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Brooklyn Fare To Add A Second Manhattan Store

It's possible that you might not have noticed that the celebrated food market and exclusive restaurant Brooklyn Fare has been operating a Manhattan location on West 37th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. it is not a well traveled location, and that location's promised restaurant —the real draw— has yet to materialize. That makes it a fancy market in a neighborhood that might not have gotten fancy enough yet to properly support it. That shouldn't be a problem at Brooklyn Fare's next reported location. The Observer tells us that the market will take over the D'Agostino in The Archive at 666 Greenwich Street in the West Village (above). There's no opening date projected for when it will open in the 12,000 square foot space, but this time, it should have no problem attracting attention in a prominent location in an established, tony neighborhood. The real draw here, however, will be another potential restaurant. There's no shortage of fancy food stores in Manhattan, and there might be some serious complaints that the neighborhood will be losing a much needed basic supermarket. D'Agostino reportedly lost the lease through a Hurricane Sandy related paperwork misfortune that was resolved in court, so the replacement is not without some controversy.
What distinguishes the original Brooklyn Fare at the corner of Hoyt and Schermerhorn in Brooklyn is the 18-seat, Michelin Starred Chef's Table restaurant, which only books six weeks in advance exclusively for parties of two or four. The prix-fixe menu is $225 plus tax and a 20% service fee, so such a restaurant should be right at home in the West Village. Otherwise, the retail store is a very nice gourmet market, but not terribly different from many that are already operating all over Manhattan. One might even hope that a larger restaurant than the limited Brooklyn version could be in the works, but so far there has been no official word at all of just what is planned for the new location, so we will have to stay tuned for more definitive news.

Brooklyn Fare Opening Second Manhattan Location (Commercial Observer)


Recherché Edition

30CRITICAL1_COMBO-master675In today's Thursday Styles, our Critical Shopper menswear specialist Jon Caramanica is on a search for something that may not really be a thing yet: Men's High-End Vintage Clothing. He doesn't find a whole lot. Here's what we learned:

There's no menswear equivalent for the celebrated treasure troves of women's vintage fashion like Resurrection or Decades. Why is this? Probably because over the years, there has been only a tiny amount of high fashion menswear produced in comparison to women's. Additionally, a lot of it is boring. Generally, menswear, even designer menswear, is less distinctive than women's fashions, particularly in past decades. Also, more notable pieces are less translatable to contemporary style. A women's Saint Laurent Rive Gauche ensemble from the 1970s would be a prized find in a vintage shop and something to be worn with pride by a stylish woman with a few modern accessories to update it for today. A man's Saint Laurent suit from the same year would more likely be an awkwardly tailored relic. In theory, it could be a cool, vintage look, and possibly there are a few hipsters who could pull off the dated proportions, but it's a challenge —that is if you can find such a thing at all. Typically, men's styles have evolved much more slowly over the years than women's, and so men wear their clothes longer than women. They are more likely to discard something because it has been worn out —and therefore in no condition for resale— than because they have tired of the style. So, there is less turnover, and when men do get rid of stuff, it is more often headed to the trash heap than the resale store.

Still, our shopper hunts around, and rather than focusing on a single dedicated retailer, he makes a tour of vintage and resale shops ranging from the places focused on recent fashion like INA, where some of the offerings may not be priced far from their original tags, to more well known sellers like What Goes Around Comes Around. Real midcentury vintage men's apparel costs as much as or more than new designer threads at the East Village's Stock Vintage which emphasizes just how scarce it is.

So maybe our shopper is looking for something that barely exists, although if you are looking for designer menswear from recent seasons, you might have better luck searching on YOOX or even Bluefly, where discounted past merchandise can sometimes hang around long enough to almost start having vintage appeal —and it hasn't been worn before, which means it will smell a lot better when you open the package.

Critical Shopper: Where Can Men Buy Higher-End Vintage Men’s Wear? By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)


DKNY Is Getting A Public School Degree

Public-school-dknyIn a surprising and intriguing bit of personnel change, Dao-Yi Chao and Maxwell Osborne (pictured at right) who have reaped acclaim as the designers of the Public School label have just been named creative directors of the DKNY brand. There have been rumors the longtime DKNY creative director Jane Chung would be replaced, and WWD confirms that she will be transitioned out of the position while Chao and Osborne will show their first DKNY collection in September for women. Their menswear will debut the next season for Fall 2016.
The designers have been recipients of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and are currently nominated for the CFDA Award for Menswear and the Swarovski Award for Womenswear. They released a statement, “We both grew up in New York and DKNY has always been part of the landscape of this city in our formative years as designers and as New Yorkers. It is one of the brands that helped change the game for us and for American fashion. It evokes everything our city was always about — energy, disruption, new thinking and transcending all boundaries. We are extremely proud and excited to be joining the company and to contribute to the next chapter of DKNY, one of the most iconic American brands created by Donna Karan, a true inspiration.”

As for the DKNY brand, WWD confirms that parent company LVMH is actively investing in the label to reinvigorate it and to that end have made another lower profile but no less interesting hire in Hector Muelas as the newly created post of chief image officer at Donna Karan International. Mules was formerly creative director of worldwide marketing communications of Apple Inc. and represents something for a turnabout as Apple has been raiding top fashion companies in recent years for retail and marketing executives.
Things are expected to remain as they are, personnel-wise, at the flagship Donna Karan New York label where the designer herself will remain the creative director. Karan has been said to support the design change at DKNY and the efforts to restore it to a more prominent profile in the contemporary world. One thing we can definitely predict is that the DKNY show will be a much hotter ticket than it has been in years. What happens after that is up to Chao and Osborne.

Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne Tapped as DKNY Creative Directors (WWD)


The Pop-Up Flea Makes A Spring Appearance Next Month

PUFSUN_Square-1For those of you tired of scrounging around sample sales for menswear inspiration, mark your calendars for next weekend when the now bi-annual favorite, The Pop-Up Flea makes it's spring appearance at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. The collection of heritage, artisanal and just plain great quality brands will include some of the old favorites we have become accustomed to rediscovering like Alexander OlchFred Perry Laurel WreathErnest AlexanderLeather Head SportsRancourt & CoFreemans Sporting Club and TUDOR along with some fresh entrants to add some new blood to the proceedings just in case you have enough handmade raw leather belts. look for Dom VetroCorridorCanvas Bag MachineMartenero and Accompany to liven up the place. A full roster of participants will be published soon, but in the meantime, be sure to pick a time next weekend, after you have taken care of any Mothers' Day obligations to do some more shopping for yourself. See all the current details below.


Abercrombie & Hollister Guys Put Their Shirts On Forever

Remember these guys?
They used to show up in front of Hollister on Broadway in SoHo just around the time that warm weather fully set in, and hung around saying "what'sup" to every customer who entered the store until Fall's first chill. They haven't really been there for a few years. Even though Abercrombie & Fitch just announced new, more chaste employee guidelines for its main and Hollister stores, it turns out that hiring a couple of model-types to hang out all day at the doorway was an expense that couldn't be justified even by the company's infamous, former CEO Michael Jeffries when its fortunes began to slide a few years ago. The covering of bare chests both in person and on posters will only be the most obvious change we will be seeing in Abercrombie and Hollister stores in the coming months. The particular aesthetic requirements of Jeffries' infamous "look policy" for his retail employees have basically been blown up after years of complaints from minority workers who felt that they were marginalized in the stores because of their race as well as activists who regularly complained that the store's imagery was overly sexualized and lacked both physical and racial diversity.

Sales staff will now be referred to as "brand representatives" instead of as Models which had allowed the company to dictate their appearance and physical type. In short, you will no longer have to look like you walked out of the ad campaign to apply for a job at Abercrombie and Hollister. In addition, workers will have more leeway to choose their own clothes rather than be pressured into buying current merchandise to "model", though visible logos from competing stores will still be banned. Shoe choices, for example, have also been broadened, so don't expect to see a store staff shod entirely in flip-flops, Jeffries' preferred footwear choice which posed multiple safety and support problems for store workers on their feet all day.  You can also say goodbye to other Abercrombie and Hollister signatures that the company clung to despite complaints from workers and ridicule from customers. Lighting has been adjusted presumably so that you will be able to properly see the merchandise for sale, as has music volume which had often been reported to be above safe decibel levels for continuous exposure in many stores.  The continuous house music mix that has been Abercrombie's calling card has been retired in favor of broader pop selections. In-store fragrance has been toned down, and no longer atomized so heavily throughout the stores and outside the entrances to such degrees that you could smell it down the block. Most prominently, the famous, ripped "Abercrombie Guy" will be relegated to the chain's perfume marketing. By July, he will be gone from billboards, in-store marketing images and shopping bags. There will be no more naked straddling of elephants or frolicking in woodland ponds. Abercrombie's new imagery will still feature gorgeous models (as seen below), but they will be a uniformly clothed, diverse cast, and though it hasn't been announced, it appears that Bruce Weber, the star photographer who helped create the sexy Abercrombie brand image and exclusively shot the chain's ad campaigns since the company's repositioning in the 90s, may be off the job.

It is certainly high time for a change, as the chains had long since fallen into self-parody by rigidly sticking to policies that initially brought them attention, but also a healthy helping of mockery —not to mention a slew of lawsuits from frustrated employees. Still, Abercrombie's excesses were entertaining at the very least, and we certainly got more than our fair share of mileage reporting about them. The danger, of course, is that Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch will become nondescript and boring. Now it will be up to the chains' creative staffs to find fresh merchandise that differentiates them from both their pasts and their competitors. And we have to admit, we miss those cheery shirtless guys in front of stores because, well, just look at them. Easy to make fun of, sure, but while we were calling them out, we weren't really complaining about them.

Bye-Bye, Beefcake: Abercrombie’s Hot Salesclerk Policy Is Over (Bloomberg)
A&F Drops ‘Sexualized’ Marketing (WWD)

  • Abercrombie-guy
  • Abercrombie-girl
New advertising images from Abercrombie & Fitch


Bottega Veneta, Temperley London, Dsquared2, Garrett Leight, Rebecca Minkoff, Gareth Pugh, Rick Owens DRKSHDW, Alejandro Ingelmo

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. Shop well!

Temperley London, Melissa Shoes, Sofer Jewelry, McGuire Denim, Joy Gryson, Danni Jewelry, Best Society Shoes, Dsquared2, Love Moschino, Loake Footwear, Garrett Leight California Optical, Generic Surplus, Levi's Made & Crafted, Rick Owens & DRKSHDW, Archipelago Candles, Kim Seybert —join HERE
John Hardy, Oakley, Yumi Kim, Shoshanna, LaMer, Cosabella, TARA Jewelry, Gucci Watches —join HERE
Nike Sunglasses, Saint Laurent Footwear, Badgley Mischka Swim, Prada Shoes, Ermenegildo Zegna, Tom Ford Sunglasses, Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo, Invicta Watches, Melissa & Doug —join HERE
Badgley Mischka, Lilla P, True Religion, Zacharey Prell, Carrera & Oakley Sunglasses, Dolce Vita, BH Cosmetics, LeSportsac, WOW Couture, Rebecca Minkoff, Ben Minkoff, Vince Camuto, Kay Unger, Dulce Modern, J.A. Henckels, DiLascia, Alejandro Ingelmo, Civil Society  —join HERE
Christian Louboutin, Tory Burch, Atelier Mon, Gracia, Raymond Weil, RED Valentino, CATHERINE Catherine Malandrino, Gareth Pugh, Robert Graham, Dolce & Gabbana, Puma, Gucci Watches, Cullen, Etro, Salvatore Ferragamo Watches, BillTornade, Ike Behar, Vivienne Westwood Watches —join HERE


Half Of A Pair Edition

23CRITICAL1-master675In today's Thursday Styles, Critical Shopper Molly Young returns to take on The Kooples, a French sportswear brand that has aggressively insinuated itself into New York's retail scene, first by way of in-store shops at Bloomingdale's and now with two freestanding boutiques in SoHo and the Meatpacking District with more likely to follow. A play on a Gallicization of the word "couples", The Kooples are actually three French brothers who created "an outfitter of romantic partners who enjoy dressing like each other," our shopper writes, and yet, our shopper seems to shop alone, which is, apparently, also allowed. Following Critical Shopper protocol, she tries on, and eventually makes a purchase, but notes that despite its increasing visibility in New York, The Kooples may not yet be serving many actual New Yorkers just yet.

During my first 30 minutes in the shop, every customer appeared to be foreign: one French, one German, two British, and three unclassifiable (deep tans, faint accents).

Maybe it is the exceedingly slender silhouettes or the extra slick styling, but the jury is still seems to be out on how much lasting impact The Kooples might have in New York and on U.S. shoppers.

Critical Shopper: The Kooples Is for Couples (Usually European) By Molly Young (NYTimes)
The Kooples 401 W 14th Street between Ninth Avenue & Washington Street, Meatpacking District and 115 Mercer Street between Spring & Prince Streets, SoHo


Can Paris' Colette Save McDonalds?

A look from the upcoming collaboration between McDonald's and Colette

Sometimes the French are inscrutable.
We all love a high-low collaboration, but most of us would draw the line when it comes to fast food. Not so for the famed Colette concept boutique in Paris. The store is teaming up with the international burger chain for a collection of clothing and accessories featuring graphic designs that were featured on a McDonald's campaign last year in by TBWA Paris. The pictograms of signature McDonald's fare like a Big Mac or French Fries are so abstracted that you might not even recognize what they are or connect them with the chain, but then there's that telltale red, yellow and white color scheme that sends us right into a line to order a serving of large fries while hoping we don't run into anyone we know.
As a fashion authority, Colette has been known to possess the ability to confer coolness upon brands that are either unknown or may have been overlooked in the past. It is the first stop for entrepreneurs looking to relaunch a revamped heritage designer brand, and retail buyers visiting Paris from around the world are still known to take notes on the store's offerings to add excitement to their own stores back home.
But will Colette be able to work its magic on McDonald's, whose business has been on a stubbornly downward trend recently as casual diners seem to have finally given up on its pedestrian burgers and even its French Fries no matter how reliably tasty they may still be. Perhaps this is an example of differing brand perception from continent to continent. While McDonalds may be seen by some as mundane and greasy here in the States, in Paris, the brand seems to be able to muster up at least enough irony or camp to be embraced by the fashion avatars at Colette. will it be enough to add sum luster to McDonald's currently dingy reputation? It's too early to tell. The line will not go on sale until May 4 through the end of the month. Americans will have their chance to order them from the store's website, but without the opportunity to add on an order of Fries —and we al know that they are the best part.

Colette Adds McDonald’s to Fashion Menu (WWD)


Valentino, The Kooples, Escada, Rick Owens, Bottega Veneta, Max Mara, Versace, Todd Snyder, Catherine Malandrino, TEG Heuer, Gucci

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. Shop well!

RéVive, Kule, Annie Fensterstock, Valentino, J Brand, Kevis Jewelry, The Kooples, Max Mara, Dolce & Gabbana, PLAC, Fred Perry, Gucci, So & Co, Safavieh, Donna Karan Home, Mosaiq                                                                                             —join HERE
Escada, Mariposa, Cole Haan, TailorByrd, Hale Bob, Kensie, TAG Heuer, Rochard Limoges, Mauviel —join HERE
Stuart Weitzman, Saint Laurent, Dartington Crystal, Alexander McQueen Scarves, Rebecca Taylor, Roberto Cavalli Sunglasses, Sisley Cosmetics, Clarins, Lancôme, Biotherm/Bourjois, Hermès Ties, Gucci, Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Valentino, Hickey Freeman, James Jeans, Kenneth Jay Lane —join HERE
Robert Rodriguez, Taryn Rose, LAGOS, Gypsy 05, Tumi, CATHERINE/Catherine Malandrino, Roberto Cavalli Sunglasses, HUE, Mother Denim, Versace, Todd Snyder, Threads 4 Thought, Adidas Underwear, Ganesh, Blood Brother, Eileen Fisher, House of Harlow, Cynthia Steffe, Earth Wood, JACHS, Bonobos —join HERE
Rick Owens, Gucci, Donald J Pliner, Cosabella, MICHAEL Michael Kors, DL 1961, Torn by Ronny Kobo, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Seychelles, Valentino, Jared Lang, Tommy HIlfiger, Creative Recreation, Emporio Armani, Victorinox, British Knights, Ted Baker —join HERE


Lilly Pulitzer For Target Sold Out By Mid-Afternoon On The First Day

Bella Thorne, Emmy Rossum, Kate Bosworth & Ellie Kemper at the Lilly Pulitzer for Target Celebrity launch party.

Some of us New Yorkers were wondering if Doyenne of Palm Beach Prep Chic Lilly Pulitzer's collaboration line with Target would hold the appeal of the ones that more glamorous designers had participated in. After all, here in the Northeast there has always been a following for Pulitzer's style, but how would it play in the flyover states where Target makes its money?
Well, neither we nor anyone else needed to wonder.
WWD was quick to update before the end of yesterday's launch day that the collection had almost completely  sold out online and in stores after being available for less than 12 hours. Some stores sold out within minutes after hosting long early morning lines that hadn't been seen since the Missoni collaboration launch in 2011. This time, however, the store's e-commerce website did not crash, but was carefully monitored and managed to maintain functionality —even if it meant shutting it down for 15-minute periods for some kind of cyber-housecleaning to keep it humming.
Sadly, for those Lilly fans who were not quick enough to respond to the launch's first moments, there will be no replenishing of merchandise online or in stores. The best one can hope for is the occasional spot-check for goods that have been returned. There's always eBay, where the collaboration line appeared almost immediately marked up  to premium prices, much to the chagrin of Target executives. As a Target spokesperson told WWD, “For us and the Lilly Pulitzer team, it’s disheartening because we want to give people a chance to experience something special and affordable.” Apparently there is no way to correctly estimate how much of these collaborations to produce so there is enough to linger in stores for at least a few days.

Lilly Pulitzer for Target Collection Almost Sells Out (WWD)