Is The Bank Epidemic Over?

After the John Varvatos shop opened on the Bowery, everyone (including us) had the same qualifying refrain: "Well, it's better than a bank"
As it turns out, the space probably wouldn't have become a bank anyway.
Even six months ago, the rampant expansion of bank branches in the city resulted in the alarming displacement of many a retail business including, most infamously, beloved institutions like The Second Avenue Deli. It seemed that banks were popping up everywhere, sometimes two to a block even in quieter, residential neighborhoods. They were willing to offer rents above market rates for a prime spot, and landlords were only too happy to oblige. With the current woes in the financial world, those days may well be over.
The Real Deal reports that Commerce, Chase, Citibank and Wachovia among others have pulled back on their plans for additional branches, and consolidations in the industry may even lead to some branch closures.
And so, here is the unexpected benefit from an economic downturn: Increasing rents stabilize, and overinflated ones even drop a bit. While it may not be enough to keep every independent store from losing its lease to a chain store, it may just put the brakes on runaway retail rents for a while, and possibly save your favorite neighborhood shop.
Bank branch bust opens doors to retailers (The Real Deal)

Links For Another Bright Sunny Day

It's looking like another gray, drizzly morning here in NYC. Here's some entertaining stories while we wait for the onslaught of fall store openings:
Kate1Fishbowl NY has discovered Kate Moss' 12 steps to her continuing supermodel superstardom.

(Fishbowl NY)Kimora

The Daily reports that Baby Phat has already informed several prominent editors that their runway show is totally full, and will not be able to accommodate their presence...before they requested any tickets. And we thought it was just us.

(The Daily)

Rivers The Washington Post's Pulitzer winning fashion scribe Robin Givhan gives us a profile of lifelike resilient showbiz barnacle red carpet queen Joan Rivers, and then gives us her own wry take on Emmy Fashions.


We've already talked about the state of shoes. A recent visit to Bergdorf's & Barneys found the battle lines drawn with the sleek and elegant Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin on one side and the superchunky Prada, Chloé and Marc Jacobs on the other. Fashionologie is going ape for the chunk, so what do we know? She also identifies the nearly unrecognizable star models in the new Lanvin ads. Such a useful girl!


We Can't Bring Ourselves To Do It

Img_1016This has been a disturbing development for a while, and this little window at Barney's just reminded us. We know that they are the latest, chic-est, very last word in premium denim, but we just can't seem to bring ourselves to wear jeans from a company named after a dreaded skin condition that makes teenagers miserable (although the price is also something of a deterrent).Img_1017 Really......ACNE? Couldn't they think of a better name? Maybe it means something else in Sweden where they come from, but still, what a way to ruin perfectly good jeans.