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Garrett Leight Reminds Us That One Day It Really Will Be Summertime

It actually snowed a little bit this morning, which is incredibly disheartening for the last day of March. This state of affairs hasn't been helping retailers much as customers seem to be waiting for t-shirt weather before they start their Spring shopping. As if to remind us all that warmer weather is on the horizon somewhere, eyewear designer Garrett Leight invited a bunch of folks, including The Shophound, to the Standard Hotel in the East Village late last week to launch his Spring 2014 collection of optical and sunglass frames along with the latest edition of his magazine, Spectacle. Look closely at the diorama pictured above, and you will find the results of Leight's work with collaboration king Mark McNairy, which was one of a few styles showcased in the lush greenery we hope to see sprouting from the ground sometime soon. The rest of the collection was more accessibly displayed on tables (pictured below) so partygoers could try the styles for themselves. Nothing sets the stage for the Summer like choosing a new pair of sunglasses for the season, and Leight (who just happens to be the son of Oliver Peoples founder Larry Leight) offered plenty of promising options. Choosing just one seemed like a challenge. His classic frame shapes in unexpected colors and materials perfectly fit the mood of the upcoming season, whenever it gets around to arriving. 



Giorgio Armani, Missoni, Jimmy Choo, Nanette Lepore, Rag & Bone, Aerin, Alexandre Plokhov, Moods Of Norway, Vince Camuto, Burberry, Puma

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!

Brian Atwood, Nanette Lepore, Jill Stuart, Missoni, BCBGMAxAzria, 3.2 Phillip Lim, L.A.M.B., Lulu Frost, Jouer Cosmetics, Black Fleece, Jack Victor, McCarren & Sons, Martin Greenfield, Ben Sherman, G-Star, Seavees, Lucien Piccard, L'Objet, BergHOFF, Core Bamboo —join HERE
Bollé, Stuhrling Watches, Elaine Turner, Dolce Vita/DV by Dolce Vita, Damiani Jewelry, Waterford Bed & Bath, Christopher Blue, La Perla, Canvas Home, Lucchese Footwear, Puma, KinderLOOM Rugs, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Michael Kors Watches, TART, Hickey, Bleulab, GUND, Cuddledown, Asics, Ellen Tracy, Tolani, Cuisinart, Mariposa, Il Makiage, Tailgate —join HERE
Burberry, Lucien Piccard, Alexander McQueen Footwear, Rag & Bone, L.A.M.B., Aerin Shoes, Greylin, Colette Nicolai Jewelry, Tommy HIlfiger, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors Accessories, Invicta, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo —join HERE
Armani Collezioni, Kooba, AG Jeans, Vince Camuto Signature, Steve Madden, RED Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Natori, Elizabeth and James, Koh Gen Doh, Rebecca Minkoff, Rich & Skinny, Hello Kitty, Paul Frank, Ben Sherman, Moods of Norway, ZIRH, Mason's, Ben Minkoff, Walk-Over, J.Lindeberg —join HERE
TOD's, Brioni, Zegna Sunglasses, Akribos XXIV, Alexandre Plokhov, Elie Tahari, Donald J Pliner, T Tahari, ABS by Allen Schwartz Girls, Steve Madden, Dreamweavers Rugs, Anolon/Circulon, Hayden Harnett, Giorgio Armani Sunglasses, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, TailorByrd, Kenneth Cole New York, John Varvatos, Puma —join HERE
Santoni Shoes, Wellspun Bed & Bath, Luciano Padovan, Rambaud Pearl Jewelry, Marc Joseph Shoes, Michael Kors Watchs & Accessories, Royal Gold LVX —join HERE


Could Neiman Marcus Be Opening A Flagship In Manhattan?

Here's a rumor that comes with a healthy helping of built-in skepticism. The New York Post is reporting that Neiman Marcus is negotiating for a flagship sized store that would open in 2018 in the upcoming Hudson Yards development being in the West 30's. This would fly in the face of the chain's longtime policy of opening branches around New York City in New Jersey and Westchester, but never within Manhattan as to not directly compete with or cannibalize the huge business generated by sibling store Bergdorf Goodman. Conversely, Bergdorf's has not expanded beyond its Men's and Women's stores at 58th Street and Fifth Avenue because any U.S. city with expansion potential would already have at least one Neiman Marcus store already thriving. Why change that now? Neiman Marcus Group has new owners who will be anxious for a return on their investment, and the luxury market in New York has grown to the point where some might be convinced that there's enough business for both stores. There are breathless real estate "sources" who are salivating at the prospect of a 200,000 square foot Neiman Marcus flagship anchoring the Hudson Yards complex whose retail component has yet to fully take shape. Also, Nordstom is set to open its first Manhattan store in 2018, at 57th Street and Broadway which would add even more retail action on Manhattan's western half. There's just one thing...
Location, location location.
Bergdorf issues aside, is Neiman Marcus the type of company that would risk opening a costly flagship sized store on 10th Avenue in the West 30s where there is currently nothing, and where there has never been any kind of retail district to speak of? Common wisdom would say no, but stranger things have been known to happen.
Of course, we have heard many times from real estate sources about confirmed deals like Nordstrom at the former Drake Hotel site, or Barneys in the Meatpacking district that never materialized, so one newspaper report doesn't not necessarily make a signed deal. If this does happen, however, it could mean big changes not only for Neiman Marcus but also Bergdorf's. If NMG is willing to bring Neiman's to Manhattan, then it also might be considering finally expanding Bergdorf's into other cities. Or not. Who knows? Stay tuned to see how, or even if, this story develops.

Neiman eyes Hudson Yards for 1st NYC store (NYPost)



H&M's & Other Stories Heads To SoHo

So many shoppers are disappointed that the first U.S. COS store has been pushed to the Fall, but the consolation prize is that H&M's other offshoot chain & Other Stories will be joining it in SoHo. New s broke to breathless fashion blogs today that though the fledgling chain is barely a year old, it has been deemed ready for a stateside launch. Already available in 10 European countries, & Other Stories will also be offering e-commerce to the U.S. along with the retail rollout. Where does this latest chain fit in with the hierarchy? Pricewise, it falls somewhere between the mothership and COS, so comparable to Madewell? Like J.Crew's offshoot, this one is for women only at this point, and will open its doors right next to Prada in 6,400 square feet at 575 Broadway according to the poromo image above. Stylewise, it has been compared to Acne Studios and Opening Ceremony's house brand, so we can expect a bit more of the quirky sportswear style that Stockholm has become famous for. Editors and international bloggers have been raving about the chain for the past year, so there will be plenty of excited potential customers by the time opening day rolls around. What with the massive Herald Center takeover, upcoming Fifth Avenue brand palace and these new launches set for later in the year, H&M is taking over Manhattan, and we haven't even heard about its big Fall designer collaboration —yet.

BREAKING: H&M's & Other Stories Brand Is Opening in NYC (Racked)


Adidas X Pharrell Williams
Is Coming This Summer

Pharrell Williams by Shadi Perez
He is everywhere, and he's not going away anytime soon.
Today, singer, producer, designer and budding textile mogul (who knew?) Pharrell Williams announced his upcoming collaboration with Adidas Originals which will be arriving this Summer. While both Pharrell and Adidas have numerous ongoning product lines and collaboration, this marks the first time that the sneaker giant has teamed up with a partner who has his own textile company, Bionic Yarn. Coming from The Vortex Project it is an initiative with Parley for the Oceans that takes plastic debris from the oceans and recycles it into yarn and fabric. The line will use materials from Bionic Yarn in some of its products, the specific details of which have yet to be released. "Working with an iconic brand like Adidas is such an incredible opportunity. From the classic track suit, to growing up in Virginia wearing Stan Smiths, adidas has been a staple in my life. Their pieces are timeless. This is an exciting partnership for both me and for Bionic Yarn," the celebrated multitasker says in today's press release. He will be working with the Global Creative Director of Adidas Sport Style Division, Dirk Schoenberger, to develop the line which will presumably include sneakers and sportswear. Can we hope to see a version of the custom made leather Adidas "Firebird" jacket which Pharrell wears in the picture above, and has also been seen wearing in red and green? Hey, if it's the right item, buying in multiples is always a good investment. More details about the line should be coming in the next couple of months, but in the meantime you can watch the short video after the jump that Pharrell created to announce the line along with a slew of hashtags including #pharrellxadidas, #pharrell, #adidasoriginals, #adidas, #fortheoceans and #thevortexproject, so you can be fully media-connected.


Adidas X Pharrell Williams
Is Coming This Summer
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Errant Lily Edition

27CRITICAL2_SPAN-superJumboPerhaps the most striking bit of information revealed in this week's Critical Shopper column in the Thursday Styles, is that Alexandra Jacobs has no idea what to do when a lily showers its pollen on her clothes.
For future reference:
Don't touch.
Get a vacuum cleaner or at least a dustbuster and remove the damaging dust with as little contact as possible.
Even masking tape can help, but never, ever try to rub it out or use water.

Anyway, to replace a dress that is probably ruined forever, our shopper goes to the relatively new Carven boutique on Mercer Street in SoHo. We're actually a little bit surprised that it took her so long, since it opened months ago, and Critical Shoppers are usually quicker on the uptake, but we all have our lapses. The Shophound loved the inventive design of this little shop. Jacobs was charmed as well, but it was only price that kept her from finding a substitute for her stained frock. Surprise! The clothes at the SoHo boutique of a French label are expensive, even if they are at the low end of the designer price scale these days. It may, however, be the cruelly extended winter that is also putting Carven's sprightly offerings just a bit out of reach,

The charms of Carven are easy to grasp on a day of warmth and whimsy; less so, somehow, when it’s chilly.

You would think that late March would be a perfectly reasonable time to start considering Spring clothes that have been in the stores since January, but Mother Nature seems to have other plans. Maybe next month, or in May, when they get marked down.

Critical Shopper: A House and Its Perpetual Spring By Alexandra Jacobs (NYTimes)
Carven 83 Mercer Street between Broome & Spring Streets


The FAB Warehouse Sale
Is A Mess Of Abundance
Costume National, Jean Paul Gaultier, Pierre Balmain,
Roger Vivier and more

We don't know if this is the first time that FAB.com has held a warehouse sale, but it is certainly the first time The Shophound has ever been to one and we warn interested parties that there is tons and tons of stuff, but it is not for the faint of heart.
Fab continues to transform itself, and its latest incarnation has abandoned the flash-sale model in favor of a more traditional home furnishings and gift format, but that leaves a whole lot of stuff leftover from its past versions, most of which seems to have been randomly dumped into the sale space at Chelsea Market. It is a massive jumble with only a vague sense of logical arrangement, but if you have patience and a sixth sense for finding needles in haystacks, this is the sale for you. There was a large shoe section with somewhat precariously piled boxes which requires a certain nimbleness to peruse without causing an avalanche. We saw shoes from Dr. Martens, Generic Surplus, JD Fisk, Sven, Swear and many others. We scored a nice pair of Clae high-top sneakers, and there were other apparel finds from Fred Perry, Ted Baker, Twenty8Twelve just to name a few including a few classic leather Schott Perfecto biker jackets for some lucky shopper. The space is tight and there's no avoiding bumping into others especially in the jewelry section which is extremely cramped. There are books and closet organizers and a lamp made of its own power cord and far too many other things to itemize here.
Have a look inside the sale in our gallery below

If that's too much commotion for you, and nobody would blame you for taking a pass on that kind of intensive foraging, there are several other major sales happening this week Here are some highlights:

PIERRE BALMAIN, JEAN PAUL GAULTIER & CoSTUME NATIONAL are all holding their sample sales together in the garment district starting Wednesday the 26th through Sunday. Expect crowds, but in the past reports of this sale have been glowing, so fans of trendy Euro-fashion shouldn't miss it.

DAVID YURMAN's seasonal sale at the Altman Building is a can't miss for savvy jewelry shoppers. It offers serious discounts on select pieces from throughout Yurman's collections for women and men. It starts Thursday the 27th and runs through the weekend

ROGER VIVIER will have women lined up outside Soiffer Haskin possibly in the hundreds. It is one of the most anticipated of the season, so if you are an extravagant shoe addict, mark Friday the 28th on your calendar as the day to get up really early, choose some lengthy podcasts or audiobooks to listen to while you wait and don't make any other important plans for the morning.

Details for these and other sales will be found in our SALE ROLL sidebar to the left, so kee an eye on it for developing events.

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Birchbox Plans An Outpost In SoHo

In a move that raises the question of how big a web-only store can get without a traditional store, Birchbox, the online beauty and grooming sample service, is planning a permanent, freestanding retail home of its own on West Broadway in SoHo. The company has made an impressive, if unexpected, success of sending subscribers a box of ordinarily free sample products specially chosen to fit their personal profiles every month for a recurring $10 fee, serving as an example of how to create a strictly web driven company. Their subscriber base has doubled to 800,000 men and women, twice what it was last year. The drawback? Though many customers returned to Birchbox to order full-sized replacements of products they liked, other simply went to the drugstore or makeup counter, which was fine with the product suppliers, but limited the site's full sales potential. After testing the waters with a series of pop-up shops in New York City, the permanent Birchox store will offer 2,500 products in stock as well as a B.Y.O.B. (build your own Birchbox) section that will allow customers to choose their own products to fill a box for $15 each. There will be touchscreens with product information as well as abundant product testing, beauty classes and advice available for visitors. Whether or not this will lead to more stores for the company depends on how this first one evolves, but Birchbox now joins Warby Parker, Piperlime and Bonobos as web retailers who have found traditional stores to be too valuable of a sales channel to be ignored. 

Birchbox, Seller of Beauty Products, Steps Out From Web With a Store (NYTimes)


GQ Announces This Year's Best New Menswear Designers With Gap Capsule Collections In The Works

If it's late March, then it's time for the editors of GQ to survey the menswear landscape and find the front runners among the new labels aspiring to take up space in the wardrobes of stylish, American men. The four winners this year run the gamut from streetwear to surfwear to suiting, and include a couple of labels that are barely two years old. Each will each receive a $10,000 price and the opportunity to raise their profiles with capsule collections for the Gap to be launched in the Fall. Here are this year's winners, pictured above from left to right:

John Elliott & Co., which GQ calls "the Tom Ford of sweatpants" was launched in 2012 featuring deceptively modern takes on everyday staples like t-shirts, sweats, denim and biker jackets. The line is available through the namesake designer's website, at Atruim in NoHo and Brooklyn, as well as at a smattering of other influential retailers like Fred Segal and American Rag Cie in Los Angeles.

M.Nii, a Hawaiian custom trunk maker from the mid 20th Century was revived by designer John Moore in 2011 to produce modern surfwear with a dash of sophistication. "I’m not so into wearing a giant logo across my chest anymore.", the designer tells GQ.

Brooklyn Tailors comes direct from Williamsburg where Daniel Lewis makes sleek, modern suits with the kind of quality and meticulous custom detailing generally not commonly found in off-the-rack fashion. Find it at Barneys here as well as in several boutiques in Japan.

En Noir is another label started only in 2012, but designer Rob Garcia already counts Pusha T and A$AP Rocky among his fans. He has gotten swift acclaim for luxe streetwear in mostly black leathers and knits. Find it at Barneys and Patron Of The New in New York as well as boutiques like Union in L.A. and The Webster in Miami Beach.

In its eighth year, GQ's prize has proved to be an effective launching pad for designers like Alexander Wang, Michael Bastian, Mark McNairy and Todd Snyder to name just a few success stories. Start saving up now for the capsule collections that should show up at the Gap in mid-September.


Rodarte, Lanvin, Versace, Hickey, Frette, Moschino, Prada, NUMBER:Lab, Fendi, Ben Minkoff, Calvin Klein Collection, Vivienne Westwood

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!

Lanvin, DV Dolce Vita, Delatori Fine Jewelry, Rodarte, SEE by Chloé, Miguel Ases Jewelry, Faith Connexion/Les Chiffoniers, Versace Collection, Hickey, Tommy John, Santos by Carlos Santos, Splendid Mills, Calvin Klein Collection, John Varvatos Sunglasses, Gordon Rush, Gant Rugger, Michael Aram, Safavieh —join HERE
TOD's, Greylin, Bruno Magli, Kenneth jay Lane, Frette, Wippette, Tommy Bahama Luggage, Magaschoni, Kenneth Cole, Genetic Denim, L.A.M.B., Slane, Plenty by Tracy Reese, Nicole Miller, ECCO Shoes, Mopjie Tech Accessories, Lilly Pulitzer, Janice Girardi, Brookstone, Blue Apron, Lanvin, Edushape Blocks —join HERE
Fendi, Letarte Swimwear, Meli Beach, Amrapali Fine Jewelry, Mezlan, Longchamp, F1 Travel Collection, Ben Minkoff, Slate & Stone Men's, Volcanica Candles, Hey Dude Shoes —join HERE
Current/Elliott, Maison Scotch, Lanvin, Velvet by Graham & Spencer, Butter London, Alexis, Badgley Mischka Swim, Wacoal.B.Tempt'd, Cuisinart, Bruno Magli, Gents, Børn Shoes, Puma, Alara, Vintage Shoes Co., Moschino Homme, Gant by Michael Bastian, Ked's, Tart, Calvin Klein, Free People, Rivkah FriedmanSignature, CLUNY, What Goes Around Comes Around —join HERE
Prada, CCCP Watches, Junk Food, Giorgio Fabiani, Charles Jourdan, A.V. max Jewelry, Nue by Shani, Members Only Outerwear, DC for Boys, Safavieh Outdoor Collection, LnA Basic Essentials, French Connection, DVS Shoes, Giorgio Valentini, English Laundry, YASB, Vivienne Westwood, Samuelsohn, Perry Ellis, American Stitch, NUMBER:Lab, Ike Behar, Anne Klein, Eva Franco, Hale Bob, Melissa Shoes —join HERE
Elaine Turner, Montegrappa Pens, Mepra Cookware, Blackstone Shoes, Garmin GPS, Elie Tahari, Vintage Shoes Co. —join HERE