« November 2006 | Main | January 2007 »

New York's Worst Kept Secret: Century 21


As we have mentioned before, this is sort of a limbo week in New York. Half the city is out of town, but their space is taken up by twice as many tourists (who still want to crowd in to look at that Rockefeller center Christmas Tree). It's sale sale sale time in the stores, and as we visited Loehmann's a few weeks ago as per AlexSign Kuczynski's instructions, we, in  a moment of perversity, decided to go someplace even worse. And that's how The Shophound found ourselves at Century 21. That is the discount department store, not the realtor. In a city full of the best boutiques and department stores in the world, and therefore the best clearance sales, not to mention a steady stream of sample sales, off price retailing somehow seems beside the point. There are already so many opportunities to dress well at a price. And yet, for some reason everybody eventually makes their way to Century 21, because in its vastness, it always feels like there is some gem of a bargain to be unearthed, and there usually is, it just depends how good of a hunter you are. The sign above several of the entrances bears a seal that reads, "New York's Best Kept Secret" which is, basically, a lie. If it were such a secret, then it wouldn't have been crammed with people this morning, and it appears to have been mentioned in several international guide books to the city, because a large proportion of the customers were clearly tourists. Well, let's face it, even Whole Foods is a tourist attraction this week.

Continue reading "New York's Worst Kept Secret: Century 21" »

Thursday Styles: Horacio Goes Shopping and Eric Wilson Drums Up A Fight

28crit6001_1It's a slow week in retail here in New York. Not slow in terms of business. The stores are packed with sale customers and tourists that will still be here until New Year's, but there's nothing much happening newswise. The entire fashion industry has the week off, so our postings are a little light this week, just like every other blogger. It's showing in the Thursday Styles as well. Even Alex Kuczynski, our favorite tireless shopping scribe has taken the week off (actually, the last two weeks). So her designated substitute, Horacio Silva has visited Antony Todd's new furniture store in the Village. Horacio makes a few astute observations about the florist/event planner/interior designer's shop, like its lack of breadth in terms of merchandise:

In fact, the cheapest items in the store were mercury glass votive candles at $45. Not ridiculously priced by any means, but similar styles are to be found at Target for under $15.
The ikat-print cushions scattered around the store looked appealing enough, but on closer inspection they turned out to be from ABC Carpet & Home and were only for show. Pity, as they are exactly the kind of well-priced accessories Mr. Todd should also be offering the party faithful.

Continue reading "Thursday Styles: Horacio Goes Shopping and Eric Wilson Drums Up A Fight" »

Have You Bought Enough Yet?


This was the scene at Saks Fifth Avenue Tuesday morning taken from the down escalator. Take 50% off previously reduced merchandise. Sounds like plenty of great deals, but the hidden cost was in plowing through the frenzied crowds in the handbag department, and everywhere else in the store. It's the sort of thing that brings on the pedestrian version of road rage (sidewalk rage? aisle rage?).Saks2_1 Normally, The Shophound has an enormous threshold for these kinds of frustrations, (we are The Shophound, after all, and we have elbowed our way through even the most vicious of sample sales) but, really, these are the sorts of days that make a great case for buying at full price, just so you don't have to be counted among the vultures picking at the markdowns (again, a position we are normally not averse to holding). Yes, we remember that we were telling you what time to get out and shop just a post ago, but the best thing about going out early is that you can get out of the three ring circus of after Christmas sales quickly. And we couldn't get out of Saks fast enough. We can't even imagine what someplace like Macy's must have been like.

After-Christmas Sale Shopping

Well, Happy Day-After-Christmas Everyone! Now that you have done all your Christmas shopping, you have had one day to rest up and get ready for all the after-Christmas sales. We have already gone over returning things, but the big stores have a lot invested in you getting out early Tuesday morning as well. Let's run down the list-

  • Saks Fifth Avenue - Opens at 8 AM on 12/26. Take an extra 50% Off previously reduced prices only until 12 Noon, when it will drop to 40%.
  • Bloomingdales - Opens 8 AM on 12/26 (except for SoHo, open at 10) Reductions all over include an extra 40% off previously reductions in Designer collections, and 40% of many items only on the 26th
  • Nordstrom - Opens at 7AM on 12/26. beginning of Half yearly men's sale.
  • Lord & Taylor - Opens at 7AM on12/26. Take an extra 50% off previously reduced merchandise. 20% off all dresses only on the 26th.
  • Macy's - Opens at 7 AM
  • Brooks Brothers - Beginning of semi -annual sale on 12/26, take an extra 15% off before 1 PM on the 26th.

Lots of smaller boutiques like Longchamp and Ferragamo start their seasonal reductions on the 26th, but others like Prada, Gucci and others will be taking further reductions, and some like Barney's and Bergdorf Goodman began them a few days before Christmas, so there's probably still some good stuff left. Have fun at the mall! The Shophound's going to go see Dreamgirls again.

Holiday Wishes From The Shophound

We want to take a few moments to thank all you faithful Shophounders out there for logging on (and clicking on our Ads) We won't see you until Tuesday, so enjoy your Three-day Christmas weekend, and rest up for the crazy sales next week. We also want to thank our advertisers who help make The Shophound possible, including

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

The Shophound

Theory Goes Gigantic on Gansevoort


It's certainly not the first Theory boutique in Manhattan, but it sure is the biggest. This month, the sportswear powerhouse unveiled an enormous new store in a brand new building at Gansevoort and Greenwich Streets. Theory fans who have been shopping their smaller outposts on Columbus Avenue or Spring Street now have a destination worth going out of their way for. The vast loft-like space is the first of its New York stores to offer its men's collection which has grown to include some nicely executed tailored clothing pieces in addition to the sportswear we have come to expect. The lightweight resort collection is in stock, now that it has started getting cold, making it a worthwhile stop when planning your winter beach vacation. (Well, it's nice to think about, anyway.) The store also features the full range of women's shoes and accessories typically found only in its own stores. The place is so huge that they even have room for home accessories from other vendors and have filled out their assortment with additional items like denim from Rag & Bone.

Theory 40 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking District

WWD's Designer Stocking Auction

121906_stockingmarcjacobs_1 121906_stockingrodarte_1 121906_stockingvera_1 122006_8_2 122006_9_2


If you are still stuck for last minute gifts, Womens Wear Daily has corralled 6 major and up-and-coming designers to create a special group of Christmas Stockings complete with hand-picked contents to be auctioned off through December 25th on eBay. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Citymeals-on-Wheels which delivers meals  to over 17,500 homebound New Yorkers every day.  The designers include Vera Wang (whose stocking is pictured at left), Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, Laura and Kate Mulleavy for Rodarte, Richie Rich and Traver Rains for Heatherette and Bryan Bradley for Tuleh. Treats inside include books, DVDs, a brown ostrich skin clutch from Tuleh, tons of accessories from Marc Jacobs and even two orchestra tickets to Grey Gardens on Broadway in Wang's stocking among lots of other great goodies. There's still plenty of time to bid, and it's all for a great cause. More details can be found here.

Stockings With Care (WWD)

Gucci Validates Trump's Claim


We are the first one to admit we snickered more than a little when Donald Trump claimed the corner of 56th Street and Fifth Avenue as the "world's best" retail corner. It's a good corner, of course, but not nearly as good as the one down the block occupied by next door neighbor Tiffany, or the ones inhabited by Van Cleef & Arpels, Louis Vuitton and Bulgari that he clearly doesn't own. Well, damned if Gucci didn't come along and bolster his claim! The luxury juggernaut has swooped in and leased 46,000 square feet of said corner at 725 Fifth Avenue where it plans a New York flagship even more lavish than the one a couple of blocks down Fifth Avenue which it only recently spent two years renovating at enormous expense. Perhaps the brand wants to further distance itself from bitterly estranged former designer Tom Ford who used that store as a template for the company's retail design. What a way to gloat about how well they have been doing since he left.

Continue reading "Gucci Validates Trump's Claim" »