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Blog Spotlight: Cheryl Shops

CherylshopsLet's take a moment to recognize Cheryl Shops, a fellow blogger who is chronicling her own shopping adventures through the city. In addition, Cheryl gives us lots of valuable information about bargains and sample sales. The Shophound doesn't usually share this sort of knowlege because, frankly, we don't need any more people to elbow out of the way while reaching for that Dsquared2 belt or those Earnest Sewn jeans. Thankfully for you, Cheryl is far more generous than we are, and we think you will enjoy her musings on fashion and New York's endless pastime. Yes, Cheryl, we will get along very well.

Identity Crisis: Longchamp Arrives in SoHo

Img_0849With much fanfare (and dreadful timing…Memorial Day weekend?) Longchamp, the venerable French leathergoods house has opened a dramatic new store on Spring Street. For those of you unfamiliar with them Longchamp had been the French version of what Coach was before it began its startling transformation in the 90’s; classic, reliable, well priced, a little dull. They have been quietly building a devoted following in the US through Saks and Neiman Marcus, mostly from their hugely popular nylon fold-up Pliage bags. Like Coach, the family owned company is now undergoing a fashion metamorphosis of its own heralded by the sprawling showplace it has opened on a second (?) floor in SoHo.
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Make Way For Uniqlo: Ciao OMG

Dsc00022 Img_0850The sign is up on Broadway, and Japan’s answer to The Gap is coming. Actually, Uniqlo has been here for a few months, but you might have missed it in its current trial run on Greene Street. In fact, Uniqlo has been charming The Shophound since they opened a pop-up store on Lafayette street last fall to promote its first US stores in New Jersey. Another temporary store opened for the holidays in the space left vacant by the sadly missed Bagutta Life, and it was so successful that it became permanent, or at least until Uniqlo could make its full Manhattan debut on Broadway where their "global flagship" will be their largest store anywhere. Yes, they are taking the place of an OMG Jeans store but, really, aren’t there enough of those on Broadway? We don’t miss it. What do we love about Uniqlo? Find out after the jump.

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Employee Of The Week: Lucy O’Sullivan At A Détacher

Img_0847Thanks to Memorial Day, our usual Monday shopgirl feature gets pushed back because, just like Women’s Wear Daily, The Shophound takes holidays off. Come Tuesday, on the instruction of New York Magazine, we higtailed it down to NoLita to seek out Lucy O’Sullivan at the offbeat boutique A Détacher. When we found this unassuming little shop, the Shophound was dismayed to discover the door wide open, and nobody to be seen, breaking a cardinal rule of retail; never leave your store unattended. Were The Shophound not of a strong moral constitution, we could have walked away with the contents of half the store. Eventually, we were greeted by Miss O’Sullivan. This gave us plenty of time to check the place out, and here’s what we found at A Détacher...
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Abercrombie Strikes Again Part II: Following A Pointless Ruehl

Img_0843Our travels have taken The Shophound outside of our comfy New York City home, so since we are out of town, we decided to take a jaunt to the mall to see what a real Ruehl store looks like. Earlier we investigated their bite-sized accessories store teasing us on Bleecker Street, and promised a full report on the total concept, so here we are, although “total concept” may be something of an exaggeration.
It must be noted that we were not at just any mall, we went to Tyson’s Corner Center in McLean Virginia, one of those malls that get the most updated versions of any retailer’s offerings. Companies like to test things there, so if there are new ideas to try out, you will find them at Tyson’s. So here is where we found Ruehl, a few doors down from its parent, Abercrombie & Fitch which is right next to little brother Hollister, one retail family clustered close enough to pitch spitballs at each other. What we found at Ruehl was even less than we expected. Let us explain after the jump:

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Alex K Goes Shopping: Outward Bound Edition

Critspan_2In today’s New York Times, the Thursday Styles’ shopping princess Alex Kuczynski keeps her crazy relatively in check as she explores Paragon Sports, our own home grown sports superstore. Sadly, for our entertainment, but perhaps better for her mental health, she has not taken along a friend to torture, but is instead focused on finding waterproof matches for her inpending wilderness hiking trip. This journey is inspired, doubtlessly, by her repeated painkiller enhanced viewings of that Alec Baldwin opus, The Edge.
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Abercrombie Strikes Again: Ruehl Sneaks In On Bleecker

Img_0838So many of you have enjoyed our look at Abercrombie & Fitch that we thought it was time to take a look at Ruehl, their newest division that has quietly opened a teeny tiny itty bitty accessories store on Bleecker Street in recent months. Haven’t heard of it? Well, it’s still a little under the radar at only 9 full branches nationwide, so perhaps the complete format isn’t quite ready for the big room that is Manhattan. We still haven’t seen their highly successful Hollister division in the city, although Roosevelt Field may be plenty close. This mini-branch carries only handbags, belts, small leathergoods, a few t-shirts and, of course, flip-flops. It is meant to capture the customer who is outgrowing A&F and moving on to a more sophisticated style. The question is, how is this different from Abercrombie & Fitch? We’re not sure we can tell from this closet sized shop (and that’s a New York City sized closet) but in the next few days The Shophound will be visiting a full-sized Ruehl store, and then we’ll have the full report. Until then, here are some things that are already annoying us...
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Employee Of The Week: Annateus At The Conran Shop

Img_0830This weeks font of shop clerk wisdom is the exotically named Annateus Sofhian according to New York magazine. Annateus is gainfully employed by The Conran Shop, located not very conveniently beside the Queensboro Bridge. One would hope that the editors at New York  could have found a newer store to spotlight, but Conran is so far out of the way that most people (ourselves included) might have forgotten it existed anyway. It is a sequel of sorts to the chain of Conran's Habitat stores that vanished in the early 90's, a precursor to the now ubiquitous Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. The Shophound remembers being a good customer at the old Conran's which married Sir Terence Conran's rigorous design sensibilities with relatively affordable prices, but in his return to New York, he has moved upscale a few notches.
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Don’t Be Caught Dead: 9th Avenue Fair

Img_0824Spring is here, and that means that Street Fair season is upon us. Let’s all release a collective Uugghhh. We’re not sure why these things occur, or who plans them, but they always seem to appear on a lovely afternoon just in time to destroy a delightful walk through the city. Suddenly we are pushing our way through crowds of people from who knows where, and enjoying the distinctive aroma of every possible type of fried food, usually on a stick.
A glamorous surprise after the jump

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And Around The Corner…The Eighties Are Back!

Img_0777The new Apple Store is only part of the revamped retail plan for the General Motors Building. Walk around to the Madison Avenue side and you’ll find, within the disappointingly cheap looking expansion, two stalwart brands looking to regain the luster long lost since the 80’s. First we find Bally, a longtime Madison Avenue resident showing off its improved product line in a sleekly redesigned flagship store.
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