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Non-Saint Laurent Store In SoHo To Become Balenciaga Men's Store

Now we have the final piece of the puzzling story of the shop that was to be a Saint Laurent boutique at 149 Mercer Street. The space, which before it was banished behind misleadingly labeled plywood has held John Varvatos and Napapijri boutiques, will become a Balenciaga men's boutique to complement the flagship store for the label that is under construction across the street at number 148. This will be the brand's first freestanding men's store in the U.S., and, as far as we can tell, possibly in the world. Of course, this makes perfect sense, since Balenciaga, like Yves Saint Laurent, is owned by Kering (formerly known as PPR) which would simplify any lease transfer issues.

Originally set to be opened before Yves Saint Laurent underwent a revamp by new creative director Hedi Slimane, the store was delayed, and delayed, and then ultimately moved to an entirely different space on Greene Street, leaving the fate of the apparently unloved Mercer Street location in question. WWD answered that question for us by casually dropping the bit of information while reporting on the label's Fall advertising campaign. Interestingly, it will also be one of the first new stores from Balenciaga's own closely watched creative revamp under designer Alexander Wang. Hopefully, the store will open concurrently with it's counterpart this Fall.

Alexander Wang Goes Cinematic for First Balenciaga Campaign (WWD)

Coming Soon...Sort Of: Saint Laurent's SoHo Saga Continues


Late Breakers From Fred Perry & Thakoon + Get Ready For Shoes, Marchesa & OXO

It's almost May, which means that the Spring Sample Sale season is revving up and you can expect some designers to give only a few days notice before they liquidate their overstock. This Week there are short notice sales from FRED PERRY, THAKOON and a 1-day clearance from jewelry designer JOHN HARDY. There's also the GILT CITY Warehouse Sale this weekend (register HERE if you are not yet a GILT member). Next week brings dueling stilettos from MANOLO BLAHNIK and JIMMY CHOO, and if you are really not tapped out yet, the grapevine tells us that CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN's mysterious We're-not-having-any-sample-sale Sample Sale will happen the following Monday. Of course, unless you are invited or know someone who can get you in, you aren't going to that one, and we can't help you. We can help you with most of the others, so keep an eye on our continually updated SALE ROLL at left for breaking sales.

We said there would be late breakers. Look to the left for information about glamorous eveningwear from MARCHESA and, on the other end of the spectrum, the best home gadgets from OXO —both conveniently located in the Starrett-Lehigh building in West Chelsea.


Cutler and Gross Coming To SoHo

SoHo is about to get another cult eyewear store, but this time it will be of the rarefied luxury sort. British brand Cutler and Gross will be opening its first U.S. boutique next month at 110 Mercer Street (between Spring and Prince Streets) that may have fans of its funky frames lining up not unlike the recent crowds at Warby Parker's new store. Famous for meticulously handcrafted frames in flamboyant styles (which typically retail between $400 and $500), the brand's new store will offer state of the art optometric and prescription services as well as a bespoke service that will allow customers to create their own, exclusively styled frames. To celebrate the opening, Cutler and Gross has also created a limited edition collection of frames based on famous New York personalities which will benefit locally based charities. We don't have a firm opening date, but hopefully we won't have to wait long to peruse the 4,000 frames from the company's 34 year history that will be on permanent display —just in time to pick up those new Summer sunnies.

Cutler and Gross to Open U.S. Store (WWD)


Dolce & Gabanna Fifth Avenue Is Open

Over the weekend, Dolce & Gabbana quietly joined the Fifth Avenue Brand Palace club when the label's latest flagship finally opened its doors right next door to Giorgio Armani's own splashy showplace. Though the storefront is partially obscured at the moment by some particularly large scaffolding, it is, as we expected, mostly glass allowing for tall window displays. Inside, the general ambiance is grand with the pristine white marble we saw earlier this month covering the walls in sleek slabs. If the Madison Avenue boutique (currently undergoing its own renovation —again) is intimate and residential feeling, then this location is meant to be monumental with three spacious and lavishly appointed floors which should be just enough to hold the huge amount of merchandise produced by the label. Naturally, the place is swarming with super-cordial and eagerly helpful staff,which is to be expected after such a high-profile opening. We were only able to sneak a few quick shots, but visitors will find a mélange of the designers' interior signatures like huge tufted velvet ottomans, oversized mirrors with gilded rococo frames, enormous Venetian glass chandeliers and the occasional scroll-patterned damask wall panel. Downstairs, the men's floor (pictured below) is more clublike with wood parquet floors replacing the stone and giant steamer trunk-style fixtures, articulating the brand's unmistakable mix of the classically opulent with the sleekly modern.

Dolce & Gabbana's arrival on Fifth Avenue boosts Fifth Avenue's ipmortance as a showplace for European luxury labels, which makes us wonder when more American designers (Ralph Lauren?) will step up with their own, full Fifth Avenue flagships? (and, no we aren't counting Juicy Couture)

Dolce & Gabbana 715 Fifth Avenue between 55th & 56th Streets, Midtown
Works In Progress: A Peek Inside Dolce & Gabbana's Fifth Avenue Site


Calvin Klein, Fendi, Rebecca Taylor, BCBG, Gucci, Giuseppe Zanotti, Ray-Ban, Burberry, Pierre Balmain, Max Mara, TOD's, John Varvatos

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!

Alex + Alex, STEVEN by Steve Madden, Gold Hawk, Natori, Catherine Malandrino, Swarovski jewelry, Seychelles, Riler & Fount, Thakoon, Helen Kaminski, Calvin Klein Underwear, Sebago, Jack Victor, S.T.Dupont, Ben Sherman, Thomas Earnshaw Watches, Mezlan, Luca Roda, Ashbury Sunglasses, Goorin Bros., Ergobaby, Eberjey Girl's Swim, A Pea in the Pod, Schott Zweisel & Fortessa, Brownstone & Benchmade, Nespresso —join HERE
Fendi, Victorinox, Yumi Kim, Richart, Cuddledown, Dolce & Gabbana, Mrs. Prindables, Peter Millar, Lindt, Calico Critters, LAGOS, Escada, Original Penguin, Gevril Watches, Rochard Limoges —join HERE
Technomarine, Gucci, BCBG Max Azria, Rebecca Taylor, Donna Morgan, Charmex Watches Versace Neckwear, Robert Graham, TOD's, Ben Sherman, Original Penguin, Giuseppe Zanotti, Mason Cash, A.B.S, Walter, Wyatt, Ray-Ban, Burberry —join HERE
True Religion, Taryn Rose, Vincent Longo Cosmetics, Morgan Ashleigh, Kassatex, Jessica Simpson, Luichiny, Decleor Paris, Liebeskind, Plain Jane Homme, Calvin Klein, Badgley Mischka Swimwear, Yummie Tummie, Onna Erlich, Desigual, Covet Amrita Singh, BCBG Watches, Tommy Hilfiger Kid's Shoes, Joseph Abboud, Mr. Turk, RED Valentino, Missoni, Nocole Miller, Calypso St. Barth, Børn —join HERE
Canali, Pierre Balmain, Nixon Watches, Palladium, John Varvatos ★ USA, Bespoken, Jessica Simpson, Goorin Bros./Robert Graham & More, Adrienne Vittadini Footwear, Chaiken, Melissa Shoes, Desigual, Ted Baker —join HERE
Max Mara, Fabi, Alâra, Welder Watches, Blackstone Footwear, Saint Honoré Watches —join HERE


Here's Beyoncé Dancing On The Beach In A Bikini For H&M

We have never hesitated to make sure our readers don't miss the latest media featuring David Beckham in his underpants, so in fairness, we figured we should make you aware that H&M has engaged superstar Beyoncé to model its Summer swimwear line. For the Swedish retailer, it's another celebrity coup, and for Beyoncé, it's merely one more component of the massive media blitz that is accompanying her upcoming album "Mrs. Carter" and its accompanying tour. The commercial features a snippet of one of her previously unheard new songs, "Standing On The Sun", a dark wig and lots of choreography directed by video whiz Jonas Åkerlund in the Bahamas. You are going to want to watch at least once, so go ahead and click on through and dream of the beach for exactly a minute and a half.

Continue reading "VIDEO BREAK:

Here's Beyoncé Dancing On The Beach In A Bikini For H&M" »


Cartier Slated To
Camp Out At The GM Building

GM-BuildingIt's always a challenge for an iconic store to give up a signature location —even if it's temporary— but Cartier is about to trade it's longtime Fifth Avenue home for an even higher profile spot while the landmark mansion undergoes extensive renovation. The legendary jeweler will take over 6,000 square feet of space most recently used as a studio for the CBS Morning Show on the northwest corner of the GM Building, facing Fifth Avenue and overlooking the plaza that includes the Apple Store's signature glass box. The time frame for all this transition is still a bit murky as the space will need some renovation of its own to make it suitable for housing a luxury jeweler like Cartier, but you can probably expect the store to make the move sometime this year before renovations begin on the flagship at 52nd Street and Fifth Avenue. Even with immediate neighbors like The Plaza Hotel, both Bergdorf Goodman stores and, of course, housemates F.A.O. Schwarz & Apple, it's hard to say that the GM Building is a better location than Cartier's home since 1917. It doesn't come with the famous story that it was bought from its previous occupants for $100 and a particularly spectacular double strand of pearls worth $1 million, and, obviously, the jeweler will be renting not owning, but you have to admit that it is one of the best retail locations in the city that has not yet held an actual store. Before the extensive remodel that changed the base of the building and made it suitable for CBS, GM always used the space as a showroom for its latest auto models. While Cartier may be tempted to hang on to such a great location even after its renovations are finished, it's unlikely that it will need that much pricey space on Fifth Avenue. The interesting question is who will have the resources and status to take over the spot as a permanent home? Let the speculation begin.

Cartier locks up gem of new space at GM Building (Crain's)


Witchy Hippie Edition

25zCRITICAL1-articleLargeIn this week's Thursday Styles, Critical Shopper Alexandra Jacobs alerts us all to the arrival in SoHo of Gudrun Sjoden;s first American store, which as you may have deduced, comes to us from Sweden. Our shopper cannot help herself from recalling various poems about getting old and fat, which makes it pretty clear that she sees it as a store for not just any old lady, but a peculiarly eccentric one —the sort who really doesn't care if the various components of her outfit have anything to do with each other as long as each piece amuses her in some way. Our shopper describes the offerings as "more fanciful than practical, returning the mature woman to a presexual, innocent time of frolicking in the fields, mud pies and fingerpaint."

Ultimately, the store doesn't seem to really fit in with the slick, ever more designer laden SoHo storescape,

Ms. Sjoden’s outpost also seems an odd addition to the slick, condopped SoHo of today. It harks back rather to the long-gone eccentric, sculptor’s neighborhood that mandated colorful oversize jewelry clanking atop overalls, rompers, smocks and tunics, like the Sus & Dus cotton-rayon artist’s blouse ($90) with “generous fit over the hips,” as the spring catalog promises.

So Hervé Leger, it isn't, but with more and more tourists converging on the neighborhood, it hardly seems to matter if any store there caters to a particular image of a New York woman. And, eventually, all those tourists who continue to line up in front of the Kardashian sisters' pseudo-store Dash, are probably going to get old and want to transition into something loose, loud and flower-printed.

Critical Shopper: Glinda Would Be at Ease By Alexandra Jacobs (NYTimes)
Gudrun Sjoden
50 Greene Street between Broome & Grand Streets, SoHo


Alexander Wang & Manolo Blahnik Sales Come In Under The Radar

Wang-1Well, it was looking like a dull sample sale week, but then news of the Proenza Schouler sale on Friday popped up along with dates for the controlled madness that is the Manolo Blahnik sale.

Now another sale that can be relied upon to create pandemonium is trying to keep publicity to a minimum, but that won't last for long. Reliable source The Madison Avenue Spy reports that the ALEXANDER WANG Sample Sale will begin tomorrow, April 25th (so much for planning ahead) and run through Saturday in SoHo. Get up early and call in sick because people are probably lining up for it as you read this.
Expect serious lines.

Check our SALE ROLL at left for all the details.

Our friends at Racked tell us that representatives of Alexander Wang are claiming that no such sale is happening tomorrow, so maybe this is a big fake-out. We will all find out soon enough.

Alexander Wang Sample Sale (Madison Avenue Spy)


More On Uniqlo's Collaborations With Michael Bastian & Suno

May 20th is going to be a big day at Uniqlo stores as they unveil their first American designer collaborations in a few seasons. The hype is already starting. Yesterday, the retailer released the video above which shows designer Michael Bastian discussing his polo shirt project. The secret, it turns out, is a perfectly fitted short sleeve that maximizes bicep shape, so take note. From what we can tell, it looks like there may be nearly 50 different styles and colorways in this collection, which is an impressive offering.

As for the Suno line debuting on the same day, there is no video yet, but the fashion blogs are all abuzz for the first big high-profile collaboration from designers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty. We have scoured the internets to find as many images we could of the collection, so click on our gallery below to see what's to come.

You may be inclined to line up in front of the nearest Uniqlo store on May 20th to make sure you get the best choice since the polo shirts will all be priced at a mere $19.90, and the Suno collection is reported to top out at $39.90. Remember how much fun it was to queue up for those +J launches? Yeah, anyway, now that there are three giant flagships plus new mall stores popping up every other minute, it might not be such a crush this time around. We recommend checking the lower profile 34th Street store first, since the weekday crowds there are lighter than on Fifth Avenue or in SoHo, and it tends to be the last to sell out of things. This time, as a back up and for customers who are not near an Uniqlo store, you will be able to purchase the collections online which should also make things easier, and don't forget to watch this space as more information is released.

UNIQLO x Michale Bastian (Official Site)
Uniqlo Turns Back To America For Lines With Suno & Michael Bastian