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Bally & Georg Jensen To Move A Few Blocks Up Madison Avenue

The game of Musical Stores on Madison Avenue will continue as famed Swiss shoe and accessory brand Bally will move from its current home in the GM Building to Georg Jensen's shop at 687 Madison. Georg Jensen, by the same token will relocate further uptown to 698 Madison.
what may seem like lateral move for both companies may in fact be something of marginal improvement for Bally, which has endured continuing efforts to reposition and improve its fashion image in its GM building location through a series of creative directors. The move will have it taking the entire southeast corner of 62nd and Madison including not only the Jensen store but also the adjacent former Church's shop which has been closed for several months now creating a total of about 3,000 square feet. It is a somewhat more favorable location just a block up from Barneys with a much more intimate scale than the cavernous GM Building space.
Georg Jensen's new home will have be the former Kentshire shop where, between the ground floor and the basement, it will have 1,600 square feet to display the famous Danish jewelry and silver designs.
No word yet on who will takeover the current Bally store which is on the back end of a wing that features a temporary (or possibly not so temporary if rumors are to be believed) Cartier store, and if there is a new Church's store in the works, something New York City hasn't been long without in decades, then it is still under wraps.

The WTC transit hub is an exhausting mess (NYPost via The Real Deal)


Have We Reached Peak Athleisure With Lululemon Lab?

Nobody loves a catchy trend name more than the fashion industry, and nobody loves a portmanteau word more than the internet, which makes Athleisure an instantly annoying concept. Having said that, there's no denying that Lululemon, the yoga-focused athletic wear brand that has spurred crazes and backlashes at a headspinning rate, is partially responsible for the popularity of wearing yoga-pants as everyday-wear. It stands to reason, then, that the logical next step for the label would be to simply expand into sportswear made with no particular performance purpose, so now we have the brand new Lululemon Lab boutique that opened last week on Bond Street on NoHo.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the store is the near banishment of company's actual name, as if it is somehow manifesting its own corporate shame over recent controversies by suppressing its very name in favor of its circular insignia that is subtly imprinted only on the inside of garments. Even the sign outside shows only the symbol and the word "lab".
Inside, there is not a yoga pant to be found. Instead, high tech athletic fabrics are fashioned into minimalistic sportswear pieces that are meant to look more at home out on the town. To the brand's credit, the sophisticated materials look good in their Rick Owens-lite incarnations offering bonded seams and laser cutting that wouldn't make anyone look like they just dashed out of the gym.
This is Lululemon Lab's first U.S. store —it has one other in Vancouver— and it is smartly nestled amongst some of the most notable condos in NoHo just a few doors away from Billy Reid. Though the merchandise is sportswear, several of the women we saw shopping there yesterday afternoon were obviously on their way to/from yoga class drawn in by the logo on the sign not knowing that the store was a new brand concept. Athletic companies branching into sportswear is nothing new.  Adidas has its SLVR and Y-3 collections, and Moncler has transformed its image with its designer Gamme Rouge and Gamme Bleu collections, but time will tell us whether or not Lululemon has enough clout to join their ranks and dress its customers for the rest of the day.

Lululemon Lab 50 Bond Street between The Bowery & Lafayette Street, NoHo



Get A Flight Jacket This Spring

Rarely has there been a must-have item as ubiquitous as the military flight jacket that you are seeing everywhere. From what we could see on the runways for this Fall, they aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so get on board if you don't have one yet. Here's a roundup of the various ways this style can be interpreted.

Check out Which Flight Jacket Are You Getting This Spring?

by Aaron Bernstein at Mode


Spring Sale Special With Ghurka, The Kooples, David Yurman & More

We are just about to head into a busy Sample Sale period starting next month, but while this week's schedule isn't too heavy, there are a few heavy hitters sure to bring out the eager shoppers.

Classic, rugged accessory brand GHURKA has been undergoing a revival over the past few years. They have not been a regular on the sale circuit lately, but today we'll find them at Soiffer Haskin in Midtown West offering discounts starting at 70% off on luggage, bags & other accessories for Men and women. This will be a must-visit for longtime fans of the all-American brand running through Thursday.

Also today, fashion jewelry fanatics will be lined up at 260 Fifth Avenue for the BAUBLEBAR sale running through Saturday. This one is a seasonal favorite known for great bargains on shiny things.

Veteran stylist Andrea Lieberman's contemporary label A.L.C. will be on sale at Chelsea Market starting on Wednesday through the weekend. Look for savings of up to 60% off clothing  and accessories from the woman who has helped shape the style of women like Gwen Stefani, Kate Judson and Gwyneth Paltrow.

French contemporary phenom THE KOOPLES is bringing its sample sale back to 260SampleSale's new Greene Street location starting on Wednesday through next Monday. Look for lots of slimly tailored trendy sportswear in black. it's not for everyone, but the ones who it is for love it, so plan ahead if you are a fan.

On Thursday, premium denim and contemporary label BLK DNM will be offering up to 80% off its collections in SoHo through the weekend. Look for lots of stripped down basics from tees to jeans to tailored suiting along with exceptionally well-styled leather pieces.

Finally, the biggest event this week is likely to be the return of the DAVID YURMAN sale starting on Thursday through Sunday at the Altman Building in Chelsea. Look for up to 75% off the designer's coveted jewelry from precious statement pieces to sportier sterling silver items including Watches, Eyewear and Men's Collections. As always, 10% of the first day's proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Keep an eye on our SALE ROLL sidebar at left for locations and hours as well as late breaking additions to the schedule.
Next week, look for Marchesa, Maiyet, Sferra and more.


Burberry, Filson, Alexander McQueen, Billy Reid, Tory Burch, Rochambeau, Prada, Creed, AG, TOD's & More

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!

Burberry, Firth Shoes, Gumuchian Jewelry, Vita Fede, Calypso St. Barths, Portolano, Korres, SO&CO Watches, J.Lindeberg Golf, Antonio Maurizi, Filson Accessories, Jared Lang, Valentino, Pierre Balmain, Creed Fragrance, Hamilton Watches, Kyocera Cutlery —join HERE
Alexander McQueen, Naot/Cobb Hill, Joan Vass, Melissa McCarthy Seven7, Gevril Watches, ZERO Halliburton, Castaway, Jane Basch Jewelry, Armenta Jewelry, Ara, SAACHI, K-Way,    —join HERE
Vertigo, AG Jeans, Billy Reid, Riller & Fount, Stephen Oliver Jewelry, Stockholm Sven, New Balance, Mario Valentino, Tory Burch, Givenchy Eyewear, Original Penguin —join HERE
Porsche Design, Lafayette 148, Stephen Webster Jewelry, Elie Tahari, A.B.S. Allen Schwartz, Three Dots, John Barrett Haircare, Ben Sherman, TOD's Ermenegildo Zegna Shoes, Micros, Kaya di Koko, Betsey Johnson, English Laundry, Dr. Brandt, Bulova, Rochambeau, James Tattersall, Prada —join HERE


Uniqlo's Liberty Of London Line Arrived In Stores Today With Few Crowds But Plenty Of Good Merch

If you were worried that Uniqlo's new collaboration collection with Liberty of London was going to create the kind of frenzy that the iconic Brtish textile brand whipped up when it teamed up with Target a few years ago, then you can rest easy. Things at the Japanese chain's Fifth Avenue flagship were reasonably calm at midday today when the Shophound stopped by to check out the collaboration in person. The shelves and racks seemed fully stocked with the brand's famous florals translated into fairly classic items that should ultimately sell easily, but nobody should be put off by the notion that there might be aggressive crowds flocking to the store. Apparently, Uniqlo is not yet at Target's level of promotional skill, but maybe one day it will be.
But back to the clothes on hand, though the collection is billed as being for men and women, the men's offerings consist of a single, classic style of linen shirt in five floral patterns of a suitably masculine shades of blue. The women's collection includes several printed tees, two styles of jersey dresses —one long and one short, loose drawstring shorts along and tote bags, slippers and other accessories all in various Liberty prints. It's also priced to move with nothing under $39.90, so if the intermittent balmy weather has made you ready for flowers that have yet to bloom on their own, a printed top may be a good temporary Spring fix.


Bergdorf Goodman's New 57th Street Entrance Is Unveiled
—But Not Finished

We have been actively following the progress of Bergdorf Goodman's current exterior renovations partly because we are interested and partly because we happen to have walked by the place a lot in the past few weeks. Today, we noticed that the last remnants of the plywood covering has been removed from

Click image for a larger view in a new window

the newly remodeled 57th Street side of the store including a new entrance into the store's re-conceived jewelry salon. The store has faithfully replicated the 58th Street (pictured at left) entrance on the other side of the store to create a grander entryway (pictured above in the best shot we could get over Midtown traffic). While the 58th Street door is technically the store's front entrance dating back to the building's completion in the late 1920s, more customers tend to enter through the more heavily trafficked 57th Street and Fifth Avenue doors, so it makes practical sense to upgrade the entryway. Despite the completed construction being exposed, it is clearly not totally finished and ready for its close-up just yet. The wrought iron railing at the window above the door and new awnings over the reconfigured windows have yet to be installed, but what has been revealed seems to answer one questions. The new, pristine white marble visible between the windows and on the new entryway appears not to be decorative, but a practical measure. We now can safely presume that the new stone will ultimately be toned to match the color of the building's original facing to create a seamless effect once the finishing touches are applied. As we have noted before, how all of this remodeling will affect the building's chances at being named a City Landmark remains to be seen, but by the end of this year, by which time a final designation is expected to be made, the building will look substantially different from when it was initially proposed for Landmark status.

Extended Transformation: Bergdorf Goodman's 58th Street Side Is Getting Redesigned, Too 


Madison Avenue Bookworm Edition

24CRITIC5-blog427It's been a few weeks since The Shophound has caught up with the Critical Shopper over at the Thursday Styles. This week, it is Molly Young's turn to take on the city's newest boutiques, and she has made her way to the new Sonia Rykiel boutique on Madison Avenue. Hey, we were there too when it opened just about a month ago, so we are very well familiarized with the store's unique red lacquered bookshop aesthetic which our shopper describes as "eye-catching in a way that makes passers-by halt, whip off their sunglasses and peer inside"
And that's half the game right? 
While The Shophound was more taken with the store's design and décor, Our shopper hones in on the clothes, having reportedly just over purged her closet. Here is where we learn that Sonia Rykiel, though always a label steeped in a woman's point of view from its flame-haired founder to its current designer Julie de Libran, is perhaps not for every woman. Of a rainbow striped jacket she concludes, "On a taller person, the fit would have been slouchy. I looked like a garden gnome." But we were most surprised by the critique of a pleated dress in 'creamsicle' polyester for $2,190, "it should have been chiffon, at that price". Well, Molly, chiffon and polyester are not mutually exclusive. Chiffon is a particular weave of fabric, like satin or corduroy or gabardine. Polyester is a fiber out of which you can make that fabric and many others —but we knew what you meant. Your copy editor didn't, though.

Critical Shopper: French Lit, Stripes and Cigarettes at Sonia Rykiel By Molly Young (NYTimes)
Sonia Rykiel 816 Madison Avenue between 68th & 69th Streets, Upper East Side


Strong Sales From James Perse, Zadig & Voltaire, Baccarat & More

The James Perse Sample Sale at 150 Greene Street

There's a little bit of something for everyone in this week's sample sales with some reliable regulars making a strong showing and a few newcomers to the circuit as well.

Starting today, one of the most consistent Sample Sale players, JAMES PERSE (pictured above) opens at 260SampleSale's new SoHo location, the former Costume National boutique at 150 Greene Street. This one is always a favorite for stocking up on casual California style basics, with Perse's famous tees at the center of the offerings. You can never have too many of his knit tops which appear in all manner of soft, preached cotton knits. Generally, the sale (which we previewed last night)  has most of the things you expect to see season after season, but the more refined boutique setting allows shoppers to see everything better, so the more structured ready-to-wear parts of the offerings are much easier to discover. At the back, find an array of SeaVees sneakers and Diemme boots with a few Birkenstocks in odd sizes. Shop through Sunday.

Up at 260's Fifth Avenue home base, the store is given the premium WOOLRICH JOHN RICH & BROS. outerwear collection and WILL LEATHER GOODS for a double header. From Woolrich, there's an abundance of winter parkas and outerwear for the last gasp of cold weather or for putting away for next year. A little bit of apparel is also available including a few pieces from what's left of Mark McNairy's Woolwich Woolen Mills line. From Will Leather, there are tables full of totes and backpacks in leathers and woven fabrics all priced as marked. Shop through Sunday.

Starting tomorrow the 23rd, BACCARAT will be opening its showroom in the D&D building for a two-day sale featuring up to 60% off its celebrated crystal stemware, barware vases and other decorative items as well as crystal jewelry. Samples and stock will be available.

Also starting tomorrow in Chelsea Market, French contemporary chain ZADIG & VOLTAIRE will be headlining a multi-label sale that is also promising a host of other contemporary labels.

Keep an aye on our SALE ROLL sidebar for locations and details as well as late-breaking updates. Next week, look for sales from Ghurka, The Kooples, David Yurman & more

Have a look inside the James Perse, Woolrich and Will Leather Goods Sales after the jump

Continue reading "SAMPLE CIRCUIT:

Strong Sales From James Perse, Zadig & Voltaire, Baccarat & More" »


GQ Announces An All-Star Edition Of The Best New Menswear Designers In America

Image: GQ.com

Every year around this time we look to see who GQ Magazine has anointed as its Best New Menswear Designers In America. For its 10th Anniversary Edition, the publication has given the current crop of burgeoning men's designers a little more time to ripen before the spotlight shines on them, and picked a group of alumni to celebrate the program's success. This year's returning honorees include Michael Bastian, who was among the first year's picks and returned again in 2011. He is back for an unprecedented third time in the program. Also among this year's all-star group are designer/retailer Steven Alan first picked in 2008, John Elliott who was last seen in the group in 2014 and Morgan Collett, Colin Tunstall and Josh Rosen of Saturdays NYC from the class of 2012.
The designers have all evolved in ways since the last time GQ first picked them out of the crowd. Bastian has built his own brand and established popular multi-season collaborations with Gant and Uniqlo. His latest project is launching his own less expensive secondary collection. Steven Alan has expanded his retail empire since 2008 as well as branched out into eyewear and home collections. The Saturdays NYC team have also expanded their retail footprint, and John Elliott has exploded his offerings from a cult tee and sweatshirt label to a fully fledged collection.
The designers will be featured in the upcoming issue of GQ and will debut their capsule collections for The Gap this September for as long as they last in stores which, historically, hasn't been for more than a hot minute or two.

Here Are GQ's 2016 Best Menswear Designers in America (GQ.com)