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Roland Mouret for Gap Coming to NYC

MouretgapNot to be outdone by Viktor & Rolf for H&M and UNIQLO's  opening extravaganza next week, Gap is bringing us Roland Mouret as its November Surprise. Originally slated only for Europe, Mouret's special collection (pictured at left) for Gap will be made available in a select number if Gap stores in New York City. It mark's Gap's first foray into the red-hot designer collaboration craze, and will launch on November 7 in Europe, but will make it's way to New York later in the month. No specific date has been announced as the collection is officially part of Gap Europe, and won't be widely available in the U.S. The assortment consists of 10 dresses, and if the preview is any indication, it is a casual departure from the retro-hourglass silhouette that has graced Scarlett Johansson and Demi Moore and made Mouret a designer to watch. He told WWD, "It's definitely not a diffusion of what I've been doing, but I have revisited a lot of the details I have done in the past, like the folded sleeve." He added, "We had all the girls at Gap here test all the designs out. Our feeling [is]. if they love them, everyone is going to." As an added bonus, it will be part of the (PRODUCT) RED program benefiting The Global Fund. It is the first project under the 19RM brand formed by Mouret and American Idol producer Simon Fuller, and Mouret's first work since leaving his eponymous label. The Shophound will keep our eyes out to let you know the moment it hits the floor.

Gap Goes Fast-Fashion: Mouret Latest Designer to Dabble in Mass (WWD)

Employee Of The Week: Ryan Stepka at Hästens

Askshop061030_198bWhat can we say about New York Magazine's shop clerk of the week, Ryan Stepka? He works at Hästens, the mattress store that replaced Helmut Lang's SoHo temple of minimalism. We have mixed feelings about this, but perhaps if Helmut Lang had stayed more relevant, he would still be there. Today's tenant, Hästens, is a mattress store the way Bang & Olufsen is a stereo shop. If you are the sort of person who would buy a $1,275 mobile phone, then you will probably go hog wild for their $49,500 gingham covered, all natural, handmade mattresses, available in all shapes apparently. This enormous round one pictured below would have taken up our entire bedroom for that Atlantic City Honeymoon Suite look. Hey, how much is a good night's sleep worth to you? We will refrain from suggesting what should be included in that price. You can use your imagination as everybody probably has their own personal requirements in that department.Dsc00029
But back to Ryan, who seems all too willing to throw himself in with the purchase.

NYMag: How should one go mattress shopping?
Ryan: Come down, take a nap, bring your kid, your dog, your sheets. Spoon. Do what you’ve got to do.

NYMag: What’s your most memorable experience at work?
Ryan: It’s a fun job. I’ve dated women I’ve sold beds to. Weeks ago, a really attractive woman tried a bed out. She asked me to get on, and she said to me, "You’d look really good in my bed.”

Oh, Ryan.
Are you fired yet?
There is a difference between telling a cute story and bragging, Big Guy. Is is too much to suggest that while it's good to understand your customers and their lifestyles, you may be taking things a bit too far? Try to remember. Today's young, slutty salesman is tomorrow's tired retail sleazebag.

And by the way, Ryan, 350 thread count sheets from Bed Bath & Beyond on your $12,000 bed?
For shame!

UPDATE: Our hat is off to you, Ryan! You are officially the first shop clerk to actually respond in person with a public comment, which probably means you've been Googling yourself, but who hasn't done that on a slow Tuesday at work?
Still, we stand by our advice. It's one thing to hook up with a customer. It's yet another to announce it in a national magazine. You don't want to develop an unfortunate reputation among the general public, and we don't mean that bitchy.
Trust us.
We have seen it happen.
It's not as cute as you might think.

Hästens 80 Greene Street, SoHo


Things To Want: Bang & Olufsen and Samsung's Serenity Now!

Serene2Here at The Shophound we have been focusing on the store and the shopping experience more than the individual item, but that may change soon. As we go about our retail investigations, we inevitably come across something we MUST HAVE, and yet, for whatever reason, we know we may never get. We thought this might be a good time to share the pain and hunger. Case in point, the new mobile phone from Bang & Olufsen and Samsung, the Serene. You thought we would start with shoes, didn't you? We just managed to get an impossibly good deal on a Motorola RAZR (Amazon, practically free, we don't mind sharing the info), so we thought we were reasonably up to date on mobile equipment, but the Serene makes our new phone look like two dixie cups and a string.
We like a gadget as much as the next person, but we like our phone simple and straightforward, and this one features B&O's famous rigorous design and seductive materials. We can't give you a tech review (That's what Mobile Review is for), but from an aesthetic perspective, it's pretty fabulous.Serene1_1 We especially like the nod to an archaic rotary dial updated with an iPod-like scrolling wheel. It's just the sleekest little phone ever! It's almost like a compact, but not so girly, and with just the right size and weight, the soft plastic shell feels perfect in the hand. And why might we never get one? While we've been known to hold out for a markdown and eventually we get the things we need, the Serene retails for a mere $1,275.
And that doesn't include service.
We'll try and carry on with our RAZR.

The Weekly Spree

It looks like a stormy weekend coming up, so cocoon yourself in front of your computer and amuse yourself with some of these stories that our friend Trisha from BlogHer and Omiru: Style For All has collected:

Lesley from Fashiontribes has been to the Premiere Classe Accessories Show and reports back on the key trends.

Couture In The City gets ready for winter with the latest boots.

Kristofer Dukes is enchanted by an over-the-knee Versace boot . Shades of Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada.

Fabsugar gives you the latest version of that perennial favorite, the smoky eye.

Style Bytes goes flapper-crazy for the 20's shift.

Second City Style tells us where to shop and what to buy in Paris (that's the city, not the person).

Clothes Pin introduces us to Thea Grant, a husband and wife team creating gorgeous jewelry from all sorts of found objects.

Papierblog previews the upcoming Viktor & Rolf collection at H&M, debuting November 9, less tan 2 weeks away! Get in line early.

All those years we thought Paris Vogue was the last word, and then they go and put Paris Hilton on the cover! Naturally The Fug Girls have something to say about it.

And finally, Omiru: Style For All creates the perfect Marie Antoinette costume for your rocking Halloween Party this weekend.

Happy surfing!

Kylie Unveils Darling

KylieAnd the winner of the Best New Fragrance Name will have to go to Darling, the first scent from Kylie Minogue's collaboration with Coty Beauty. Normally, The Shophound doesn't get all cracked up about celebrity cosmetics, but we can't believe nobody called a fragrance "Darling" before. It's a word just waiting to be made into perfume, and so perfect for cute little Kylie. Naturally, it will launch in Europe first, and then make its way to North and South America later next year. We have no idea what it smells like, but we are told it's a "chypre-floriental" scent.
Whatever that means.

Continue reading "Kylie Unveils Darling" »

Shvitzing in SoHo

Shvitz1 How can we not love a store called Shvitz? It makes us want to open a luggage store called Schlepp and a psychiatry practice called Kvetch. Maybe a sex shop called Shtupp?
Perhaps that's going too far.
Shvitz is a store devoted entirely to comfortable clothes meaning sweatpants, thermals, etc. from brands like Primp and Joystick.Img_1805 Owner Leslie Hall has created a perfect destination to outfit yourself for the gym, yoga or just lying around like third base. Shvitz csn be found on the Western side of SoHo, still home to the kind of smaller, independent stores that first made the neighborhood so much fun to shop 20 years ago. Hall has amazingly made this tiny space feel much with a bright interior  design that makes the store feel warm and feminine without being cloyingly cute. The customized pink iMac register even matches the payphone outside. Now that's attention to detail!

Shvitz 128 Thompson Street, SoHo

Continue reading "Shvitzing in SoHo" »

Comb-over Mayhem Hits Midtown


What looks like an angry political protest is in fact fifty concerned women who are appalled by comb-overs.
Well, who can argue with that?
If this is what it takes to end this travesty of grooming, then they have all our support.
In fact this is just a clever publicity stunt to launch Mensgroom, a new line of, you guessed it, grooming products for men. Cheap stunt though it may be, we appreciate the sentiment, because despite the valiant TV efforts of five sets of Queer Eyes, some men still need help. Especially the ones with comb-overs.
A lot of help. We're talking to you, Mr. Trump.

Alex K Goes Shopping: A Visit to Siberia Edition

Criticalshopper1Frankly, we're a little tired of Alex Kuczynski these days having seen her make two visits to the Today show within a weeks time to promote her new book Beauty Junkies. Why does her upper face seem so suspiciously immobile and shiny as she proudly proclaims herself to be Botox-free? And we're not sure what kind of points she thinks she deserves for returning to her natural hair color, a rich chestnut brown which even a 39-year old woman can usually only find with the help of a good colorist, and giving up nail polish, which is hardly the sort of willing self-mutilation that leads to a face like Jocelyne Wildenstein's, a Tara Reid plastic surgery nightmare media tour, or accidental death during face-lift surgery. We'll believe her when she stops shaving her legs and bleaching her mustache.
But back to today's Thursday Styles, and Alex's visit to Lord & Taylor.
Sadly, this week's report is missing the sort of bizarro reveries like last weeks kindergarten story, we are only treated to a sixteen year old memory of a woman who referred to B. Altman as Baltman's. It's hard to imagine anyone in Kuczynski's circle would be that ignorant, but it's a relatively minor infraction.

Continue reading "Alex K Goes Shopping: A Visit to Siberia Edition" »

James Perse and Dolce & Gabbana Go All-Male



Boutiques are splitting up all over town. On Bleecker Street, James Perse is discovering what Marc & Ralph already knew. That is, the supposed cachet and coolness of that red hot shopping strip can't quite make up for the lack of space in those teeny tiny stall-like stores. Seriously, you can barely even turn around in the RRL store. After about a year of barely being able to fit even a fraction of his collection in his only East Coast store,  Perse has opened a second store for his men's line, though this one is labeled "Temporary". Does this mean that there is a bigger store for those irresistible t-shirts in the works?
Dolce & Gabbana, however, have a huge 3-level flagship store on Madison Avenue, but despite spotty reviews for their recent runway shows, the commercial side of their business just keeps growing so they are taking over the building next door for good measure. In the meantime, they have moved their men's collection into the former temporary Fendi shop a few blocks down the street until its permanent home is ready sometime next year. Kind of makes us wonder if 755 Madison is going to be one of those spaces destined to host a series of temporary stores, like the Chanel Coach Bulgari shop next to Bergdorf's on West 57th.

UPDATE: The James Perse store is "temporary" in the sense that it is only temporarily open. Perse rushed it open to take advantage of holiday business, and will close it after New Years, cram the men's collection back into the original store, and then permanently re-open it fully renovated in the spring.

James Perse Men's Temporary 361 Bleecker Street

Dolce & Gabbana Men's 755 Madison Avenue

Unwrapping Macy's: Is This Show Returnable?

Macys_1_1Several weeks ago we alerted our faithful readers that a reality show starring Macy's Herald Square flagship was in the works, and we naively thought that the public might get a glimpse of what really goes on behind the scenes in a big New York department store. The first show aired, and showed some promise what with the extended male-models-in-underpants casting session and companion plot about buff identical twins selling, umm...what's the word... colorful shoes to the chain. But it appears that Unwrapping Macy's has saved the best for first. We have watched a few more episodes, and we really can't remember what happened in them. Something about a flower show and Diddy. A quick Google search tells us that we may be the only ones writing anything about this show at all! Buzz-free would be a step up for this infomercial disguised as entertainment.
Perhaps we have spent too much time behind the scenes ourselves, but our question is where's the real dirt? We know that somewhere in that mammoth store there must be more than a few catfighting salespeople, or maybe a drug-dealing security guard or two. How about some drunk managers? Or at least some shoplifters. We know they have those. Now that would be a reality show.

related: It Was Inevitable: Macy's becomes A Reality Show, Fashion Reality TV Watch: Unwrapping Macy's • Signe Chanel