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The Pop-Up Flea Returns On Friday

Popupflea Got enough places to shop this weekend? There's Lanvin's H&M collaboration this Saturday, and Housing Works' Fashion For Action event from Friday to Sunday, but if your tastes run more to the curated rather than discounted or mega-hyped, then you'll be happy to hear that The Pop-Up Flea is making a return appearance at the Openhouse Gallery on Mulberry Street. The folks behind the widely admired style blog A Continuous Lean make their version of the best men's store in the city for just a weekend, and the vendor list including companies like L.L.Bean Signature, Billykirk, and Levi’s Vintage Clothing among many others, perfectly reflects their classic-heritage-conscious sensibility.

The event runs from Friday afternoon to Sunday, so pick out your best flannel shirt, pull on some weathered Red Wing Boots and clomp on down to Mulberry Street.

The Pop Up Flea Friday November 19th: 3 - 9 PM, Saturday the 20th: 11 AM - 7 PM, Sunday the 21st: 11 AM - 6 PM at the Openhouse Gallery 201 Mulberry Street between Spring and Kenmare Streets, NoLita
Vendors to include:
Oak Street Bootmakers, J.W Hulme, Levi’s Vintage Clothing, L.L. Bean Signature, Smith + Butler, Tellason, Billykirk, Aether, Tanner Goods, Scout Original, Wooden Sleepers, Riviera Club, Alexander Olch, Gant, Oliver Spencer, The Hill-Side / Hickoree’s Hard Goods, Grown & Sewn, Stanley & Sons, J.Crew, Gitman Brothers Vintage, Schott NYC, Digby & Iona, Alexander West, Leather Head / Lemon Ball + a few other surprises.


Outer/Innerwear Edition

VPL-CRITIC-A-popup Does a vest that "lumps over the knees like a sandwich bag full of wet hair" sound appealing? Well, no, but that seems to be one of the few things that Cintra Wilson, this week's Critical Shopper, doesn't like at the hothouse-like new VPL boutique in SoHo.

"I couldn’t figure out if it was overperforming underwear or underperforming outerwear," she exclaims, and it turns out to be something somewhere in between. Rehearsal clothes for the free-spending ballerina, or those who aspire to be one.

Despite the spanxlike leggings, it sounds like VPL's slinky offerings will not hold much appeal for those not already confident about how they look in their underpants. The petite Wilson, however, is inspired by thoughts of ballerina fairy godmothers. Visions of sugarplums, perhaps? After all, Nutcracker season is almost upon us.

Critical Shopper: At VPL, Wispy Clothes for Your Inner Ballerina By Cintra Wilson (NYT)
VPL 5 Mercer Street at Howard Street, SoHo


J.D.Fisk's Boot Solution

JDFisk There is no way around it. We are in the middle of a boot season. Guys who used to be able to get away with a consistent uniform of sneakers are finding themselves rolling up their jeans to show off and even tuck into a pair of smart, weathered lace-up boots.
The only problem?
There are an abundance of options out there, but such boots are not cheap. What's a guy to do when Rag & Bone's seeemingly perfect version is over $500 even though they are made in CHINA?

It's a predicament to be sure, but the new label J.D. Fisk has come to save the day for your ankles. Last month the baby brother of popular women's brand Dolce Vita opened its own outpost on Ludlow Street just below Stanton. It's a compact little shop, befitting the Lower East Side, but it's got just enough space for a well edited, classic selection plus a few extras. Better yet, pretty much nothing is over $300. Considering the rugged quality of the products is a fair investment for a pair of tall, lace-up boots or, for the adventurous, a spiral zipped roper-style in black roughout suede.

There are also a few oxfords and loafers for the preppy-minded, and to round things out, bags and belts from downtown favorite Billykirk. Made in Mexico (hey, at least it's on this continent) J.D. Fisk's boots are sturdy enough to last well beyond the current trends, by which time they should be perfectly broken in.

J.D. Fisk 159½ Ludlow Street between Santon & Rivington Streets, Lower East Side

Left to right: the Caleb $289, the Franklin $198, the Cooper $279


This Weekend At Housing Works

In a city full of thrift shops, some of the best come courtesy of Housing Works where finds can regularly be discovered amongst the donations. This weekend, the organization brings back one of its biggest fundraisers, Fashion for Action which will feature over a million dollars worth of merchandise donated by designers and retailers —perfect for shoppers who prefer a bargain that is not so very pre-owned.

The event will kick off with a VIP reception and early shopping event in Chelsea, and for those of you who are feeling particularly charitable, tickets are available HERE. Otherwise, the public sale begins on Friday November 19th at the Housing Works store in Chelsea. Thom Browne is this year's chair, and the host committee includes Brooks Brothers executives and retailer/designer Steven Alan, so hopefully there will be a good bit of Black Fleece and plenty of sweet checked shirts among the offerings. The list of participating donors includes pretty much any significant designer or label you can think of, so the pickings are usually choice as long as you don't dawdle...

For those of you unable to show up in person, there's an online auction HERE as well as an online preview sale up and running HERE which includes goods from Marc Jacobs, Black Fleece, Cynthia Rowley and 7 for all Mankind and will give you some idea of the low prices.

Housing Works is committed to providing lifesaving services to homeless and low income men and women living with HIV/AIDS and has established itself as one of the city's most effective charitable organizations, so Fashion for Action is one of The Shophound's favorite kinds of events, a win for both shoppers and the recipients of Housing Works' valuable services.

Fashion for Action Friday, November 19 through Sunday the 21st at the Housing Works Chelsea Thrift Shop, 143 West 17th Street


VOGUE.com Has
The First REAL Photos Of
Tom Ford's Women's Collection

Vogue-tom-ford-A Have you been waiting like crazy to see what Tom Ford's women's collection looks like? No, we don't mean some sneaky editor's blurry iPhone pics, but real studio shots of the complete outfits. Wait no longer. Vogue.com has revealed the results of its Steven Meisel shoot of the highly protected collection. Sadly, there's no Beyoncé, Daphne Guinness or Lauren Hutton, but there's Karen Elson, Amber Valletta, Carolyn Murphy, Joan Smalls, Stella Tennant and others who participated in the first New York fashion show to generate real excitement in God only knows how long.

Vogue has four images online, and presumably more in the upcoming December issue along with the obligatory profile of Ford. As for seeing the collection on red carpets, the designer has promised to wait to see who gets nominated for an Oscar and offer to dress a single nominee of his choosing (so if Julianne Moore gets nominated for "The Kids Are Alright' —a distinct possibility— then we know how that's going to go).

We can't really argue with Ford's desire to slow the breakneck pace of the fashion media, even if it makes our job harder. To make matters even more frustrating, he promises to continue showing the women's line in the same way each season —but in London. The clothes are slated to start arriving in his stores sometime in December which is why they have been embargoed until this point. The photos snapped by Terry Richardson at Ford's presentation should hit the designer's revamped website at around the same time. Everything looks beautiful. It's not an earthshattering collection from these pictures. He's not reinventing the evening gown, but the line just looks appealing, rich looking and chic.

The man knows his customer.

Click the image to go to Vogue's story and slideshow for full-sized images.

Mr. Ford Returns by Sarah Mower (VOGUE.com VIA The Cut)


Elizabeth and James, Jack Spade, Judith Leiber, Diane von Furstenberg, Canyon Ranch, Frette & ABC Carpet & Home

If you have survived last week' barrage of Sample Sales, there's still plenty left online to interest you, but we have to ask, what has happened to Gilt Groupe? Their top designer sales seem fewer and further between to us, or are they just holding back preview info until closer to the sale date? As the sites compete for top designer goods, everyone is offering more travel deals including RueLaLa's offering of Canyon Ranch's flagship Tuscon location (Trust us, it's worth splurging on). One King's Lane is offering more food, and this week will offer a Special set of sales from ABC Carpet & Home.

Here is just a sampling of what 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!

Butter, GO SMiLE, John Hardy, L.A.M.B., Paige Premium Denim, Tart, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Cole Haan, Wolford, Me & Ro, White & Warren, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Miguelina —join HERE
Jack Spade, Chrome, Limoland, Portolano, Tailor Vintage, Vilebrequin, Mulholland, Rogue, The Only Son, Fila, Original Penguin, Trovata, Cole Haan, Seize Sur Vingt, DKNY —join HERE
TeNeues Books, Jay Strongwater, Ogalalla Bedding, Kim Seybert, Simplehuman —join HERE
Judith Leiber, Portolano, Leifsdottir, Nova Lighting, Diane von Furstenberg, Madison Avenue Couture feat. Hermès, Casadei, Rock & Republic, Jhane Barnes, Ann Gish, Canyon Ranch Tuscon, Culinary Institute of America Cookware, Vera Bradley, Judith Ripka, Arthur Court —join HERE
Knirps, Carolee, Rampage, LnA, Ingersoll Watches, All You Need Handbags, Farberware, Bridal Boutique, Tateossian, Pazzo, Serenity Bed & Bath, Nourison Rugs —join HERE
Sarabeth's Kitchen, Mundial Knives, Vellum, Bailey Street, Rani Arabella Cashmere, Frette, DL & Co., Charles Fradin Art, ABC Carpet & Home, Agostino, Phaidon —join HERE
Elizabeth and James, Rachel Pally, Mario Badescu, Supertrash, Arnold Zimberg, BCBG Max Azria, Not Your Daughter's Jeans, English Laundry, Jessica Simpson —join HERE


Lord & Taylor Gives Us
A Holiday Sneak Peek


Click all images for a larger view in a new window

Lord & Taylor will unveil its famous Holiday windows this Monday, November 15th, but yesterday, The Shophound got a rare sneak peek at one of the windows that the store's visual team has been working furiously to prepare for next weeks debut. We were ushered downstairs to the workshop (part of which is actually underneath Fifth Avenue) and allowed to view one nearly finished window as it was being assembled in the store's unique hydraulic lift system, a small, officially sanctioned portion of which is pictured above.

LandTfigure1 This year, Vice President of Visual Merchandising Scott Devine and his team broke from tradition just a bit. Instead of dreaming up another nostalgic Victorian-era theme, they turned to the Lord & Taylor's Facebook fans and asked for stories about their holiday memories. After sifting through a torrent of response, favorites were chosen and incorporated into the store's Holiday window designs titled "Share The Joy". Nine months in the making (just like a baby), the windows will stand out this year by including more modern scenes and contemporary families, but still framed with the store's beloved, animated Holiday flair.

LandTfigure2 Monday's unveiling extravaganza will be an all-day affair with special appearances from Candy Queen Dylan Lauren, her almost in-law FEED Projects co-founder Lauren Bush and restaurateur Sarabeth Levine, culminating at 5:30 PM with a performance by The Young People's Chorus of New York City featuring Emmy and Tony winning "Promise, Promises" star Kristin Chenoweth. We would totally go out of our way for a free Cheno appearance, and she will sing a specially composed song for the occasion.

If that's not enough to get you to 39th and Fifth on Monday, then you might consider that the store will be offering $5 tickets that will get you a 20% savings on any single item as well as a 15% savings pass on nearly everything in the store including the cosmetics and fragrances that are always excluded from these kinds of offers. Ticket proceeds will go to the American Red Cross in Greater New York, so you're really kind of a stingy ogre if you don't go, aren't you? Something to think about while you are calculating your savings on a Chanel lipstick.

Lord & Taylor Holiday Windows debut November 15th at 424 Fifth Avenue Between 38th & 39th Streets


Marc Jacobs Mall edition

Z-CRITIC-A-articleLargeThis week, Jon Caramanica hits six birds with one stone as he takes on the West Village's colony of Marc Jacobs boutiques in today's Thursday Styles. Despite the designer's obvious accomplishment of expanding from one to six stores in a single neighborhood of medium level shopping traffic (when compared with shopping superhighways like Fifth Avenue and Lower Broadway), our shopper is not especially impressed, and makes a convincing case that while popular, the stores as a group are far from perfect.

On the plus side, he finds the women's accessory store pleasant, though he fails to notice that it is no longer a Marc by Marc Jacobs store, but was recently converted to the only one among the six devoted solely to the designer's top luxury label.

At this point we were thinking that Cintra Wilson might have been better suited to deal with this topic, but then Caramanica's critical instincts kicked in a he zeroes in on the common flaw plaguing Jacobs' men's and women's shops,

...where all sorts of styles are crammed into crannies, with little regard for rhythm or hanger appeal — a byproduct of limited West Village square footage and the belief that much of it is best devoted to impulse buys. A women’s post-Pendleton, post-Santa Fe knit cardigan ($358), one of the store’s highlights, had to be fished out from among print dresses and slacks and more. In a walk-in closet at the back of the store, a pack of military coats ($498) looked dour, though not as dour as the weathered pink leather bench in the middle of the room, probably worn down from the derrières of those who sat to try on the signature Jacobs Wellingtons. In the back of the store, earthy sweaters with rows of jaunty sequins ($248) were slipped into a small cutout shelf on the wall, impossible to admire.

Like Ralph Lauren, Jacobs has become proficient at selling his brand at a variety of price points. At this stage, he produces (or licenses) enough collections under his name to easily fill one of Lauren's twin mansions on Madison Avenue, and that's not even counting the additional lines that are inevitably coming in the future. Marc Jacobs Home can't be too far off, can it?. We're not saying Jacobs should have a glitzy uptown flagship of his own, though it would probably be a success if he did, but after a decade of opening a little boutique every time he adds a new line (or has a whim to sell books), it may be time to start thinking a lot bigger.

Critical Shopper: Monopoly by Marc Jacobs By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)


T.J. Maxx Completes
Its Manhattan Mission

Today marks the completion of T.J.Maxx's New York City Blitz program as its Columbus Circle branch opens. Having now familiarized ourselves with all four (!) branches, we can say that this one actually feels the smallest and most cramped, although pushy crowds can make a difference in the experience. The street level entrance is filled with handbags, not unlike a Gucci or Prada store, we might add. The real action, however, is upstairs, where our bank used to be. It's also good to get up there because when we visited around 11 AM, the street level was hosting an unfortunate sulfurous, rotten eggish aroma. Hopefully, that was temporary. Upstairs, we found more purses! And there was all the racks and racks of clothing now familiar to T.J.Maxx customers.

Let us comparison shop among the branches for you. The Sixth Avenue Chelsea branch remains the biggest and most comprehensive, plus it now has a whole Marshalls in the basement which essentially doubles the selection. The Upper West Side branch feels next largest, possibly because it has a less cramped layout, plus it will be getting a Home Goods store (its sister chain) across the street early next year. That leaves The East Side Branch and this one both of which focus more on apparel. This location has a particularly reduced home section, and since one of the main reasons why we even visit T.J.Maxx in the first place is for kitchen, bed and bath stuff, we probably won't be visiting this one too often.

If you decide to stop by today, however, you will probably receive a useful "I ♥ TJ" re-usable shopping bag and possibly a lollipop (we got strawberry!). You will also be faced with lots of crowds, and at this point we might suggest that this store is no place to bring a double wide stroller!

That is all.

T.J.Maxx 250 West 57th Street at Eighth Avenue, Columbus Circle


Saks Fifth Avenue's Men's Collection Gets Pulled Together

SaksPreview3 Usually when a department store holds a spring preview, what you see is a finely edited selection of its various merchandise managers' favorite picks for the season —typically from third party vendors and designers. When we went to see Saks Ffith Avenue's Men's preview for Spring 2011 yesterday, what we saw was a private label program so well integrated that it could easily fill a freestanding boutique of its own. Rather than having their buyers select private label items to round out their individual department's assortments or provide opening price points, Saks has re-conceived its house brand as an elegant collection of classics based on its customers' needs and tastes, so a light trenchcoat, for example, is developed with Italian outerwear specialists Allegri. SaksPreview1 Fine gauge cashmere is knitted from Scottish yarns and Italian suits are made by celebrated Neapolitan tailor Gianluca Isaia. Of course, a retailer's instinct for quick response figures into the mix as well, so last year's sellout linen shirts will be back in abundance.

The collection is not meant to be a fashion line to compete with Armani or Zegna, but The Shophound was really impressed by the thoughtful sourcing and the remarkable value of much of the products. SaksPreview2 Shoes, an ongiong program, have been developed with a single manufacturer, so Spring offers classic Italian made dress shoes in a new cognac shade coming in under $400, but looking far more expensive. Wallets in pricey American alligator are stitched together by the same Louisiana source who farms the skins. The collection even includes socks and sterling silver accessories, but that wasn't all Saks had to show us yesterday.

SaksPreview6 In a separate corner was the Crown Collection, rolling out to stores next year. Conceived with a different customer in mind, this completely separate label is aimed at a guy interested in something bolder than refined classics, and that means graphic printed "restaurant" shirts, velvet jackets and even s specially designed collection of sunglasses. We can immediately see it selling well in Vegas and Miami, but mainly is shows that Saks is aware of its need to appeal to a diversity customers and tastes, putting them in a good position to ride out a still tricky time for every retailer.

After the jump, a few more images.
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Saks Fifth Avenue's Men's Collection Gets Pulled Together" »