The New York City Hipster Guide
New York City has always been pace-setting and envelope-pushing, in no small part thanks to the crowd now commonly referred to as hipsters, who seem to be perennially establishing what’s cool next. Here’s where to find them.
Allbirds68 Prince St, Soho | 888.963.8944
San Francisco based sneaker start-up Allbirds recently opened their first NYC concept store in Soho, complete with—wait for it—a human sized hamster wheel to test shoe durability. In honor of the opening, they've designed custom laces inspired by New York City’s subway lines alongside a new, limited-edition, midnight blue colorway. We love the sustainable ethos behind each pair of shoes-they're largely engineered from temperature-regulating, odor-minimizing merino wool that's inspired by co-founder Tim Brown's Kiwi upbringing. (They're also ideal for anyone who doesn't like wearing socks.) Grab a perch at their shoe bar to be fitted if you need extra attention.
Bird220 Smith St., Carroll Gardens | 718.797.3774
Owner and buyer Jen Mankins has built a bit of an empire out in Brooklyn, drawing Manhattanites out to shop in the process. Her eye is both quirky and cool, meaning that you’ll find a pretty irreverent (and bright) mix here, along with picks Alexander Wang, Zero + Maria Cornejo, and Tsumori Chisato. The racks for men are just as on point. She has three outposts in Brooklyn, including an outpost in Park Slope and Williamsburg.
Catbird219 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg | 718-599-3457
For years, this teeny tiny shop on Williamsburg's main drag has been one of the best resources in Brooklyn for jewelry. Stackable rings, sweet little pendants, and more precious offerings from designers like Elisa Solomon fill the cases. Weirdly, because space is tight, we actually like shopping their website more.
Creatures of Comfort205 Mulberry St., Nolita | 212.925.1005
This popular Los Angeles transplant is drawing a similarly devoted clientele in New York, thanks to its cool, light-filled location and artful mix of lines like Acne and Rachel Comey. While the store is an experience, their online store is just as well-stocked.
Erie Basin388 Van Brunt St., Red Hook | 718.554.6147
While the selection here is small, it's exquisite enough to draw a Manhattan crowd to Red Hook, one of Brooklyn's more far-flung neighborhoods (also one of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy). Owner Russell Whitmore has an unerring eye for the types of estate and auction pieces you won't see elsewhere (i.e., on eBay): You'll find diamond cluster rings from the late 19th century and Etruscan revival bracelets inset with tiny drops of pearl and turquoise.
Love Adorned269 Elizabeth St., Nolita | 212.431.5683
As the jewelry extension of the East Village tattoo parlor, New York Adorned, you might expect that the jewelry here would be of the skull and crossbones variety. But it's actually gorgeous, and for the most part, dainty: There are sapphire studded earrings from UK-based designer Polly Wales, tourmaline slab necklaces by Lola Brooks, and diamond rings in the shape of mini-crescents by Anna Sheffield. They also have an excellent—and unexpected—range of home goods and gifts. There's a new outpost in Los Angeles, and a great shop in the Hamptons.
Maryam Nassir Zadeh123 Norfolk St., Lower East Side | 212.673.6405
Located in a gallery-like space in the LES, Maryam Nassir Zadeh is more like a gallery than a boutique. You’ll find totem-like objects arranged on the floor, really stunning jewelry that you don’t know if you should wear, or just display, and plenty of up-and-coming labels. MZN has put designers like Dieppa Restrepo, Bernhard Willhelm, Jacquemus, and Lizzie Fortunato on the map.
Mociun224 Wythe St., Williamsburg | 718.387.3731
You'll only find Caitlin Mociun's eponymous jewelry collection on her site—but should you go to her new, Williamsburg store, you'll see the work of her friends, too, including hexagonal brass necklaces by Iacoli & Macallister, and Chen Chen and Kai William's marble bangles. You'll also get to shop Mociun's full line, from her signature eensy, triangular turquoise pendants to her custom rings, which feature a mismatched—and stunning—combination of stones.
Opening Ceremony1190-1192 Broadway, Nomad | 646.695.5680
Before they were tapped to head up Kenzo, best friends Carol Lim and Humberto Leon launched Opening Ceremony back in 2002. At the time, it had a pretty compelling concept: It would highlight design talent from a specific country, before integrating it into a home team of sorts that stayed out on the floor. It was also one of the first stores to host in-store collaborations—they brought in Topshop for the Kate Moss capsule collection, which was particularly memorable. Today, OC has stores in LA, London and Tokyo, where you’ll find a very specific buy from designers like Proenza Schouler and Band of Outsiders, along with collaborations with Chloe Sevigny and the Magritte Foundation. The main shop is on Howard Street in Nolita.
Strand Bookstore828 Broadway, Greenwich Village | 212.473.1452
If we were to name the most loved bookstore in the city, this would be it (after all, it's been operating out of the same location since the '20s). The staff picks and recommended reading tables are always on point, and, along with fiction and non-fiction titles, their photography and fine art section upstairs is wonderfully comprehensive, as is their dimly-lit rare books floor.