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T — 1 Day And Counting:

UNIQLO's +J Designed By Jil Sander
Launches Tomorrow

Just a small reminder that UNIQLO's +J label, the one created by German designer Jil Sander exclusively for the Japanese chain, will be available tomorrow morning, October 1st at 10 AM. The SoHo flagship doors will open at 10 AM so we strongly recommend lining up as early as possible. We don't know how long the stock will last, but it's not likely be too long.
Good luck to all.
UNIQLO +J  546 Broadway between Houston & Prince Streets, SoHo

Sample Sale Alert:

Reports Declare The Claiborne by
John Bartlett Sample Sale A Winner

The Shophound happens to be out of town at this very moment, but if we were there, we would surely have been first in line at the Claiborne by John Bartlett Sample Sale that is going on right now.
Everybody knows we are big Bartlett fans, and we think his Claiborne collections have shaken the dust off a once humdrum label at particularly good prices —which are now 60% off —which is pretty damned cheap.
When we get back to town, we will immediately skibble on over to the showroom at 1441 Broadway and grab ourselves some stuff because our friends at RACKED tell us that the pickings are excellent, and have lots of pictures to prove it. Unfortunately, you won't find any of it at Macy's or Lord & Taylor where it belongs, so this is your big chance. You won't be sorry.
Claiborne by John Bartlett Sample Sale through October 1st 1441 Broadway at 41st Street, 3rd floor.
Above the Fray: $75 Suits at Bartlett for Claiborne (RACKED)

Mystery Solved:

Track & Field Explained On Madison

Last week we noticed that a new athletic store called Track & Field was opening on upper Madison Avenue in the same block as Missoni. Naturally we thought that this was an unusually posh location for what looked like a runner's shop, especially one we had never heard of and couldn't find any information about. They usually migrate further east to more prosaic climates on Lexington or Third.
A helpful Shophound reader has come to the rescue!
Track & Field is, according to our tipster, "a very cool Brazilian fitness store".
Sorry, that's all we got, but if you can read Portuguese, you can find out more at their website HERE, and feel free to pass on the translated information.
We're kind of intrigued, because if anyone can make running gear sexy and appealing, it's the Brazilians, right? After all, look what they did for bathing suits.
Track & Field (Official Site)
East Side Bounces Back:Madison Avenue Gets Ready For Newcomers

New Additions:

Gant To Fill Bleecker's Last Spot

Despite the retail shakeout in neighborhoods across the city, Bleecker Street's north end has seen little space go unoccupied in the past couple of years with new stores moving in quickly as soon as old ones depart, usually with no break in occupancy —with a glaring exception. 
353 Bleecker Street has sat empty for the past few years (an eternity in Bleecker time) with a humble "FOR RENT" sign in the window ever since Gerry's (the now defunct sportswear boutique) was forced to move after a rent hike. The narrow shop finally has a taker as Gant, the American founded, now Swedish based, label will take over the space and devote it exclusively to its younger, more stylish Rugger division. Gant USA CEO Ari Hoffman tells WWD that the store will have an “industrial factory” look, with steel benches and cast-iron fixtures.
Look for Gant's Rugger store to open its doors on Bleecker in early 2010
In related news, Gant will be launching a special collection of six vintage inspired shirts (pictured above)today exclusively at Barneys to celebrate the label's 60th anniversary. Dubbed "The Rugger", "The Hugger", "the Pullover", "The Hubby", "The Sea Island" and "The Cashmere", each style will represent a different decade of the company's history ranging in price from $135 to $295.
Gant to Open on Bleecker Street (WWD)
Gant (Official Site)

Collaboration Update:

Sonia Rykiel To
Spend Holidays With H&M

Soniarykiel WWD tells us that the ultimate Parisienne, Sonia Rykiel, will provide H&M's next designer collaboration collection, appearing in stores only weeks after the chain's upcoming Jimmy Choo collaboration launch. The retailer's first co-branded lingerie line with the renowned French designer will hit the floors at 1,500 of the Swedish chain's stores on December 5th for Holiday selling, to be followed by an accessories and knitwear line, described as "iconic", for women and girls for Spring 2010. The Spring collection will début in a much more restricted 250 doors worldwide on February 20th.
In a first for H&M, the lingerie line will also be made available outside of the chain. Rykiel's devoted cult of customers will not have to brave the masses at the chain's branches, as the collection will also be sold through Rykiel's own boutiques around the world.
H&M Taps Rykiel As Its Next Guest Designer (WWD)

East Side Bounces Back:

Madison Avenue Gets Ready
For Newcomers

We have all been watching some favorite stores' departures, leaving some prominent gaps high profile locations like Madison Avenue over the past year, but now that rents fallen accordingly,  new settlers have come to fill at least some of that conspicuously empty space.
Above, see Brunello Cucinelli's future home at 683 Madison, a prime location once occupied by Ghurka, which is now ensconced in the basement of the Plaza Hotel. We always thought the Italian cashmere expert was far better suited to this uptown shopping strip than to its debut location on Bleecker street (though that store will remain). It is not far from Devi Kroell's shocking pink plywood which should be unveiled later this fall.
At the corner of 67th and Madison, Creed fragrances will be returning to the Manhattan retail scene after a moderate absence. Though touted as the perfumer's first freestanding American boutique, sharp-eyed shoppers will remember that Creed had stores here not very long ago that were converted to Bond no.9 shops by its American distributor, who wound up going into business for itself and jettisoning the Parisian brand. This new store would appear to be company owned.
InandoutMADISONFurther up Madison, the block between 77th and 78th Streets is getting two new additions.
In&Out is a Swiss beauty company that promotes a holistic "inside and outside" beauty regime including combinations of nutritional supplements, essential oils and cosmetics. They will be launching in the U.S. with their first freestanding boutique at 1007 Madison right next to Missoni.
A few doors down the block, signs point to "The Track & Field Store" which certainly sounds like an unlikely addition to the posh Upper East Side —unless pale-vaulting has suddenly become the latest fitness craze without anyone telling us (or maybe it's running underwater, as the slick signs in the windows would suggest). There is less information to be found about this venture, so if anyone out there knows more about it, drop us a line.


Cintra Wilson Goes Shopping:

West Coast Indulgence Edition

24crit650.2This week, Critical Shopper Cintra Wilson ditches Manhattan for a browse around L.A. for the Thursday Styles, landing at the renowned boutique Maxfield on Melrose Avenue.
Wilson delivers the surprising news that, along with staggeringly expensive Balmain motorcycle jackets, the store also stocks a selection of luxury erotica and even more disturbing, a rage of macabre artifacts.
I have always wanted to see a real shrunken head. At Maxfield, you can buy one for a mere $37,500. Also a Dayak human trophy skull, whose tag describes him as having a “very well handled patina,” and perhaps the most truly frightening objet d’art I’ve ever seen: another human skull with huge ram horns knotted onto it with rattan and decorated with a knot of shredded floral fabric that strongly suggests the someone’s bird-watching aunt toddled too far into the heart of darkness ($39,000).
Cool? Gross? Both? I guess there's an 11-year old in all of us who wants to stand over a glass case and say, "Wi-i-i-i-icked!". These things are expensive, but will certainly save you the trouble of making your own.
Even Wilson is stunned at the price tags, particularly for some of the decrepit "vintage" pieces ("A moth-eaten Gucci suitcase made of genuine zebra hide will set you back $21,500 ... but it screams old money.") In the end, La Cintra can't help but admire owner Tommy Perse's curatorial skills, with qualifiers.
There is something that feels sincerely radical about $3,000 jeans, rare art books, sex tools, the viscount’s old luggage, Le Corbusier patio chairs and human skulls all being sold in the same room. But is Maxfield truly avant-garde, or is it sexily complicit, capitalist luxury kitsch?
Critical Shopper | Maxfield The Posh and the Perverse By Cintra Wilson
Maxfield 8825 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
On a related note: The Shophound will be in L.A. in a couple of weeks. We haven't been there for ages, so please let us know HERE about any fantastic California stores we shouldn't miss.

Online Shopping Début:

Gilt Groupe's Jetsetter
Begins A Preview

JetsetterOur favorite discount shopping site, Gilt Groupe's latest venture, a discount travel website called Jetsetter made a quiet début in Beta form last night for select Gilt Groupe customers. So far, invitations have not yet been enabled, so we can't invite the immediate world just yet, but the site may be available if you are already a member of Gilt Groupe.
Here are their initial offerings
Rivington Hotel, Lower East Side, NYC: This includes discounts on a Studio Suite or King Room on a high floor through January 2010.
Encantado Resort, Santa Fe New Mexico: Casitas and One Bedroom Suites are offered at a discount for dates through March 2010.
Paws Up, Greenough, Montana: A 37,000 acre wilderness retreat is making Meadow Homes and Wilderness Estates available for select dates through Mid-February 2010.
Prices seem to hover around 40% to 60% off the establishments' website prices. So far we haven't yet heard about the official launch dates, but we will keep you posted. Account credits and invitations are administered separately from Gilt and Gilt Fuse, so the site appears to be a more distinct operation.
To join Gilt Groupe, click HERE for a personal invitation. We can't guarantee entry onto Jetsetter, but it will get you one step closer, especially if you buy a lot.

More Sales:

Sale Time Never Ends
Hermès Begins Today


It's September, which is supposed to be full-price time, and yet, the sample sale schedule keeps chugging along. Today brings another Hermés sale in Chelsea at the Metropolitan Pavilion, its preferred location for the past few seasons. As many of you know, there will be no precious Birkin or Kelly bags available, but there will be lots of other stuff including prêt-à-porter, other accessories, shoes and most importantly ties and scarves. In fact, it is the scarves that tend to cause the most commotion. Keep in mind that Hermès is generally so staggeringly expensive, that even the greatly reduced prices can be breathtaking. If you're prepared, however, there's always a gem or two to be found.
Hermés Sale 10am-6pm through Saturday September 26th, Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 West 18th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues, Chelsea
And that's not all. There's still other sample sales going on now and coming up soon:
Baccarat Jewelry -September 24th -25th, 625 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor

IT USA featuring Just Cavalli, C'N'C Costume National, Galliano, GF Ferre, Gianfranco Ferre, and Malo - through Sept 27th, 17 Battery Place South between West Side Highway & Washington Street
Luca Luca - September 29th through October 4th, 19 West 36th Street, 4th floor. RSVP HERE.
Gilt Groupe is geared up for fall with upcoming sales this week from Marc Jacobs Collection, Delman, ALIFE, John Varvatos, John Hardy Jewelry, Trovata Men's, Rag & Bone, Donna Karan, and Oliver Peoples, Paul Smith & Mosley Tribes.
Get your exclusive invitation HERE.

And for a rare treat, Madison Avenue Spy has tipped us off to TAG HEUER's online Friends and Family sale on selected watch styles. go to lvmhpartners.com and use access code ffsalefall09 through September 30th for around 50% off retail.

A Mini-Chain Is Born:

Odin Opens Store #3

Odin2It was still under construction when we walked by last week, but WWD is reporting that Odin's third location at Greenwich and West 11th Streets in the West Village is now open for business, officially creating a mini-chain. The antiques-filled interior should feel familiar to regular customers of the trailblazing contemporary men's boutique's other locations. “Every neighborhood has a different need, and the customers here want the basic essentials: toothpaste, socks, cotton T-shirts, things you can’t find all that easily in the West Village,Co-owner Eddy Chai tells WWD. Don't go looking for this to be Odin's version of the Gap. This branch of store will carry its stalwart labels like Engineered Garments, Woolrich, Our Legacy and 3.1 Phillip Lim. 'Basic' is, after all, a relative term.
Holiday will bring the début of a new sportswear line produced by the retailer in collaboration with the folks at Duckie Brown, whose shoe line for Florsheim is sold there (and practically everywhere else in Manhattan as far as we can tell).
Odin Opens in West Village (WWD)
Odin New York (Official Site)