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EATALY Has A Preview

The lucky, lucky folks at EATER got a preview of the long awaited Italian Food complex Eataly hosted by Joe and Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali. The 50,000 square foot emporium will offer nearly every aspect of Italian food from markets to restaurants and even a cooking school. It sounds kind of like a Chelsea Market concept devoted to Italian cuisine which is more than OK with us. Eater has a whole gallery of pictures and details about what the complex will include when it opens at 4 PM on Tuesday August 31st.

Plan on breaking your diet that day big time.

Welcome to Eataly, a 50,000 Sq. Ft. Italian Culinary Funhouse (Eater)


Lush Serves Up Bosoms

Click the image for larger boobs in a new window
Considering the uproar that American Apparel's risqué advertising used to cause, we are kind of surprised that we haven't heard any complaints about the windows we saw recently at Lush, the natural cosmetics chain that has sprung up all around the city over the past few years. They've got that AA girl-against-white-seamless-with-a bright-strobe look, and there's a pointed emphasis on the models' barely covered bosoms to promote the brand's Lovely Jubblies breast cream. So how, when American Apparel's scantily clad strumpets have raised community hackles on so many occasions, does Lush able to get away with its topless sextet with nary a whimper that we have heard about?

Is it the humorous yet juvenile reference to jugs, headlights, hooters and watermelons that excuses the image? Even the token male (or very hairy flatchested female) holds up a pair of door knockers. (Get it? Knockers!) Maybe it's just the wholesome context of personal care and maintenance instead of AA's louche "hey look at my ass" aesthetic that makes the imagery seem so innocent. Perhaps we are unbothered because we don't know of a pervy, slightly unhinged CEO behind the scenes shooting the ads at Lush.

Mind you, it takes a lot more than some barely covered breasts to offend The Shophound, but we discovered this window display smack in the middle of the stroller clogged, family friendly Upper West Side where would have thought it might raise an eyebrow or two. If this all means we now live in an enlightened, prude-free society, then we are all for that, but we think Lush is just flying under the radar here.

Lush (Official Site)


Traveler's Indulgence Edition

Z-CRITIC-A-articleLargeThis week's Thursday Styles marks another appearance from Cintra Wilson as the Critical Shopper, an encouraging sign that The Times is rethinking its decision to restrict the column to staff writers (either that or Ruth La Ferla is on vacation, but let's think optimistically). This week, she has been dispatched to the Ace Hotel to give its retail components the once-over. The tiny satellite branch of Project No. 8 is dismissed with a sentence, and the lobby scene is essentially described as a hipster Starbucks. Instead, she focuses on the mini-version of Opening Ceremony that serves as its main gift shop.

A person could go either way with this store. The uninitiated could easily see it as a collection of arcane luxuries, but our more sophisticated shopper recognizes it as a masterfully curated array if irresistible items "unified by an adventurous vibe of intelligent newness and otherness". So seductive is the store's atmosphere that the typically unflappable Wilson succumbs to the extravagance of an $89 T-Shirt by OC mainstay Alexander Wang.

I know what you’ll think, and you’re right: an $89 T-shirt is a crime against humanity, and people who buy them ought to be pelted to death with $18 stainless-steel water bottles.
But I kept coming back to rub my fingers on it. It was so soft, it was making my brain flood with dopamine, like a security blanket.

And really, who among us hasn't thrown caution to the wind once or twice for a pricey bagatelle that turns out to be worth every penny and then some?

Ha, I said, showing my new fist to the twinkling night, while closing the blinds. Behold, ye suffering fashionisti. Behold, ye sensibly fleeced. I sleep to conquer. I am my own anarcho-luxurist syndicate. I am the Golden Mean.

Well, damn! We need to get ourself one of those T-shirts like yesterday!

Critical Shopper: Opening Ceremony Reinvents the Fashion Wheel By Cintra Wilson (NYTimes)
Opening Ceremony
at The Ace Hotel 1190-1192 Broadway at 29th Street, Midtown South, NoMad, Whatever


New Accommodations
For J.M. Weston

A few months ago, we were saddened by the departure of The Shophound's most favorite French Luxury Shoemaker, J.M. Weston from its corner of Madison Avenue. While we were somewhat comforted that it would be replaced by The Shophound's most favorite American Luxury Eyeglass maker, Oliver Peoples, we felt sorry that Weston would be without a showcase for its wares.

Our spirits were lifted yesterday when, just before our visit to Bergdorf's, we saw that Weston will be opening its new home sometime this Fall at 600 Madison Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets. It's a desirable spot, and one that may offer Weston a bit more visibility than its previous location. Unfortunately, we couldn't help notice that Weston will soon be joined (and almost canceled out) two doors up the street in the same building by The Shophound's least favorite Australian Shearling Bootmaker, UGG, which will be taking the corner store. Sometimes a fad will develop into a mainstay no matter how unflattering and unappealing it may be. What can you do? As any New Yorker knows, you can't always choose your neighbors no matter how hard you try. We're just glad that J.M. Weston will once again be ensconced in its own boutique in the event that we feel we must add yet another pair of Demi-Chasse Derbys to our shoe wardrobe.

It could happen.

Madison Avenue Rotation: In Which We Feel Ambivalent About Oliver Peoples Replacing J.M.Weston



Barneys Gets A CEO
Customers Not Likely To Notice

Barneys02 After a long search, Barneys New York has announced the much-rumored choice of Mark Lee, a respected former Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent Executive, as its new Chief Executive Officer. Thanks to a solidly established merchandising team, the store has chugged along without one for the past two years or so with little discernible change to loyal New York customers, but on the balance sheets, the chain has been leaking red ink, relying on cash infusions from Dubai based parent company Istithmar World to keep the store stocked and running smoothly.

Lee's tasks will include protecting what's working, like the store's unique personality, successful flagship stores in New York, Beverly Hills and Chicago as well as the expanding Co-op chain, and manage what isn't, like other underperforming, possibly ill-advised Barneys and Co-op locations.

If he does his job right, we should notice few changes here in New York, where the store's brand is strong, but the shape of the chain around the country could change. One thing's for sure: No retail CEO will have more scrutiny over the next few years than Lee, and a lot of hopes are hanging on his performance.

Mark Lee Named Barneys CEO (WWD)


Changes Afoot As Bergdorf
Goodman's Men's Store Hits 20

This Fall, Bergdorf Goodman celebrates the 20th birthday of its separate Men's Store which opened its doors in 1990 (when a young Shophound was there for every minute of it). We don't know if they have anything special planned to observe it, but at the moment all sorts of shifts are happening around the store, particularly among its designer collections.

With its Giorgio Armani boutique relocated to the second floor, there is suddenly a whole lot more room to devote to luxe sportswear now that the suits have been cleared out. At the moment, the big space is home to a mix of expanded collections including Neil Barrett, Burberry Prorsum, Marni, Alexander McQueen and Balmain, but sometime soon, the space will be reconfigured to make a new home for label-of-the-moment Lanvin as well as the long awaited return of Prada's menswear collection after more than a decade's absence. That's nothing compared to Dries Van Noten who has been out of the store for almost two decades, and whose new home is being customized as you read this. Other new additions to the floor include an expanded Rick Owens assortment and freshman designer Marlon Gobel's début collection.

Like any well-heeled Manhattanite, BG Men has had its share of work done over the years. In fact there are only a few corners of the store that haven't been reconceived, renovated and reconfigured multiple times in the past 20 years to accommodate new collections arriving and others having peaked and departed (or just to keep it looking youthful and refreshed like so many of its customers). When the store opened —at an economically challenging moment not unlike the one we are currently experiencing, it must be noted— there was no shortage of doubters who insisted that it was an extravagant albatross that couldn't possibly survive, offering skeptical smirks when informed that the store was, in fact, doing quite well. Well, it's still there, apparently thriving and proving itself more resilient than any number of naysayers might have predicted.

Update: BG Men (5th at 58th/Bergdorf Goodman)

This Week Online

As the Summer winds down, there's still activity over at the Flash Sale sites. Look for more travel and hotel deals as well as omnibus sales featuring multiple labels as the sites wait for their vendors to accumulate overstock and production runs that missed their cancellation dates. As with any retailer in late August, Clearances can always be a highlight. Gilt Man launches Final Sales for Clothing and Accessories on Monday, featuring a host of leftovers re-reduced featuring a discount on a discount. Act fast. These selections have been known to diminish within minutes. Here is just a sampling of what else looks good to us amongst the online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events. Be sure to check the correct start times for sales on each site. Happy clicking!
Alberta Ferretti, Marc by Marc Jacobs, FACE Stockholm, Fragments Jewelry, Lauren Moffatt, Molton Brown, Paul & Joe Sister, Vena Cava, Tibi, Thread Social, AG Jeans, Kenneth Jay Lane —join HERE
Clothing & Accessories Final Sale, C&C California, Luciano Barbera, Grenson, Pro-Keds, Harry's of London —join HERE
Errebicasa Italian Linens, WMF, Pacific Merchants, Eva Solo, Tumi —join HERE
Wedgewood, BCBG Max Azria, Anolon, Diesel, FAO Schwarz, Eva Franco, Ebel, Peacock Alley, Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman —join HERE
Kensie, Chetta B, Tarina Tarantino, Marc by Marc Jacobs Shoes, IO?ION! —join HERE
Jennifer Adams Bedding & Sheets, Seda France Candles, PTM Images, Zwilling J.A. Henckels, Frette, Safavieh Rugs & Furniture, Davek, Heys USA —join HERE
Joe's Jeans form Men, Women & Children, Stila, LnA, Grayce by Molly Sims, Mackage, DecadesTwo Vintage Handbags, Vince, Urban Decay —join HERE


Hearst Tower May Finally Have A Tenant In Sur La Table

One of Manhattan's most conspicuously available retail spaces may have snagged itself a taker after years standing empty. The landmarked Hearst Building was cleared of its neighborhood convenience tenants to make room for construction of the dramatic Norman Foster tower that rose above it at the corner of 57th Street and Eighth Avenue. With such a fancy architectural trophy, the owners thought that they deserved luxury tenants like Gucci or Louis Vuitton for its newly burnished building. That was wishful thinking at best for the neighborhood especially since Time Warner Center a couple of blocks north had already stretched the luxury boundaries of Midtown West with slightly lower tier labels like Hugo Boss and Coach. For the past four years, the building's retail spaces have been a block-long expanse of empty windows except for a brief stint a few years ago when they were used as sets for the film "Confessions Of A Shopaholic".

The New York Post reports, however, reports that Hearst may finally have a real tenant in Sur La Table, the upscale gourmet chain will face a formidable competitor in Williams-Sonoma at Columbus Circle. It is currently represented on Spring Street in SoHo and is also planning a new East Side location. Sur La Table would reportedly take 5,800 square feet on the 57th Street side. The only stumbling block, according to the post, is signage, which has to be approved by the Landmarks Commission since the retail spaces are part of the still protected lower portion of the building. We are betting that they will work things out (It's only signs, after all) because after four years there is possibly no landlord more anxious to fill its space than Hearst.

Between The Bricks (NYPost via Crain's)

Why Is This Building Empty?
Hearst Building "Boutiques" Reappear And Disappear


17th Street D'Agostino's Ready To Serve Barneys Warehouse Shoppers


Thinking about braving the anxious crowds today when the Barneys Warehouse Sale opens for its end-of-Summer run? The Shophound will probably wait until the second week for the big savings, but if you find yourself in line outside today, be comforted that the D'Agostino's on 17th Street will be providing snacks and cold beverages to waiting customers through Sunday the 22nd. In addition, click the image above and print out a coupon for the store's deli department to use after you are finished shopping, if you have any money left, that is.

In other Barneys Warehouse Sale news, Simon Doonan, the store's creative director and all-around mascot, has offered The Cut some valuable insider tips for effective, efficient shopping at the sale. They go as follows:

Tip No. 1: The Warehouse Sale is very overstimulating. If you have problems with ADD, then make sure you take all your meds before you come — otherwise you will totally freak out.

Tip No. 2: It's a great place to meet a husband — especially downstairs in the men’s tailored-clothing section. If you see a dude who interests you, then offer to help him pick out neckties to go with his suits. Men are insecure about style. He will love the unsolicited opinion. And if he doesn't, then **** him!

Tip No. 3: Wear your best brassiere. There are no changing rooms, so everyone is going to see your foundation garments.

Tip No. 4: Keep coming back. There are new deliveries every day!

Doonan never actually specifies whether or not you should meet somebody else's husband downstairs in the men's department, but that distinction up to you.

What, you were expecting, practical advice?

Barney's Warehouse Sale 255 West 17th Street between Seventh & Eighth Avenues through September 6th, Chelsea
Simon Doonan’s Four Big Tips for Navigating the Barneys Warehouse Sale (The Cut)


Displaced Nostalgia Edition

Z-CRITIC-F-popup In Tomorrow's Thursday Styles, Critical Shopper John Caramanica arrives at what is either hipster heaven or hell or hell —or possibly both. Scout Vintage T-Shirts sells exactly what you think it does, the pre-owned, pre-worn fragments of decades past laundered and arranged by color to be purchased at premium prices. Caramanica ultimately separate the merchandise from the collective experiences of its previous owners,

How does Eddie feel about the fact that someone let go of a hand-lettered shirt proclaiming "I Love Eddie" ($38)? Was it too painful to hold on to the impressive shirt, with stars on the shoulders and sleeves, from Dick Lugar’s 1974 Senate bid ($28), which he lost?

In the end, he comes to the inevitable conclusion that it is a store for those who don't know any better, which is not to say that it won't be successful,

This is a store that would make more sense in the Harajuku district of Tokyo than in downtown Manhattan, where every season brings a new swell of small-town dreamers with their own distressed T-shirts at the ready. And committed thrifters — even regular punters — can find similar shirts without a Pantone guide at any Goodwill or Salvation Army. 

Critical Shopper: Pawing Through Someone’s Memories at Scout Vintage T-Shirts By Jon Carmanica (NYTimes)
Scout Vintage T-Shirts 227 Mulberry Street between Prince and Spring Streets, NoLita