Francophiles can rejoice next month when one of France's hottest sportswear labels, Carven, opens it first U.S. boutique at 83 Mercer Street. Slated to open on November 26th, it will replace the boutique Curve which has moved to Bond Street in NoHo. Though Carven has appeared to be a popular new label experiencing meteoric popularity over the past few years under designer Guillaume Henry, it is, in fact, a nearly 60-year old couture house that has only recently been transformed into a trendy ready-to-wear company. That makes the new boutique something of a belated Stateside debut. The new store will reflect the label's established retail style in Europe including design by Eric Chevallier featuring elaborate lighting, a register station based on a movie theater box office and mosaic floors. It will be the Carven's 16th store globally, and may just eclipse the nearby UGG store's notorious queue when it opens this Holiday season.
It's a surprise, but really not, because it has already happened twice before.
In a Groudhog Day-esque scenario, designer Jil Sander has once again left the company that bears her name,
For the third time.
"Personal reasons" have been cited as the reason for her departure.
We have heard this story before, of course. The Spring 2014 collection she showed last month, only her third after returning again in February 2012, will be her last under her namesake label. The next line will be designed by her current design team. Though it was a surprise that she returned to the brand at all, she was instrumental in stabilizing it after the acclaimed, previous creative director, Raf Simons left to join Christian Dior. Ms. Sander memorably left the label for the first time six months after selling 75% of the brand to Prada in 1999 among rumors of strong disagreements between the designer and her new bosses. She returned after a few poorly received seasons under creative director Milan Vukmirovic, and then, after successfully redirecting the company, departed once again in 2004 for eight years during which she memorably created a hugely popular, affordably priced collaboration collection with Uniqlo called +J. That line was abruptly discontinued shortly before it was announced she would return to the Jil Sander label early last year. While the label has released an appreciative statement regarding the designer's contributions, there is no immediate word on a successor. Ms. Sander will turn 70 next month, and it is possible that she may just be ready to retire. A notoriously private person who started the brand 46 years ago, it's not out of character that she would want to avoid the kind of splashy farewell that other iconic designers have favored in recent years.
In case you haven't been paying attention, The New York area is experiencing an influx of a bunch of new Uniqlo stores at the moment including Staten Island and Bridegwater Commons already open, Atlantic Terminal coming this weekend, and Menlo Park, Smith Haven Mall and Westfield Trumbull Mall in the next couple of weeks. Such an event never goes unmarked without some kind of special promotion from the Japan-based chain, and this time they have opened a pop-up store for their popular Ultra Light Down collection in Union Square, or rather under Union Square.
In the subway station.
'What a clever idea,' one might think. After all, when was the last time you found a pop-up store in a subway station? As a hub for three busy, far reaching subway lines, Union Square would seem like an ideal spot. Actually, the shop opened last week, and we had been meaning to check it out when we realized that we had been through that station several times without even noticing it. That's when we realized the drawback of a pop-up store in the subway station: The only reason anyone goes into the subway is to eventually get out of the subway. Either you are waiting for a train to come, or you have just gotten off one and are trying to get to the surface as quickly as is humanly possible. In fact, veteran riders know exactly where to stand on the platform so they can be as close to an exit as possible when they reach their destinations. Nobody lingers in the subway. Everybody passes through, but nobody actually wants to be there, let alone start shopping. We are kind of curious to know what kind of business this shop, which will be open through the Holidays, is doing. It's pretty tiny, and probably exists more for visibility than profits. If you want to check it out, it can be found near the exit at 14th Street and Fourth Avenue, just inside the turnstiles, but if you really want to shop, one of Manhattan's three huge Uniqlo flagships would probably be a better bet.
Uniqlo (Official Site)
This week's Thursday Styles, Critical Shopper, Alexandra Jacobs investigates SoHo's Sleep Studio, a concept store devoted to everything bedroom related. She opens with a recounting of her own peculiar "early-rising" sleep disorder that seems vaguely Kuczynski-esque with only a tiny soupçon of over-sharing and, sadly, none of the bewildering crazy that our original Critical Shopper used to serve up regularly.
But on to the store, which takes a clever concept with potentially wide appeal but pitches it more toward SoHo's well-heeled residents than its sneaker-shod tourist population. Additionally, it errs on the restorative, restful side of bedroom activity as opposed to the racier side of things. Even the "relaxation aids" have been sanitized to avoid any confusion,
“They’re supposed to be classy,” said a clerk with a chestful of tattoos that also seemed more neighborly than transgressive, as she cheerfully wiggled the two prongs of what looked like a large pink molar back and forth. “What do you even do with this? I don’t know.”
Well, as they say, "If you have to ask..."
It has been several months since Club Monaco's customers on Lower Fifth Avenue have been directed around the corner to a disused Daffy's, but that inconvenience is now ended. This morning, regular customers were alerted that the chain's main flagship and first New York location at Fifth Avenue and 21st Street is now once again open for business, but once inside, you would hardly recognize it. Even before we walked inside, we noticed a decorative wrought-iron grille restored above the front door flanked by opulent floral arrangements and new awnings. What was originally a stripped down and slightly generic, modernistic retail decor has been transformed into a grand residential interior in keeping with 120-year-old Gilded Age building it occupies. Originally started in Canada by Joe Mimran and Alfred Sung, Club Monaco was acquired by Ralph Lauren in 1999, and the question many had at the time was whether the designer could own a trend driven brand without ultimately bending it to his own, very specific aesthetic style? The most striking thing about the re-imagined Club Monaco flagship is how very easily it could serve as a Ralph Lauren store. It might feel somewhat disappointing on a purely cynical level if it weren't so impeccably executed. Parquet floors, elaborate moldings and imposing columns give the store a lavish Beaux Arts ambiance. The once open space is now divided into interconnected rooms (another Lauren hallmark), but an expansion adds square feet for new extra features like a florist counter, and a bookshop courtesy of The Strand. A coffee bar with its own entrance is still under construction.
Downstairs, the men's department has been similarly transformed with marble floors and a much darker palette, because darkness means men's clothes in the Ralph Lauren world. Again the interconnected rooms feel more spacious, and offer better settings for a shoe section featuring Grenson, Mark McNairy and Rancourt, as well as a special Made in the USA line of suiting. A couple of years ago, The Shophound took Club Monaco to task for a new men's strategy that seemed blatantly lifted from competitor J.Crew in its focus on preppy classics and carefully curated third party brands brought in to add prestige and round out offerings. Over the past seasons, however, the chain has developed a more individual men's fashion image with more quirk and modernistic touches. The women's offerings, oddly enough have not developed as clear of a point of view. What originally arrived in New York in the late '90s as a source for high fashion trends at a price now seems blandly middle-of-the-road in its women's offerings, which could use a bit more of the zing that is livening up the lower level of the store. Currently the effect is of two entirely different companies which just happen to occupy the same store. Perhaps that will change in the future. What Club Monaco is showing off right now is a dramatically transformed environment, which may suggest what shoppers will be able to expect when its new SoHo stores are unveiled, although replicating the sumptuous design in this particular store may be too costly to roll out to every store in the chain. Check out more views of the store in out gallery below, and even if you don't think of yourself as Club Monaco fan, it's worth a look in person just to appreciate the store's impressive transformation.
Club Monaco 160 Fifth Avenue, Flatiron District
Governor Cuomo just signed new laws for New York State regarding the employment of minor-aged models, but that won't be much of a concern for ORLEY, the burgeoning knitwear brand that is launching its first full apparel collection with a video starring veteran actors Harwood Gordon and Bob Evans. As if to underscore the retirement-minded milieu of the video, Gordon and Evans demonstrate the ins and outs of competitive shuffleboard while modeling Orley's vibrantly colored Spring 2014 collection and looking rather a bit more stylish than your average retiree. Orley co-founders Alex Orley, Matthew Orley, and Samantha Florence enlisted the services of their younger brother Jason Orley to direct the short film which appears to be part of a series. Look for the collection next Spring at Bergdorf Goodman, Carson Street Clothiers and Fivestory, which should give you some time to practice your shuffleboard.
ORLEY (Official Site) Check out the video after the jump
Fall Arrives At ODIN New York With More Exclusives From Mark McNairy, Todd Snyder, Engineered Garments, Alex Mill & More
As far as The Shophound is concerned, the only thing that makes the end of Summer bearable is the promise of new Fall clothes. This season, Odin New York, one of the city's most influential men's retailers, has stepped up its game and worked with its key designer vendors, including several whose first collections were launched by the retailer, to create a brand new, exclusive capsule collection for the three-store chainlet. We have already seen special pieces arrive from Rag & Bone, AC by Cantarelli and Common Projects, and this month brings more exclusives from some of The Shophound's personal favorite labels. New arrivals include a rugged, modern suit with clever functional details from Mark McNairy (pictured above), four variations on Engineered Garments' classic work shirt, Todd Snyder's hooded Trench Jacket, plaid shirts, zip cardigan and dotted trouser, and Alex Mill's exclusive shirts. Check them out in the gallery below and get a closer look at Odin New York stores around the city or online.
You have one week left to shop Rick Owens' DRKSHDW pop-up store on Wooster Street in SoHo, but then what would happen to that perfectly desirable retail space? There were probably a lot of Owens fans who were hoping that he might just take up permanent residence in the space, but if he wants to keep it open, it will have to move, because next Spring, it will become Band of Outsiders' first U.S. store.
Of course, earlier this month, the label announced that its first store anywhere had opened in Tokyo, which probably left a lot of people wondering, "Why not here?" That question was answered swiftly enough on Friday, and a glimpse at the Tokyo store (seen below via the label's Twitter feed) should give us an idea of what to expect, since he architects who deigned it, Lot-Ek, will also be handling the same duties here. Band of Outsiders has had an impressive early stage, but now that it is comfortably ensconced in stores like Opening Ceremony, Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys, it's time to see what kind of impact it can make in its own, customized environment. If the Tokyo store is any indication, look to be surprised.
THIS WEEK ONLINE:
Giorgio Armani, Moschino, Balenciaga, Tom Ford, Giuseppe Zanotti, Etro, James Perse, Jean-Michel Cazabat, Porsche Design, Versus, Keen
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!
GILT GROUPEJonathan Adler, Primigi, Peter Max, Giorgio Armani, Satya Jewelry, Magaschoni, Z Spoke by Zac Posen, Philip B., Schott, Santos by Carlos Santos, Love Moschino, Punto Cashmere, Hickey Freeman, BED:STU, Porsamo Bleu Watches, 7 Diamonds, Cole Haan Outerwear, Levi's/Dockers, Alex Toys, Little Artist, Peaks of London, Momeni Rugs, L'Enfant Lune, Razor Scooters, Alexander Comforts Luxe Down —join HERE
RUE LA LATrina Turk, Rockport, Victorinox, Marika, Stuart Weitzman, Chantal, NYDJ, Eyebobs, Dr. Martens, Blissliving, Seiko, Tommy Bahama Home, Merrell, Yummie by Heather Thompson, Dooney & Bourke, Sperry Top-Sider, Honora, Casadei, Yoanna Baraschi, Puma, John Hardy, Stella McCartney, Free People, Bodrum Table Linens —join HERE
BELLE & CLIVEBalenciaga, Kalorik, ABS by Allen Schwartz, Lori K Fine Jewelry, Elements by KC Design, Gucci Sunglasses, Giuseppe Zanotti, Kenneth Cole, Saint Laurent, Luminox, Tom Ford, Prada, Ferrari Watches, Chan Luu, Salvatore Ferragamo, Robert Graham, Etro —join HERE
HAUTE LOOK7 For All Mankind, Korres, LnA, Rivka Friedman, Dr. Brandt Skincare, Hugo Boss Watches, Chinese Laundry, Amrita Singh, Madden Girl, B-Brian Atwood, Robert Rodriguez, Andrew Marc, Betsey Johnson, Segolene Paris, Yumi London, Isabella Fiore, Antony Morato, Zanerobe, Keen, Sophie Catalou, Kosta Boda, James Perse, Hunter, G-Star Raw, Erica Anenberg, Desigual —join HEREMY HABITTom Ford, Cohesive & Co., Sanyo, Timberland, Coach, Ellen Tracy, Diamant Rouge Paris Watches, Jean-Michel Cazabat, David Kahn, Linea Pelle, Versus, Espalma, Portolano, Bacco Bucci, Adrienne Vittadini, Latico Handbags —join HEREVENTE PRIVEEPorsche Design, CAT, ToyWatch, Bollé, deLaCour Watches, Surya Home —join HERE
It would be easy to think that every designer in New York has a sample sale every season (some seem to have two or three), but the fact is, smaller, independent labels only do it every so often. This brings us to one of The Shophound's favorites, recent CFDA Award nominees Duckie Brown. Designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver will be opening their West Village showroom next Saturday for only the fourth time in the brand's twelve year existence. Fans of adventurous but beautifully crafted menswear made right here in New York City can expect to find runway samples and overstock from the past two years at prices from $100 to $1000. Might we find a few samples from the elusive and now defunct collaboration with Perry Ellis? We'll have to wait until next weekend to find out. In any event, it will be worth stopping by just for the opportunity to get something special from an exclusive label hitting its creative stride. See the invite above and our SALE ROLL for up to the minute details.