Hermès Kicks Off the Downtown Luxury District

Hermeswallstreetdrawing_2Hermès finally flung open the doors of its much-talked-about downtown branch today after a star studded launch party last night. The French luxury legend is a pioneer of sorts in the neighborhood which is soon to be home to a Tiffany while every company from Nordstrom to Jil Sander is said to be casing the area for their own outposts.
Island of luxe though it may be, it is here, insisting on calling the 4,000 square foot store Hermès Wall Street despite the fact that the actual store does not actually front Wall Street at any point. It is in fact on Broad Street, directly across the way from the New York Stock Exchange, the most iconic of locations. The question is will they make it there, or will the store die a slow death, bereft of enough like-minded neighbors?
We think they'll live, and to ensure their survival, the company has predictably merchandised this branch with an eye clearly focused on the district's mostly male and mostly rich weekday professional population. If Madison Avenue is the place to go for an Hermès scarf or to get on the Birkin bag list, then this is the store to visit for a tie. Or perhaps a zillion ties.

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And The New Hot Shopping Area Is...Wall Street?

2006_06_37wallSoon there will be another reason to go shopping way way downtown besides Century 21. Curbed  and WWD tell us that Tiffany & Co. will be opening its second New York Store in a 1906 Beaux-Arts tower at 37 Wall Street in April 2007. Heaven knows there's heaps and heaps of dough down there, but so far the notable retail scene has consisted mainly of the aforementioned discounter and business wear stores like Brooks Brothers and Hickey-Freeman. Expect a dramatic presentation as Tiffany will restore as much gilded age grandeur as possible, in efforts to outshine its new neighbor, Hermès which will open at 15 Broad Street next year.

Krisvanassche It looks more and more like Hedi Slimane is on his way out at Dior Homme. Belgian designer Kris Van Assche has been tapped to wait in the wings should Slimane bid adieu. An obvious choice, the Belgian Van Assche whose own collection will be four seasons old next month, was assistant to Slimane at both Yves Saint Laurent and Dior, so don't look for a huge change in direction should the scenario actually come to pass. (WWD & Vogue UK)

Mulberry Bleecker Street hasn't been eclipsed just yet. Mulberry, the British luxury leathergoods house is finally establishing a foothold in the US with its first stateside store at 387 Bleecker opening in August. It will be the only store oustide the UK to offer the Bespoke accessories collection, which allows the customer to chose what color and type of leather they want. Perfect for us because we like things the way we like them!

The Window Watcher: Subway Twister Edition

Img_0885We promised we would return with a window report, and this time the winner is Bergdorf Goodman once again. Sorry to be redundant, but there really is no competition, at least not this week. Everyone else's displays just looked like merch, merch merch. Somehow Bergdorf's made a set of co-op windows with www.nyc.gov work brilliantly. This one we refer to as Subway Twister, a tribute to the Department of Transportation that has a perception switch we love. The gorgeous Missoni clothes are just a complement to the composition. After the jump, see Departments of Sanitation, Parks and Recreation and the New York Public Library windows as well as some other runners-up.

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