Sometimes a short lead time is so much better than months and months of anticipation and buildup. If anyone was wondering whether or not there would be a follow-up to last year's collaboration between Nike and Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci, there will be.
After last year's colorful remaking of the iconic Air Force 1 sneaker, Tisci is taking on another beloved model, the Dunk. The NikeLab Dunk Lux High x RT re-proportions the classic sneaker with a higher high top, a bigger swoosh and a deeper sole that should already have fans lining up outside the few outlets where it will be sold. The black version with a white swoosh is the first to arrive on February 11th, and the reverse, white with a black or red swoosh will follow in the coming months much as the varying colorways were doled out in last year's collaboration. As the previous team-up was more about decoration, this time around it is a more minimalist take on the collectors' favorite. “The Nike Dunk has a fascinating legacy,” Tisci says in a press release. “It has been both mainstream and niche, adopted by communities of varying size and influence. But no matter the model, the Dunk has always had a cultural cachet that, as a designer, I’m quite drawn to.”
The NikeLab Dink Lux High x RT sneaker will be available at NikeLab retailers like the boutiques on Mercer Street in SoHo and inside Dover Street Market as well as other select stores who have remained unnamed but very likely comprise the usual suspects who sold the last collaboration (Kith? Barney's? etc.). It will also be available online at nike.com/nikelab, so set your alarms to line up early, and look for it to be the prized footwear of choice among runway showgoers as Fashion Week shifts into high gear for the women's collections.
So it's not exactly the best week to go out Sample Sale shopping what with the sidewalks piled waist high with heaps of snow and the propensity for more, darker, dirtier slush growing as the week continues, but there are some signs of life during this quiet stretch of the season.
Because of the blizzard, DENNIS BASSO had to cancel the weekend days of his sale at Soiffer-Haskin, but don't worry of you think you missed the boat. The sale is now extended through Friday, so there's still time to go nab that discounted sable coat.
While your shoe thoughts may be running to sturdy, knee-high waterproof storm boots right about now, you may want to shift gears for UNITED NUDE's seasonal sale which started yesterday at its NoHo flagship store and features both high-tech casual sneakers for men and women as well as more innovative high heels at an enticing 70% off. Shop through Saturday the 30th.
Starting today, Upstart fur outerwear and accessory label JOCELYN will be taking 70% off its collections in the Garment District. Look for bold, colorful and fairly well-priced coats, jackets and vests that have garnered a following amongst Instagram style stars. Shop through Thursday the 28th.
Tomorrow, THEORY will kick off its seasonal round of multiple samples sales at Chelsea Market. Known for running a series of sales (another one is already set for next month) this one is designated women's only and promises up to 70% Off through Saturday the 30th.
On Thursday, up and coming menswear designer ERNEST ALEXANDER is offering up to 80% off his men's bags, accessories and sportswear (pictured above) for two days only in his NoMad showroom. Look for one-off samples and prototypes along with regular stock.
Finally, gentlemen looking for savings on the most elegant hand-tailored clothing can be relied upon to converge upon Soiffer-Haskin for the seasonal KITON sale starting on Sunday the 31st. Look for the celebrated Neapolitan label's complete offerings to be available including suits, luxury sportswear, dress shirts and furnishings and shoes through Wednesday the 3rd of February.
See our SALE ROLL sidebar for locations and details as well as late breaking sales and schedule changes. Next week, keep an eye out for a women's PORTS 1961 sale and an ALICE and OLIVIA blowout in a new location. Shop well!
In today's Thursday Styles, this week's Critical Shopper Molly Young makes her way to Soho to check out the Repetto flagship or Mecca for generations of ballet flat fans. it is not, however, the eternal ballet flat that interests out shopper this week. She gives it its proper historical context (Brigitte Bardot, Kate Moss, Amy Winehouse etc.), and there are clearly lots of them to be had there for both professional dancers and civilians alike, but it is the other items at Repetto that really catch our shopper's eye. The well priced sportswear gets its due, although it seems a little bit too well-priced to have actually been made in France, but the item that sticks is a fawn-colored ankle boot. "It felt like having someone gently blow kisses toward my foot from a distance," she describes, which seems tough to resist, even for $425. And yet, the delicacy that makes it such a treat for her feet is also its chief drawback, How could such a dainty piece of footwear stand up to the rough sidewalks of New York? Of her trusty shopping partner she finally says, ". . .I’m grateful for friends who remind me of the important things in life — like keeping the maximum amount of shoe between me and New York City’s fathomless secretions," —perhaps finally remembering the heartbreak of having a new pair of shoes destroyed by the very streets of the city we call home. We have all been there.
Critical Shopper: Be a French Girl. Or Just Look Like One. By Molly Young (NYTimes)
Repetto 400 West Broadway between Spring & Prince Streets, SoHo
Though it appears to have converted the entire city to Stan Smith and Superstar devotees in the past year, sneaker giant Adidas has been playing a catch-up game on the retail front in New York City. Since Niketown landed on East 57th Street, its arch-rival has been carefully colonizing the city with a more exclusive Sportswear store, an even more exclusive appointment only Fitness studio and Nike Running stores around the city, along with various pop-ups when appropriate. Adidas, however has contented itself with an Originals store on Wooster Street (soon to move to new digs on Spring Street) and a brand flagship not far away at Broadway and Houston Street. Things will change, however, in about a year when, according to the Observer, the brand finally ventures north to Midtown to unveil a 34,000 square foot North American Flagship store on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 46th Street. Once an HMV superstore (remember those?), and most recently a Build-a-Bear Workshop, the store will be twice the size of the current Broadway store across three floors, but more importantly, it will be better positioned to capture all that precious tourist traffic. It is projected to open in late 2016, by which time, the once moribund stretch of Fifth Avenue between 42nd and 49th Street will be even further along in its ongoing upgrade from second string location to a Varsity-level retail mix.
Adidas Nabs 34K-SF East Midtown Space for New North American Flagship (Commercial Observer)
Fans of burgeoning Italian designer shoe label Aquazzura will be flocking this spring to the block that the Whitney Museum just vacated when the label debuts its first freestanding store in the United States. Currently under extensive renovation, the retail space in the row of townhouses just to the museum building's south will be the label's new home (as pictured in the rendering above). The Commercial Observer reports that the label, founded by former Ferragamo shoe designer Edgardo Osorio in 2011, will take 2,221 square feet including ground floor and basement space. While Madison Avenue's prime stretch has traditionally been thought to be between 57th and 72nd Streets, designers have been pushing northward for some time. The new boutique will fall between 74th and 75th Streets, and a Spring opening will coincide with the Metropolitan Museum taking over the museum building which will be known as the Met Breuer after its esteemed architect. More to the point, Aquazzura's shop will be in just about the same spot as Christian Louboutin's first New York store. You can now find those red-soled slippers a block or so to the north, but if the location works half as well for Aquazzura as it did for its acclaimed colleague, the label should easily break out of its insider-y niche status.
Italian Luxury Shoemaker Opening First U.S. Store in Manhattan (Commercial Observer)
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
Well, we heard that due to some chaotic behavior at the last one, the Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale might take a different form this year. We know that there will be a benefit sale in Connecticut on the 14th of this month which some thought might supplant the one in New York, but no. The NYC sale is happening RIGHT NOW at its usual Warwick Hotel location on 54th Street and Sixth Avenue on the second floor until 5 PM. There was, obviously, no advance notice, so maybe you won't have to contend with lines of people who got up at the crack of dawn. Prices are promised to be from $125 to $550, approximately 80% off. Cash Only.
Run, run run!
Good luck shoe mavens!
Today's Thursday Styles brings us Critical Shopper Jon Caramanica's visit to shoe guru Louis Leeman's new boutique on Madison Avenue. Before taking on Leeman's store, Caramanica takes the opportunity to assess the current craze for extremely expensive, highly embellished designer sneakers. The term sneaker is relative here, as none of these shoes are actually meant for real athletic activity, but then, most of the covetable instant sell-out Nikes that get customers to camp out on the sidewalk for days in advance will never see the floor of a basketball court either. Our Shopper is more amused than appalled, and he calls Leeman the love child of his Madison Avenue neighbors, combining the craftsmanship of John Lobb with the unbridled glitz of Giuseppe Zanotti.
Ultimately, this is what seems to flummox our shopper. We never really thought he would go on a spree there, but it turns out that, along with noticing some consistency problems, Caramanica finds that the Leemans he tries on are neither flamboyant enough to be outrageous nor classic enough to be elegant.
Maybe it was the lighting — diffuse, soothing, slightly yellow — but in the mirror, they seemed almost dull
It turns out that on Madison Avenue, the middle of the road takes you nowhere.
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.
Adidas Originals has a distinctive store on Wooster Street (pictured above) with a retractable garage door-style front that opens up to the street when the weather permits. It's a cute, memorable store that does a great job of representing the sub-brand's image only a few blocks away from the big Adidas flagship at Broadway and Houston Street.
For a corporately owned showcase, it has some personality.
So it's moving.
The Observer reports that Adidas has leased a 3,100 square foot space with another 2,100 square feet in the basement for 10 years at 115 Spring Street between Mercer and Greene streets that used to be the Opera Gallery, one of the few remnants of the days when SoHo was really a gallery district with a few high fashion boutiques scattered throughout. Reportedly, the gallery's lease was bought out by the landlord, apparently to snare a more lucrative retail tenant.
Though it is currently on a desirable but relatively quiet block of Wooster between Houston and Prince Streets, the new space will bring Adidas Originals a little bit closer to the hustle and bustle of SoHo's Broadway stretch on the more heavily foot-trafficked Spring Street. The store is eyeing a September opening, but it is unlikely that the open-air front will be replicated in the landmarked district, so enjoy the airy Wooster Street shop while you can.
Adidas Relocating Soho Store to SL Green Property (Commercial Observer)