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As Expected,
H&M's First U.S. Store Is Closing
...To Make Way For Niketown?

HMracked51stStThough H&M never officially announced it, the store that debuted the game-changing Swedish fast-fashion brand in the U.S. will, in fact, be shutting down at the end of this month which means that you have only a few days left to buy whatever is left in there at 50% off according to our friends at Racked. While the company initially denied plans to close the store at Fifth Avenue and 51st Street, as they often have multiple stores clustered nearby in the same area, it seems that even they had to concede that three stores within a ten-block stretch even on Fifth Avenue was a little bit excessive, especially if it includes one of the chain's largest stores in the world. Too big to be converted to one of the company's newer COS or & Other Stories concepts, the location has long been rumored to be where Niketown will move when its lease ends on East 57th Street. Though that isn't supposed to happen for another couple of years, converting the H&M store will probably require a gut renovation and elaborate construction before Nike can move in, so the likelihood of that rumor panning out is still high. This also means that when the next of H&M's immense flagships opens in the former Herald Center space at 34th Street and Broadway sometime next year (?), one of the chain's other stores on that busy corridor —probably the one half a block away between Fifth and Sixth Avenues— will be on its way out as well. That particular store is not quite as huge, and could be a more appropriate candidate to convert to COS, or, more likely, & Other Stories, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, if you are looking re-live some memories of standing in line outside for the latest Designer Collaboration line to launch, or just hunting for some half priced H&M bargains that may or may not be particularly current merchandise, head over to 51st and Fifth and have at it.

H&M Closing Out 51st Street Store With Everything Half-Off (Racked)

H&M has reponded via Twitter to our post, and tells us that while that store is obviously closing, they are still planning on having three midtown Fifth Avenue stores. Where is the store moving to? That is the question.


Goyard's First NY Store Is So Exclusive That It Opened Without Telling Anyone

GoyardRackedSome brands are so confident in their rarefied appeal that they seem to operate under the radar, secure in their expectation that their savvy customers will find them. Goyard, the venerable French luggage and leathergoods brand is one of them. Earlier this year, some flamboyantly festooned plywood scaffolding went up at 20 East 63rd Street indicating that a Goyard boutique was on the way, but with little announcement as to exactly when it would open or how big it would be. In fact, it was only through Instagram that most of us discovered that the store was being built at all. Tucked away on the side street, it is easy to miss, even from heavily trafficked Madison Avenue around the corner, which is why we didn't notice that the store had opened a couple of weeks ago. Our friends at Racked finally realized that it had opened, and report that the discreet, two level store is very much the hushed, elegant luxury boutique one would expect, expanding the offerings from what is available at its in-store shops at Barneys and both Bergdorf's stores including more pet accessories and custom monogramming options —a must for true Goyard fans.

Goyard Quietly Debuted Its First NYC Store This Month (Racked)
Goyard 20 East 63rd Street, Upper East Side


Lavish French Leather Label Jitrois
Headed To Madison Avenue

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The luxurious French cult brand Jitrois is looking to raise its profile this Spring with a new boutique on Madison Avenue just a stone's throw from fellow countryman and purveyor of expensive things Christian Louboutin. The sleek, 700 square foot shop at 959 Madison Avenue, formerly the independent boutique Shen New York, (pictured below) near 75th Street is expected to be renovated and redesigned in just a couple of months in the style of the label's other boutiques with dramatic lighting and undulating walls and fixtures designed by architect Christophe Pillet (see renderings above). The store is being opened by Texas-based technology entrepreneur and fashion fan Jodi Shelton who has partnered with industry veterans to manage the new venture. This will be the second U.S. store for Jitrois after one in Aspen, Colorado which is operated separately from the upcoming New York unit.
Known for sexy, figure hugging leather apparel often touched with extravagant embellishments, designer Jean-Claude Jitrois' label has been known for decades by a devoted but extremely exclusive clientele, probably a result of the four-to-five figure price tags typically found hanging on the items. The strength of the luxury market particularly in New York has encouraged the label, still privately owned by the designer, to seek out more store locations in major U.S. markets such as Miami and Las Vegas, so you can expect to see more of the Jitrois label around, but at those prices, most of us may be doing more looking than buying. Look for a projected opening in February.

Jitrois to Open Madison Avenue Unit (WWD)


Bottega Veneta Plans A Bigger Beachhead On Madison Avenue

Bottega Veneta is on the move.
As fortunes at its big sister brand Gucci have stagnated, the quieter, more exclusive label has been charging ahead consistently, and now a shiny new flagship on Madison Avenue is in the works. Reports have the brand taking out a generous 24,000 square foot space cobbled together from three separate buildings at 740 Madison Avenue (rendering pictured above), a property that has been under renewal for quite a while in preparation for just such a tenant. The Bottega store will be cobbled together from three different townhouses also including 23 and 25 East 64th Street on the northwest corner of the tony intersection. Speculation has this store as a replacement for the label's longtime flagship on Fifth Avenue in the St Regis Hotel. That retail space is now owned by rival luxury group Richemont, which, conventional thinking wold seem like an unsuitable landlord for a competitor. Whether or not that store will move, the other consideration is that Bottega Veneta may merge its separate, smaller men's and women's Madison Avenue boutiques (at 23 East 67th and 849 Madison at 70th) into a larger, cohesive store. It seems unlikely that those stores would remain in place with a big new one only a few steps away, but who knows?
At the very least, the move is a big vote of confidence for Bottega Veneta and its creative director Tomas Maier who has been leading the label since its revival under its current ownership. He has been mentioned (along with half a dozen other random names) as a possible successor for outgoing designer Frida Giannini at Gucci, but it is unlikely that owner Kering would risk disrupt Bottega's success to fix Gucci's stumbles, especially after investing to grow Maier's own signature label into a bigger business as well. It looks like he'll stay put for a while, and get a nice new home for his trouble.

Bottega Veneta leases Wildenstein family property (The Real Deal)


Stella McCartney, Michael Bastian, Warby Parker, Stuart Weitzman, Giuseppe Zanotti, Nina Ricci, TOD's, Fendi, La Prarie, Sferra, J Brand

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!

Stella McCartney, French Connection, Catherine Malandrino, L.A.M.B., Trovata/Timo Weiland, Calvin Klein, La Prairie, Warby Parker, Michael Bastian, J.D.Fisk, Ravi Ratan Jewelry, Brooks Brothers, Alexander McQueen, Sferra —join HERE
Stuart Weitzman, BCBGeneration, Bellino Fine Linens, Studio by Capezio, Da-Nang, Baffin Shoes, Electric Yoga, Amrita Singh, Skagen Denmark Watches, Timberland, CATHERINE Catherine Malandrino, Sparkling Sage, Joie Shoes, Philip Stein —join HERE
Verace Handbags & Accessories, Giuseppe Zanotti, Saint Laurent, ERIN Erin Fetherston, Judith Ripka, Kenneth Cole, A.Testoni, Invvicta, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Longchamps, Tory Burch, La Prairie, Canali, 525 America, Lucien Piccard —join HERE
J.Brand, Magaschoni, Tretorn, Rachel Roy, Donald J. Pliner, Marc New York, Mario Valentino, Jawbone Speakers, Koral Denim, Supremebeing, Descendant of Thieves, Gents, Umbro, Guess —join HERE
Nina Ricci, Rachel Zoe, TOD's, Tolani, Custo Barcelona, M.Patmos, Salvatore Ferragamo, Pour la Victoire, Chocolat Blu, Just Cavalli, Emanuel Ungaro Outerwear, New Balance, Sebago —join HERE


Rizzoli's New Store Is Well Under Way

We are still missing the lavish Rizzoli bookstore that was demolished earlier this year on West 57th Street, but fellow fans will be relieved to know that its announced replacement at 1133 Broadway at 26th Street is well under construction and shows every sign of meeting its Spring 2015 projected opening. The company is betting on the continued rise of the NoMad neighborhood, and the store is only a couple of blocks from its fellow Italian themed merchant, Eataly, which draws a healthy share of tourist crowd who will hopefully be encouraged to wander uptown not only to Rizzoli, but also Opening Ceremony, Maison Kitsuné and a host of trendy restaurants (Note the map from the store's website below). The 1896 building where Rizzoli will reopen is of a similar vintage as the store's previous, uptown townhouse home, though it's hard to imagine that it will be possible to replicate the same kind of lavish residential-style interior in the 5,000 square foot space. Hopefully, the store will pay some kind of tribute to its elegant former trappings, and it looks like we won't have to wait terribly long to find out.


Is This The Entrance To A New Bed Bath & Beyond On Columbus Avenue?

There have been rumors for months that the popular home chain Bed Bath & Beyond was getting ready to open a second Upper West Side store, and if they are true, it looks like the opening may not be far off. About a Year ago, stories began circulating that the residents of a high-rise apartment building at 100 West 93rd Street and Columbus Avenue were receiving coupons for a new branch of the chain set to open in the new cluster of stores being constructed at the base of their building. The store's representatives refused to confirm the news, and the actual building seemed at the time to be a long way from completion. Now, the plywood has come down, and the entrance to the kind of basement space that would comply with Columbus Avenue's new storefront zoning regulations appears to be nearly finished. The folks at Bed Bath & Beyond are still mum, but that's not unusual for chains these days who often want the element of surprise to help publicize new stores.
At any rate, something is ready to go in down there, and it looks like it may only be a matter of weeks before we find out for sure.


The Maille Mustard Boutique On Columbus Avenue Is Selling Out

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When we heard that the famous French Dijon mustard brand Maille had opened a mustard boutique on Columbus Avenue a couple of weeks ago, we though it was in interesting marketing idea for a pop-up, but wondered whether or not it was a sustainable long-term concept to devote prime real retail estate to selling a single condiment, especially one that is available in most supermarkets for around $4 a jar.
Well, It turns out that customers had no such misgivings. They saw the store, said, "Yum! Mustard!" and started buying.
We stopped in a few days after it opened and saw an elegant little shop with shelves filled with all sorts of flavored mustards in single jars and packaged into pricey gift sets along with an assortment of olive oils and vinegars —so really, more than just one condiment, the shop does offer all of the ingredients for a very expensive vinaigrette. With a tasting bar, all sorts of mustard accessories and refills on tap, the store is patterned more after a perfumery than any kind of food store. And customers are literally eating it up.
We stopped into the shop yesterday, and noticed a distinct sparseness on the shelves compared to just a week or so earlier. Many of the gift sets were completely sold out even at $40 to $60 for three or four half-sized 3.8 oz. jars, but where else are you going to find yummy flavors like bleu cheese, morel mushrooms or walnuts and white wine to name a few. Sound weird? They are not. They are indeed yummy and tempting, especially the black truffle mustard on tap, but, as one learns over time, sometimes what looks tasty on the gourmet counter gathers dust once it makes it into one's own kitchen. Or maybe it's just overkill for a turkey sandwich.
So, after visiting the mustard store, The Shophound walked a block across town to pick up some bananas at Trader Joe's and discovered a delightful new item, the "Mustard Miscellany" package of four 7 oz. jars of Dijon mustard —imported from France— featuring intriguing flavors like black currant, chablis, Provençal, and basil for a mere $6.99. No, there wasn't any bleu cheese or black truffle, and possibly our palate is not so refined as to be able to discern the difference between fancy French mustard and somewhat less fancy French mustard, but, you know, $6.99.
In a pinch, it'll do pretty damn well.

Maille New York 185 Columbus Avenue at 68th Street, Upper West Side


Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent, Generic Surplus, Prada, Bruno Magli, Christian Dior, Dsquared2, Canali, Splendid, Grayers

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!

Balenciaga, M Missoni, Badgley Mischka, Porsamo Bleu Watches, Shay, Gucci, Saint Laurent, DiModolo, Helmut Lang, Delman/Butter by Nadia, Momo Maternity, Tom Ford Sunglasses, Just Cavalli, Grayers, Unsimply Stitched, N.D.C. Made by Hand, Russell Park Shoes, Longines, Alexander McQueen Accessories, General Assembly, Versace Collection, Swiss Army —join HERE
Splendid. Bruno Magli, Robert Graham, Lori Kassin Jewelry, InCashmere, Hudson Jeans, Raw Generation, Velvet by Graham & Spencer, A.J. Morgan, Hugo Boss, Vince, Salvatore Feragamo Watches, Steltzner Vineyards, Maurice LaCroix Watches, Schutz, Magaschoni —join HERE
Prada, Fendi, Balenciaga, Chan Luu, WeWood Sunglasses, Gucci, La Prarie, Tom Ford Eyewear, Lucien Piccard, A. Testoni, Gola, Brunello Cucinelli, Robert Graham —join HERE
True Religion, Stila, TART, Nine West, M Missoni, Emporio Armani/Armani Jeans, Smashbox, Kenneth Cole, My Tribe, Houe of Harlow, Stella & Jamie, Burberry Watches, Nicole Benisti, Arturo Chiang, Keds, Naked Underwear, Creative Recreation, Andrew Marc, Joseph Abboud, Toscano, Gilded Age —join HERE
Torn by Ronny Kobo, Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, Missoni, Sogerson Morrison, Carla Mancini, Cole Haan, Ben Sherman, 7 for All Mankind, Stone Rose, Cubavera, Generic Surplus, Reebok, Eva Franco, James Jeans, ZIRH, Dsquared2, Hickey Freeman, Canali, Duchamp, Prada —join HERE


After Lincoln Center, Fashion Week Will Sprawl Again

Next Year's Fall 2015 shows coming in February to IMG's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week will be the last ones at that location. This week, the New York State Supreme Court ruled in favor of community Groups suing Lincoln Center over the leasing of the public Damrosch Park to private organizations like IMG as well as longtime park user The Big Apple Circus, so when MBFW's contract runs out after the next round of shows, it will have to look for a new venue.
But where?
The court ruling hardly matters to IMG. They were already planning not to renew due to New York's fashion community's reception of the Lincoln Center tents. Despite all sorts of practical improvements, heavy sponsorship presence and a cold, impersonal ambiance put off designers who continued to defect to other venues around the city leaving a dwindling handful of major players still willing to take advantage of the once vital central show venue. Now, New York Fashion Week looks much like it did before the original tents were ever proposed in Bryant Park by the CFDA. Shows all over town often located at the designers' whims forcing exhausted industry professionals to criscross Manhattan racking up cab, or now, Uber, fares, only now there are three times as many shows often double and even triple or quadruple booked at any given time slot.

And that's probably what it is going to look like for a few seasons to come. Today's WWD reports that IMG is looking at multiple locations for the new home of MBFW, which suggests that some shows might be uptown while others might be downtown or in various midtown locations, subverting the concept of having a central Fashion Week headquarters to making it easier to take in the most important shows in comfort without constant travel. Eventually, Fashion Week is expected to take a permanent home in the Hudson Yards development that is currently under construction, but that is years away, and other locations fit for multiple tents seem to be in short supply —even shorter now that the court has eliminated many other potential public spaces including Fashion Week's original home in Bryant Park. How it will all shake out remains to be seen, but September's Spring 2016 shows look like they will turn out to be New York's most far flung to date.

New York Fashion Week Leaving Lincoln Center (WWD)