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Saturday's Surf Heads West (Village)


What started as a charming surf-inspired shop/coffee bar/lounge in SoHo is morphing into a fully fledged lifestyle label as Saturday's Surf , just been named one of GQ's Best New Menswear Designers for 2012, will be adding a West Village outpost sometime in the next couple of months at the corner of Waverly Place at 17 Perry Street.  We would have to assume that this will be in the former home of Doma Cafe and Gallery (another hybrid enterprise pictured above) an empty retail space right on that very corner just waiting for exactly such a tenant.

While there are no exact details beyond the vague time frame anounced in a recent WWD article on the label's Asian expansion plans, in which co-owner Josh Rosen states, “There’s a wonderful residential feeling over there, and it’s the ideal neighborhood for us.” It is indeed a particularly idyllic corner even though it is a few steps away from Busy Seventh Avenue South, and like its upcoming Tokyo and Hong Kong stores, it is expected to replicate the laid-back vibe of the popular if compact SoHo store with an espresso bar and, hopefully, an outside lounge out back. We don't know it this spot has a backyard for the lounge deck, but given the type of building and neighborhood, it's an even bet.

Saturdays Surf to Open Asia, N.Y. Stores (WWD)


Entrepreneur Takes A NoLita Corner


Sometimes it seems to jaded New Yorkers like The Shophound that every store is running together with the same popular favorite labels that get replicated from shop to shop. Entrepreneur, a week-old men's boutique in NoLita aims to remedy that situation with a refreshing combination of lesser known brands from Japan and independent labels from Brooklyn. The shop opened its doors last Saturday in a blocky building on the corner of Kenmare and Elizabeth Streets, and though they did put a bird on the banners hanging over the door (clearly they haven's been watching Portlandia) there is nothing twee inside. The store's sporty merchandise mix includes the menswear trends that have slowly crawled their way over here from Japan like the current camouflage craze (look for great printed shirts from Alex Hunter), as well as some that are bound to make their way here soon (Expect animal prints to start spreading over menswear any season now). One caveat. Like most Japanese labels, many of this store's brands run on the small side while the Brooklyn brands tend to be cut for hipsters (read skinny). Still, it's always a treat to find thing you don't see everywhere, so Entrepreneur fills a welcome niche.

Entrepereneur 29 Kenmare Street at Elizabeth Street, NoLita


Where Will Versace's Flagship
Land In SoHo?

Versace_1Yesterday's WWD featured a lengthy article about Gianni Versace SpA's return to profitability. Slipped in among accounts of the many business maneuvers that restored the brand's ever-teetering fortunes was the news that among several new stores planned for the newly flush brand, a Versace flagship store would open in SoHo in June or July. It's the first we have heard of such a store, which is remarkable since it is scheduled to open in three or four months. The mystery is where this store will be. Prince Street? Spring Street? Mercer, Greene or Wooster? We're all ears.

Versace Swings to Profit, Sets Expansion (WWD)
Versace (Official Site)


Reports Of An Abercrombie & Fitch Gay Kiss May Be Somewhat Exaggerated

AbercrombieKissYes, it's a kiss.
No, it doesn't belong to Abercrombie & Fitch.
Or does it?

You may see a bit of news racing through the magical interwebs that Abercrombie & Fitch, the gayest not-gay chain store in the world, has finally broken its self constructed glass closet and released a promotional video featuring (gasp) a gay kiss (pictured in the screenshot at right). We have embedded the video after the jump if you want to know exactly what we are talking about. It's suggestive, but actually less revealing than some Madonna videos we could mention. The video is by photographer Bruce Weber, who has been shooting for the retailer since the mid 1990s when the brand changed from a classic, conservative apparel chain to a youth-focused sportswear store whose advertising imagery suddenly featured cavalcades of naked young men innocently frolicking about. WeberFacebookIt is, apparently, one of four new "Webersodes" which have been presumed to be part of Abercrombie's ad campaign and can be found on his website HERE. Titled, "Other sports require one ball. Wrestling requires two.", it features a bunch of sexy wrestlers in an idyllic outdoor shower, uh, still frolicking to the tune of James Brown's "Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose". At one point, one guy kisses another on the forehead in a non-wrestling kind of hold. It's not quite the mack session you might be expecting given the hype, though it definitely crosses a fuzzy line that Abercrombie hasn't crossed in the past.
And maybe they still haven't?

If you know us, you know that we gleefully revel in almost every wacky move that Abercrombie & Fitch and their various subsidiaries make, but even this sounded too good to be true. The Shophound picked up the phone and called Abercrombie & Fitch to find out if this in fact was part of their campaign or just one of Bruce Weber's own video projects. While we initially reached a representative who is likely used to be taking clothing orders, we gave her a chance to find someone who could answer our question, and was told that it was not actually part of the retailers advertising campaign. Bruce Weber's Facebook page, however identifies them has having been made for Abercrombie & Fitch as of february 9th. So, were they made for Abercrombie and rejected, or are they meant to be sort of underground and viral? Somebody please clarify.

AbercrombieKissLogoIn fact, there isn't any indication on this particular video that it was filmed specifically for Abercrombie & Fitch. Usually their official videos will feature a company logo on the screen at some point, which this one does not have —even though some of the guys are wearing Abercrombie clothes (when they are wearing anything at all, at left). There's no trace of it on Abercrombie's website nor has it been uploaded by them to Facebook or YouTube (where it would probably be given an age verification requirement to view). We are pretty sure about this because we watched it a couple of time just to be certain (as you might want to). We might even watch it again later. Was the film meant for Abercrombie and then deemed a little bit too hot even for them?

Anyway, this story is making its way around the web, as sexy videos will do. We were initially skeptical because Abercrombie has been using homoerotic imagery for quite some time without ever including anything that is specifically gay. Sure there are lots of hot, shirtless guys in their ads and in their stores, but never has there been a kiss, or something that would definitively identify as gay. Abercrombie stores are just like gay bars, but the strategy of walking this ostensibly ambiguous line where gay people can identify the brand's imagery as gay while straight people can blithely dismiss it as a couple of shirtless guys just hanging out has worked exceptionally well for the company, however disingenuous it may be. Why would they change things now?

A NOTE: We have been revising this post over the course of a couple of hours since it was originally published as we have discovered more information. We will continue to adjust, noting updates as necessary.

UPDATE: The video has been removed from the hosting service that allowed us to embed it, but can still be seen on Bruce Weber's own website HERE.

Abercrombie & Fitch Promo Clip Features Gay Kiss Between Two Models (Huffington Post via Towleroad & Homorazzi)


29CRITICAL2_SPAN-articleLargeIn this week's Thursday Styles, Alexandra Jacobs returns to the Critical Shopper post to give her take on Fifth Avenue's brand new Zara flagship. Curiously, she mostly ignores the store's surprisingly rich interior design and focuses on the Spanish-based fast fashion chain's head-spinning knockoff skills. To her, the store is full of the ghosts of other designers' collections as she and a "statuesque blond shopping companion" traipse through the place playing trend detective.

...red pump with tailfin à la Prada, yup; Pierre Hardyesque contrast clutch, sure; Navajo print in sequins on a miniskirt, mm-hmm.

And yet, despite the store's being a cornucopia of Spring trends, Jacobs finds fault with nearly everything she tries, with either fit or fabric falling short. When she finally finds something she likes, it's the lengthy checkout line that stymies an actual purchase. It seems that there's no winning for Jacobs at Zara. Is it really that the store is dissatisfying, or, like most people who have steeped themselves in fashion, has Jacobs just become immune to the charms of the knockoff in favor of the precious"real thing"?

In fairness to Jacobs' critical cred, we would kind of like to see what the other half of the Critical team, Jon Caramanica, would make of the store's expansive men's floor upstairs. It's designed with effect of a sleek designer megastore in mind as opposed to H&M's trend-happy cacophony a block or so downtown (it has the same gray marble slab floor as Barneys' new women's main floor -make of that what you will), the men's floor seemed less hectic to us and yet remarkably skillful at interpreting current trends without going overboard. Perhaps it's time for both shoppers to team up when they review a store for both men and women so we can get the full picture?

Critical Shopper: Where Have I Seen You Before? By Alexandra Jacobs (NYTimes)
Zara 666 Fifth Avenue at 52nd Street, Midtown


A Closer Look At Fall From Burkman Bros, Caputo & Co., and Dockers

  • BurkmanBros-CaputoCoFW2012
  • CaputoBeltsFW2012
  • CaputoDuffelFW2012
  • CaputoIPadCasesFW2012
  • CaputoLeatherBracelets

Last week, The Shophound hit a few more of the Fall Collection Previews that are put on by brands who either don't participate in Fashion Week or want to give press a chance to see their wares in a more informal way. Sometimes it's a lot easier to get a handle on a collection this way rather than squeezing it in during the chaos and crush of Fashion Week. Also, sometimes there's food (and swag)

On Friday, we made our way to the Meatpacking District showroom of Caputo & Co. where we got a close look at designer Alex Caputo's leathergoods and accessories as well as his pals, the Burkman Bros apparel collections for Fall (both pictured above). In a sense, it's fitting that the two lines should be shown together as they are both inspired by their designers' travels. While we were familiar with Doug and Ben Burkman's burgeoning label from seeing it in ever more stores, we gained a new appreciation for it by being walked through the line and having all of the details pointed out to us from custom woven jacquard fabrics and intricately patterned knits inspired this season by a trip to Iceland.

As you can see in the photo, Caputo's two-year-old line of cleverly designed bags coordinate effortlessly with the Burkmans' line despite taking their inspiration from half a world away. The Venezuelan-born designer took his cues from Laguna de Atitlàn, a volcanic lake in the mountains of Guatemala whose name translates from Mayan as "where nature gets its color". Caputo works subtle shades of blue and green in with traditional brown leathers and custom handwoven South American textiles in classic totes and duffels with colorblock details and deceptive hidden features like reversibility and convertible straps. To fill them, there was an array of smaller leather goods including iPad cases and leather and waxed cotton bracelets offering bright pops of color. He manages to walk the fine line in Men's Accessories between the kind of practicality men demand and making things interesting without being too flashy or overdesigned. For his efforts, Caputo has garnered some impressive clients in his few seasons on his own, including Bloomingdale's, Scoop, Barneys Co-op and Unionmade in California. All of these previews typically make us want to run out and shop, an urge that was helpfully tamped down when, as we were on our way out, we were handed one of Caputo's striped cotton totes that contained, along with the usual press materials, one of his handwoven leather bracelets, an ikat-striped woven shirt from the Burkman Bros Hawaiian-inspired Spring collection and a few of their signature woven bracelets.

DockersFW2012The night before, we went up to the Levi's showroom near Times Square for a look at the continuing repositioning project that is the Dockers brand. The label that once stood for boxy, pedestrian khakis is now sufficiently cool enough to attract the likes of menswear icon Nick Wooster, who appeared to be sporting the camo-print chinos that caused such a stir at last season's Docker's preview. Fall brings a utilitarian point of view to what is now a full sportswear line, with workwear and military touches and lots of plaid shirts. Have the ideas been filtered through a legion of stylebloggers? Probably, but an upscale but well-priced line could certainly do worse, and the line looked appealing as we perused it on mannequins throughout the showroom. As is expected at a Levi's brand event, there was plenty of food and drink, this time focusing on picnic style classics with mini sliders and fried chicken wrapped with bacon on a stick. We really had to get out of there before we gorged ourself on those, but also because of the unseasonably warm weather which made the office, like many others around the city, swelter a lot more than anyone would have predicted given the time of year. Sadly, we couldn't wait around for the custom monogram to be finished on the complimentary pair of khakis each guest received, so they promised to send them to us. Seriously, we were about ready to melt, but between the two events, we have at least one Spring outfit marked off our list.


Raf Simons, Alberta Ferretti, Jimmy Choo, Sephen Dweck, Lela Rose, L'Wren Scott, Gucci, Fendi, Giuseppe Zanotti, Sebago, Kidrobot

Here is your weekly sampling of some of the brands you can expect to find on the bigger online Flash Sale Sites this week. You should click over to the sites themselves for a full schedule of events, and be sure to check for the correct start time for each sale. Happy clicking!

Twenty8Twelve, Nili Lotan & More, Alexia Admor, Magaschoni, Marc by Marc jacobs, LAfayette 148 New York, Vera Wang Lavender, Gold Hawk, The Lake & Stars, Temperley London/Alice by Temperley, Modern Vintage, BCBG Generation, L'Agence, Acne & More, Haute Hippie, Just Cavalli —join HERE
Raf Simons, Pierre Balmain, Abito, Saucony Sneakers, Martin Greenfield, Generic Surplus, Vince, J. Lindeberg, Calvin Klein and DKNY Outerwear, Linda Farrow Luxe, Stitch's, ACNE/Filippa K, JS Swap, Trafalgar —join HERE
Saint Parfum, One of a Kind Kantha Throws, Abrams Books, Michael Aram, Calvin Klein Down Bedding, Stark, 26 Bars and a Band, Frette, Barclay Butera Art, Paige Lauren Baby Apparel, Pajama Time, Mix N/Match, Baby Basics, L'amour & Angel Spring Shoes for Girls, EduShape —join HERE
Brooks Brothers, 3 Dots, Wolford, Gypsy 05, Mesa Home, KITON, Columbia Sportswear, Smith Optics, Jimmy Choo, Stephen Dweck, White Label by SF Designs, Gorjana, Charriol Watches, Reebok, Theory, Lela Rose, Calvin Klein Underwear, L'Wren Scott, Ariat, Cuisinart/Chantal —join HERE
Francis Moncho, Paige Novick, Robbi & Nikki, Gucci, WeSC, TOD's, Robert Rodriguez, Bottega veneta, Gypsy 05, Fendi, Charles David, M Missoni, J Fold, Gucci, Boy NYC, French Connection, Halston Heritage, Fresh, Giuseppe Zanotti, Just A Cheap Shirt —join HERE
Betsy & Adam, Curious George, Sebago, Sensa, Prada & Fendi, BCBG Max Azria, TOD's, Triple Five Soul, Desigual, Sam & Libby —join HERE
Arteriors, Karma Living, Rowe Pottery, Randall Tysinger Antiques, Divine Designs, condé Nast Illustrations, Brownestone furniture, Kassatex, Cuisinart, Frette, McGaw, Crystorama, Lara Shriftman —join HERE
Splendid, Philosophy, William Rast, Vince Camuto, Crislu Bridal, John Varvatos ★ USA, StriVectin, Cullen, Nicole Miller, Catherine Malandrino, Tommy Hilfiger, Charles David, Sperry Top-Sider, CK Jeans, Amir Argan Oil, Weatherproof —join HERE
Bremenn Research Labs, Rotenier Cufflinks, Bikkembergs Sunglasses, Badgley Mischka Outerwear, Pour La Victoire, Gianfranco Ferre, Onia, Hart Schaffner Marx, +Beryll Accessories, Calvin Klein, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Antonio Aguilar, Adidas SLVR Accessories, Kimberly Ovitz, Catherine Malandrino, Accenti —join HERE
Albeta Ferretti, Safavieh —join HERE
Flight 001, Momeni Rugs, Crow Watches, Union of Smith, Kidrobot, Tivoli Audio, Phaidon, Alessi, Hipster, 4Sight Sunglasses, Jardins en Fleur, Leroy's Space, Winky Designs —join HERE


Insert Maison Kitsuné Here

It's still in a strangely grungy part of town on the edge of the Floral and Garment Districts, but that won't stop the pricey French preppy emporium Maison Kitsuné from planting its first U.S. outpost on the corner of Broadway and 28th Street. It will be the featured store in the NoMad Hotel, and despite the building's understated elegance, the neighborhood around it is still very much "In Transition". Yes, there is Opening Ceremony in the Ace Hotel just a block north (which, not surprisingly, carries Kitsuné), as well as a few upscale lounges and the tempting comfort food extravaganza that is Hill Country Chicken a couple of blocks away, but there are still several off-price perfume stores and other similarly seedy retail establishments remaining in the neighborhood reminding passersby that it is still something of a no-man's land. The question is, will the dual powers of NoMad and Ace Hotels and Opening Ceremony with Maison Kitsuné be enough to turn the neighborhood into the next Meatpacking District? And will people bitch and moan the whole time while the neighborhood is being turned into the next Meatpacking District? Probably, because that is what's happening, and that's what people do. If this grand real estate plan works out, those unloved perfume and tchotchke stores will inevitably be gone sooner or later, making way for more appropriate neighbors for the charming shop that Kitsuné is building (see renderings below).

If you don't think that Kitsuné will be sufficiently luxe enough to accelerate the shift in the neighborhood's character, consider that GQ told us this week that the venerable Parisian men's shoe brand J.M Weston will be making a special version of their classic 180 Loafer in a mix of smooth and pebble grain leathers exclusively for the store. Well, if a few dusty off-brand shops have to bite the dust, we'll all have to look the other way. There are some more sweet shoes to be had.

Exclusive Sneak Peek: Maison Kitsune Comes to New York (The GQ Eye)
Kitsuné Journal (Official Site)

  • KitsuneExterior
  • KitsuneInterior


Marc Jacobs Makes The Most
Of A Bad Situation


What do you do when you are faced with an unexpected, aggravating misfortune that is beyond your control?
If you are Marc Jacobs, you make a t-shirt.

You may remember hearing a few months ago that Jacobs' entire 46-look European sample line for Spring 2012 was stolen off the Eurostar train between London and Paris. So far as we know, the clothes have never been recovered, throwing a wrench into the designer's European Press activities, and to remind people of the designer's predicament, he has placed a mock "Wanted"-style bulletin in the window of his Mercer Street Collection boutique with a strangely Unabomber-esque sketch of a totally unidentifiable perp.

Of course, the poster is also available as a t-shirt, presumably for sale inside the store. We're not sure that the proceeds from the tees will make up for the expensive theft of an entire sample line, but a little humor can always ease the sting of a costly loss. As the bulletin states: "The thief is still at large and considered dressed to kill."

Marc Jacobs 163 Mercer Street between Houston & Prince Streets, SoHo