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Who Is Sarah Pacini, And What Is She Doing On Bleecker Street?

One thing you can say about the many designer arrivals to Blecker Street over the past few years is that we had already heard of most of them before they arrived. From Marc Jacobs to Ralph Lauren to Cynthia Rowley and Lulu Guinness, none of them were was strangers to upscale shoppers. But then, seemingly out of nowhere —well, France, actually, along came sibling brands Sandro and Maje, and now they are to be joined this Fall by Sarah Pacini at 350 Bleecker near West 10th Street, right next to Jean-Michel Cazabat.

Who is this designer, anyway? We have been researching this for most of the afternoon (okay, in between watching Olympic Swimming preliminaries) and from what we can gather, Sarah Pacini isn't specifically a who, but more of a what. Apparently Belgian, the luxury sportswear brand has 53 stores throughout Europe, and two in Montréal. According to the website, this upcoming store will be its first in the United States, and as you might guess from the moody black and white photo covering the upcoming store's door, the look of the brand is sophisticated and sleek with a dash of quirky artsy-ness for interest —this is a Belgian brand after all. It's the kind of look that a certain New York woman can never get enough of at prices that, from what we can tell, hover in that space between contemporary and designer collections that retailers like to call the "gold range". Think Jil Sander and Rick Owens LITE at somewhat gentler prices. It looks like the store will also serve as a U.S. showroom for the brand. It has been carried in a few specialty boutiques around the country, so if it catches on, expect to see it in more stores. Finally, the website describes the line thusly:

For every woman who chooses to be different, who refuses to sacrifice comfort for style, who believes that fashion is the art of life for expressing your true self, there is Sarah Pacini.

Well, who knows what that means? It's your boilerplate fashion blah blah, but if all goes as scheduled, you'll get you chance to form your own opinion sometime this Fall.

Sarah Pacini (Official Site)


That Christian Louboutin Men's Store Might Take A While...

We always love it when a new store under construction leaves its door open so The Shophound can peek inside and take a quick picture. We passed by the upcoming and highly anticipated Christian Louboutin Men's Store on Washington Street over the weekend, expecting to see a soon to be finished jewel box of a shoe store.

Well, eventually that's probably what it will be. The store was announced way back in December of last year, and reasonable expectations pointed to an opening that would have happened last spring. Obviously, that didn't happen, and unless exposed cinderblock is part of the decor, we don't see this store opening before Christmas. Who knows what the holdup is? Construction in New York City can be a nightmare in the best of situations, but at the same time, sometimes things do get finished in a miraculously speedy fashion, so if the store opens next week, then what do we know?

Anyway, this is what the site looked like two days ago, and everyone's waiting, because, as we all know, there are never enough places for guys to buy sparkly sneakers and studded, leopard patterned evening slippers.

Foot Fetish: Louboutin Men's Store To Hit Meatpacking District This Spring (10/21/2011)


Here's A Preview Of The Final
UU Uniqlo Undercover Collection
Arriving In One Month

The good news is that the Fall 2012 UU Uniqlo Undercover collection, the collaboration between the huge Japanese retailer and designer Jun Takahashi, will be arriving in the chain's U.S. stores on August 31st. The bad news is that it will be the last one. What was initially implied to be an ongoing collection will be ending earlier than we would have expected. While the line is more casual and sporty than its sleek predecessor, the +J label designed by Jil Sander, it is a bit broader based and has returned children's clothes to Uniqlo's New York stores. Customers found lots of clever and functional details in the Spring deliveries, and that should continue in the upcoming Fall collection which will include Takahashi's take on Uniqlo mainstays such as Heat-Tech and Ultra Light Down outerwear as well as an N-3B arctic military coat. This season also brings another whimsical advertising campaign featuring giant, benevolent bugs. Uniqlo has posted more detailed looks and product shots on a Pinterest page rather than on its own website, so you can click over there and do whatever it is people do on Pinterest, or have a look at a preview slideshow below. While we are waiting for the first Fall delivery to arrive in the chain's three New York stores, we can ponder who will be the next designer to team up with the chain.

UU Uniqlo Undercover (Official Site)
 UU Uniqlo Undercover on Pinterest

UU Uniqlo Undercover To Hit Stores On March 16


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Derek Lam, Matthew Williamson, Vera Wang, Donna Karan, John Varvatos, Tom Ford, Zegna Sport, Gucci, Ferragamo, Fendi, Rebecca Taylor

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!

Tocca/Tracy Reese, 10 Crosby Derek Lam, Chloé Handbags & Sunglasses, Matthew Williamson, Joie, Robert Rodriguez/Cut 25, Vera Wang Collection, Best Society, Orla Kiely, Melissa Shoes, Shoshanna, House of Harlow 1960, C&C California —join HERE
Jack Victor, Mosmann Australia Underwear, by LOVA/NUMBER:Lab, Caruso, Tommy Hilfiger Suiting, Triwa Watches & Shades, Incotex, PF Flyers/Zuriick, Weathered, Florsheim by Duckie Brown, Converse, Martin Greenfield, Luciano Brandi, Calvin Klein Underwear, Warriors of Radness, InCase, Kai-aakman & Neu Garde —join HERE
Cunill Silver Frames, Donna Karan Bedding & Bath, Crosley, nuLOOM, Juniper Books, Crystorama, Bormioli Rocco, Belle Epoque Bedding, Bungalow 5, Corsican Cribs, Pippa & Julie Dresses, KIdKraft, Hot Wheels, Barbie  —join HERE
Yummie Tummie, Barbara Bixby, Kay Unger, L'erba, Ali Ro, Lucky Brand, Shoe La La Shoe Sale, Waterford Linens, Skagen Denmark, Lilly Pulitzer, Børn Crown Shoes, Ariat, Tommy Bahama Home —join HERE
Tom Ford Glasses, Chloé Swim, Badgley Mischka Swim, Carrera Sunglasses, Paul Smith Cufflinks, Zegna Sport, Gucci, Dolce Vita, JB by Julie Brown, French Connection, See by Chloé, Jardin, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ingersoll, Projek Raw —join HERE
E.Vill, Eva NYC, Factory by Erik Hart, Amrita Singh, Fendi, Hale Bob, Puma, Sharagano, Tweezerman, Vivienne Tam, Joie, Prada, W118 —join HERE
Rebecca Taylor, NYX Cospetics, William Rast, Robert Wayne, Etnies, Onna Erlich, Tucker by Gaby Basora, Hello Kitty, Max & Cleo, Kelsi Dagger, Matiko, IMPROVD, Michael Stars, Amir Argan Oil, Halston Heritage, Joie Shoes, Ted Baker, Pink Tartan, Vincent Longo, Twenty, Mark Nason, C&C California —join HERE
Antonio Maurizi, 2(x)ist, Ann Demeulemeester, GF Ferré, John Varvatos ★ USA, Botkier, Jean-Michel Cazabat, Hale Bob, Melissa, Billy Reid, Cynthia Rowley, Calvin Klein Rugs, Mercer Cutlery Genesis, Florsheim by Duckie Brown, Be & D, Timo Weiland, MAKARI Skincare, Hello Kitty Watches, Tahari by A.S.L., Native Shoes —join HERE
L'Agence, Heys Luggage, Safavieh, Wedgewood —join HERE


Kate Spade Finally Heads Uptown

789MadisonIt seems hard to imagine that Kate Spade is just now coming to the Upper East Side. After all, if there was a way to easily describe this brand's image, it would be "Preppy, Hamptons/Park Avenue Lady". Only yesterday, however,  the brand announced that it would be opening its third New York store at 789 Madison Avenue near 67th Street. With shops downtown in SoHo and on lower Fifth Avenue, it's about time the popular handbag and accessory brand came home to its natural customer in Lilly Pulitzer territory. Trusty, up-to-date Google Street View tells us that the glass-fronted shop used to be a David Webb jewelry store, but, in fact, it has been spending most of the year as a temporary Chanel boutique. The space will offer 1,500 square feet on the ground level plus a mezzanine and third floor which the brand can fill with its burgeoning product offerings which now include apparel and home furnishings. Kate Spade’s chief executive officer Craig Leavitt tells WWD, “This flagship will give us the opportunity to showcase all product categories. It will allow our customers to be able to immerse themselves in Kate Spade New York as a lifestyle." The new store is part of plan by parent company Fifth & Pacific (formerly Liz Claiborne Inc.) to aggressively expand the brand's retail presence. Now that Kate has an uptown pad, can her cooler little brother Jack, who already has stores in SoHo and on Bleecker Street, be far behind?

Kate Spade Set for Madison Ave. (WWD)
Kate Spade (Official Site)


Here's What Happens When FRESH Gives Away Stuff from A Truck

A big-ass line, that's what.

Yesterday afternoon, The Shophound was on our way to Paragon, minding our own business when we were faced with a long line of mostly women trailing down 18th Street. it turns out that they were all waiting for Fresh's Beauty Cleanse Pop-Up Truck which was distributing the Fresh Beauty Cleanse Kit containing soy face cleanser, a BluePrint Spicy Lemonade, and a card for a free mini sugar lip treatment, in a Fresh tote bag.

Today, the truck will be parked on Bleecker Street and West 11th street from 11 AM to 7 PM, which happens to be right in front of the Magnolia Bakery.
Because there aren't enough lines on that corner.

This Saturday, it will be making its way to the Hamptons for the Super Saturday event, and then, who knows?

Queue up at your own discretion, and bring a book. It could be a while.

FRESH (Official Site)


Bleecker Street's Women's Rugby Store Gets Abruptly Shuttered

Here's a surprise. According to our friends at Racked, Ralph Lauren's Women's Rugby store on Bleecker Street up and left the other night after less than a year of being open. Apparently, without any notice, the store was emptied overnight leaving little but a "For Rent" sign in the window. The Men's Rugby down the street remains open as well as the larger University Place flagship. An employee at the men's Bleecker location revealed that the store was closed due to "issues with the landlord", which begs the question, what kind of landlord gets into a bitter dispute with Polo Ralph Lauren Retail? Aren't they the kind of tenant you look for? The kind with deep pockets?

Anyway, we don't know if the women's merchandise has been crammed into the Men's Rugby down the street, which would make it a hell of a crowded little store. It was only last September that the store opened after having been converted from a Ralph Lauren children's store in an event that we can low look back on as The Great RRL Bleecker Street Reshuffling of 2011. Now, Lauren has only three retail outlets on Bleecker, but there's a nice empty store available for someone who is not afraid of potential "landlord issues".

Rugby's West Village Women's Store Closed Overnight (Racked)
CHAIN GANG: Ralph Lauren's Rugby Stores Are Open On Bleecker Street (9/9/2011)


Picks for Spring 2013 From Project & Capsule Part II: Shoes!

Whenever The Shophound goes to these trade shows, we always find ourselves with lots of pictures of shoes. Partly that's because they are easy to display and photograph, and partly becasue we love shoes. This season, the industry is experiencing the McNairy Effect which is to say that designer Mark McNairy and his colorful, irreverent take on classic footwear looks is having a pervasive influence on shoe designers and brands. That means that next Spring there will be an abundance of acid yellow and cobalt blue rubber soles on everything from sneakers to longwing brogues along with colorful laces, grommets and even painted, contrasting storm welts. There animal prints and, of course lots and lots of camo print. The notoriously temperamental McNairy, for his part, was not keen on having his collection photographed this season, but no matter. His work was all over everyone else's. Here's what stood out to us (no pun intended):

A couple of seasons ago, there was a humble little booth from the brand Del Toro (pictured above) featuring wittily decorated evening slippers in great materials. For next Spring, the brand has expanded its offerings "ex-po-nentially" as one of the reps described. There is still a huge array of the clever slippers, but suddenly, there are sneakers, boots, fully structured dress shoes, handsewns and any and every other kind of shoe. Everything still had the brand's irreverent touch, we just hope it isn't too much too fast. Expect to see much more Del Toro very soon.

File this under the department of "How did this not happen before?" That up and coming menswear designer (and former J.Crew men's designer) Todd Snyder is making a few special styles with the all-American brand SeaVees that somehow seems inevitable. It's a perfectly harmonious collaboration that we expect to continue for a while (pictured right).

The revitalized British shoe brand Grenson has become a mainstay in recent seasons, so it's not at all surprising to see them expanding with a new collection of large bags and small leather goods that coordinate with their rugged brogues and boots. The initial offerings are decorated with an exploded brogue pattern in black or brown leather or leather and canvas that should delight faithful Grenson customers. Again, the expansion seems so natural, we were wondering why it took so long.

The folks at venerable American brand Eastland has been getting ever more adventurous with their premium Made in Maine line, and while there is still a lot of camouflage around, we loved their classic handsewn blucher in a leafy hunting camouflage print with a white boating sole (at right). We love to see something we haven't quite seen before in exactly the same way.

Most of the shoes at Capsule and Project run to the sporty and casual side. It's not the place we would expect to see elegant, handmade dress shoes which is probably why the Canadian label Klaxon Howl's refined shoes stood out to us (at left). They are first offerings from a company friend who took up the handmade shoe trade in Italy, and while they seemed a bit dressier than Klaxon Howl's typical military/vintage inspired sportswear, they looked beautiful just on their own.

Japanese brand Caminando always has something to make us smile, and this time it was a classic, red-soled dirty buck oxford just like the ones a young Shophound used to wear in high school. This new version sports a saucy leopard print (as well as the obligatory camo at right) which would not have been at all welcome at our high school, let us tell you, and that makes us love them.

Traipsing Through The Trade Shows: Picks For Spring 2013 From Project & Capsule


Barneys Ditches L.A. Warehouse Sale

BArneysWarehouseHere's an interesting development in the saga of the ever changing Barneys Warehouse Sale. In addition to adding online shopping, the retailer has decided to discontinue the Los Angeles sale this season. In recent seasons, New York sale shoppers have been miffed at the sometimes less than abundant selection of new sale merchandise at the Chelsea event, assuming that Angelenos had had first pick of consolidated merchandise at their sale which would typically run a couple of weeks earlier than the one in New York. Presumably, this will mean that more merchandise from the entire chain will be consolidated into the sale here, but much of what would have been sold on the West Coast will now be diverted to the online sale, Racked LA has this statement from Barneys,

As part of our digital strategy to create a true omnichannel experience for customers, Barneys New York has brought the Warehouse Sale online this August. The exact launch date has not yet been announced. To accomplish this and allocate appropriate levels of inventory to the digital sale, the Los Angeles warehouse sale will not be taking place this season. Barneys will still be hosting the physical Warehouse Sale shoppers know and love in New York, August 23-September 3 at the 17th Street Barneys New York location.

Good news? Who knows. We'll see how this "omnichannel" sale goes when the it begins on August 23rd.

It's True: The Barneys LA Warehouse Sale Has Been Cancelled (Racked LA)
Barneys Warehouse Sale
August 23rd through September 3rd, 225 West 17th Street between Seventh & Eighth Avenues, Chelsea

Barneys Adds A New Twist To This Season's Warehouse Sale


Picks For Spring 2013 From
Project & Capsule

It's that trade show time of year again in New York. Since we don't have a separate Men's Fashion Week here (yet) lots of Men's designers and sportswear brands debut their lines at the trade shows around toen that just ended yesterday. The Shophound stopped by Project and Capsule just to see what jumped out as us as we breezed through. We found that camouflage is still happening, but it has whetted appetites for plenty of other prints like florals, geometrics and ever more animal prints. We found the most news in swimwear, actually, which is benefiting from new attention and detailing as men finally realize that exactly nobody looks good in sack shaped, calf grazing board shorts. be prepared to re-familiarize yourself with at least the lower half of your thighs next Summer. Here are some of the things that caught our eye:

He remains The Shophound's favorite new designer (and also one of GQ's and any number of Men's Editors'). Hardworking Ian Velardi's fourth collection has a more relaxed, laid back vibe with a new, signature spearhead motif (at left) and his usual laser-focused attention to detail. Along with sleek classics like a buttery-soft leather jacket or shirts with hand-picked sleeves, our favorite piece was the hooded jacket in a custom-camo print that, if you look closely, is created from the silhouettes of flamingos and other wild animals (pictured above). You will find his label in more stores this Fall, and the ever-charming designer was particularly excited about his capsule collection for the Gap that is dropping in late September as one of GQ's Best New Menswear Designers.

Here's something you can buy right now at a few stores, and probably more by Christmas. The Pokket Mixer (at right) takes a couple of iPods and almost any speaker system to turn you into a genuine DJ. No extra power sources required. While there's no accounting for what you personal taste in tunes might be, almost anyone can now live out their DJ fantasy for real for just under $100. Right now you can find them at Atrium and Tekkies in Brooklyn, but we expect to see them everywhere soon, including The Shophound's hot little hands.

Thanks to Ralph Lauren and the Olympics, there is a new awareness of where everything is made, and there are more and more brands who are making a point of producing as much as possible if not everything in the United States. Young, L.A. based label WAAR makes a point of its domestic manufacturing, and they impressed us by making the humble cargo short (at left) look fresh to us in a deep red cotton twill with zip details.

Men everywhere owe a debt to the British brand Orlebar Brown (at right) for shaking complacent male beachgoers out of their baggy, elastic waist bathing suit habit. The brand's trunks are so well tailored that it is now officially outfitting Daniel Craig for all his 007-related swimwear needs. For next Summer, they have added a Moroccan basketweave pattern and an officially licensed David Hicks geometric print, but the real news is an expanded array of polos, t-shirts and other sportswear that show the same attention to fit as their famous swimwear along with a soft new color palette for 2013. Start your crunches now for next Summer.

There is still a lingering focus on classic and vintage looks among many of the brands we saw, but we were most amused by READ WALL's clever club tie (at left). After repp stripes and a barrage of bulky, hard to tie cottons and tweeds in recent seasons, The Shophound is hoping that the witty club patterned tie is next in line for a revival, because it's time.

The Project Show seemed particularly more casual and denim driven this season, so luxury designers like recent CFDA Swarovski Award nominee Antonio Azzuolo stood out even more. The Shophound was fascinated by his dinner jacket (at right) which took the pleats of a formal shirt, morphed them with the jacket's lapels and added a gleaming slice of silver metallic leather to the under-collar —all hand tailored in New York. We know this isn't for everyone, or even for us, but it was too clever and elegant to ignore. We are sure that there are a few rock stars out there whose lives will not be complete until they have this jacket.

There are no shortage of jeans lines out there, but something about the new denim brand Norman Russell caught our eye. Actually, it wasn't the jeans, but a sweet, simple tan suede motorcycle jacket (at left). We were told by Norman Russell founder and occasional catalog model Kortney Hastin that the jackets would be made in a limited edition because the guy in L.A. who makes them by hand can only work so fast. Along with jeans there were chunky handknits and smart pull-over chambray shirts. Keep an eye out for those, too. Pull-over shirts are happening any minute.

It looks like the relentless menswear obsession with Heritage brands is waning a bit, which is kind of a relief, making room for newer ideas. That is not to say that the labels that have been revitalized don't still have worthwhile goods. One of our favorites remains Dickies 1922, Texas based workwear brand that keeps things simple. The still compact collection includes a few colorful collaboration pieces done with The Hill-Side along with a perfect pair of painters' pants in indigo twill (at right). The Shophound loves painters' pants, especially these.