kenmare & Broome Streets, SoHo