The West Village & Soho Guide
Every individual neighborhood in NYC has its charm, but there’s arguably a super-cluster of neighborhoods below 14th street that stretches from the west side into the center of the Manhattan, roughly encompassing: Meatpacking, West Village, Greenwich Village, Soho, Nolita, and Little Italy. Old school West Village is the kind of neighborhood, despite its small size, that you want to get lost wandering around all day, admiring its quintessentially compact, ivy-clad apartment buildings, with plenty of cafe- and wine bar-pit stops along the way. Attached to the northwest corner of the West Village, the Meatpacking District is home to the end of the Highline and the new Whitney, and is still a buzz-y night-life destination for a younger set. Heading east, there’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s territory, and the oft-photographed Washington Square Park. South of Houston Street can admittedly get a little touristy, but you’ll still find some of the best shopping in Soho; Little Italy, decorated in strings of lights, is unapologetically festive; and tiny Nolita complements them both. Below, some of the essential places to see and things to do in this super-cluster area of NYC.
goop Lab25 Bond St., NoHo | 917.261.7683
For our second brick-and-mortar venture, we brought a bit of West Coast to New York: Taking inspiration from 1930s Hollywood homes designed by Billy Baldwin and Paul Williams, we tapped LA design firm Commune to bring the Noho space to life. The 2,100-square-foot shop echos a private residence—enter through a stone courtyard, which opens up to a large room stocked with a curated selection of items from brands like Brock Collection, Rochas, and our own G. Label. A clean beauty apothecary is stocked with goop-approved products, and a fully-functioning kitchen showcases wares from our favorite home goods lines, and plays host to cooking demos.
& Other Stories575 Broadway, Soho | 646.767.3063
It's nearly impossible to walk out of this shop empty-handed: For one, it's incredibly cheap and for two, we can't get enough of their minimal, modern clothing that subscribes to market trends without being a slave to them. Much like Zara and Cos, you can mix their clothing in pretty seamlessly with your higher-end splurges. There's also a Midtown location.
Aero200 Lexington Ave., Ste. 1500, Nomad | 212.966.1500
Interior designer Thomas O'Brien is known for his elegant yet laid-back interiors and his store is a reflection of exactly that. Furnishings in luxe wood, textiles in a tempered palette of greys and off-whites, select industrial finds, and small home accents are jumbled together for an almost flea-market like effect, bringing a sense of discovery to any visit. It's easy to walk in and covet the whole package, particularly because his design sensibility fits right in with a range of aesthetics. (Note that Aero has recently moved to a new location at the New York Design Center building.)
Aedes Perfumery7 Greenwich Ave., West Village | 212.206.8674
This gorgeous, dark, and almost gothic spot in the West Village brings all the best small and unknown perfumers together in one room. From Diptyque and Frederic Malle to lesser known brands like Agonist, and Aedes' own brand (they've now developed several scents), there's a lot to take in, so ask the guys to help you narrow down the selection.
L’Appartement New York254 Elizabeth St., Nolita | 917.261.6190
For in-the-know New Yorkers, Sézane has been a kind of Parisian style Holy Grail. The laid-back French label pretty consistently check off all the sartorial boxes, best known for their thoughtful edit of lace blouses, stacked-heel boots, great jeans, and unfussy dresses. For their first US outpost, they've settled down in Nolita, where design inspiration comes straight from founder Morgane Sezalory's Paris flat complete with plush velvet seating, light wood floors, wraparound bookshelves, and lots of houseplants. (Bonus: there's a small café fueled by goop favorite Maman so you can sip your latte while you peruse the racks, or settle into the nook near the front with one of the many books on offer.)
Atelier Courbet134 10th Ave., Chelsea | 212.226.7378
The first thing to catch our eye upon entering this striking black interior is an antique black carriage full of books and hand-made cushions: It's just one of many visual statements throughout the space. Look around and there are shelves lined with design objets of diverse provenance, and of course there are no labels, as those would fetter the very calculated, striking displays. While the main room features a mix of furniture and objects, the annex features a deeper look at the work of their stable of craftsmen, from Malian textile designer Aboubakar Fofana to Oyuna, the Mongolian cashmere designer.
Bernd Goeckler Antiques30 E. 10th St., Noho | 212.777.8209
If you're looking for an exceptional piece or two to spruce up your living space, this is a good place to start. It comes with a pricetag, but you won’t find a similar selection anywhere else—including an impressive selection of Danish silver and ceramics, and Italian glass. Should you not have the budget, visiting the store is worth it just for the inspiration and the lesson in design history.
BDDW5 Crosby St., Soho | 212.625.1230
In a sprawling, white-washed space on Crosby Street, BDDW shows off Tyler Hays's genius. And what that manifests as is beautifully designed and hand-crafted furniture, ceramics, and rugs—all with a rustic yet pristine, modern feel. It's stunning, particularly in the way that it's presented in pretty suites throughout the labyrinthine space. Along with Hays's work, BDDW also carries a few other equally exquisite items like Lindsay Adelman's sculptural lighting and Kieran Kinsella ceramic side-tables.
Broken English56 Crosby St., Soho | 212.219.1264
There aren't many better jewelry boutiques in the country: Offering a mix of new and estate pieces, the curation here is stunning, but also cool (sometimes a hard-to-accomplish feat). You'll find tiny little mixed stone rings from Mociun, huge diamond slice earrings, but Lito's bejeweled third eye pendants. The original is in the Brentwood Country Mart in Los Angeles.
Canvas Home Store426 Broome St., Soho | 212.372.7706
We're huge fans of Ochre, Canvas' elegant big sister interior brand, so it's no wonder Canvas is a favorite, too. Stocked with household basics, it's the more affordable version with a rustic French aesthetic. Selling rough-hewn linens in muted tones, furnishings, and the full spectrum of tabletop goods from glassware to serving dishes, this is a great first stop if you're decorating. It's equally useful for hostess gifts.
CB2451 Broadway, Soho | 212.219.1454
Crate & Barrel's sister store is full of modern, really well-priced furniture items and home accents, making it a great stop when in need of a few practical pieces for a quick home upgrade. We always stock up on their glass and dishware—they're great, easily replenished, kitchen basics. There's also a location in Midtown.
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.
Dashwood33 Bond St., Noho | 212.387.8520
Specializing in contemporary photography tomes, Dashwood is lined with every important book on the subject. The owner and staff are always up for helping you find something special or just for a good photo chat. Watch out for their own beautiful editions, including their two books with photographer Ryan McGinley.
Curve57 Bond St., Greenwich Village | 212.966.3626
This beloved bi-coastal shop has a cult following thanks to its mix of always on-point brands and the occasional discovery: Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, and Georgia Hardinge are all here. Owner Nevena Borissova is also a stylist, and so in addition to the great mix on the racks, you'll learn how to put it together, too.
De Vera1 Crosby St., Soho | 212.625.0838
At this veritable treasure chest, black walls highlight cabinets chock full of objects chosen solely for their beauty, whether they be modern French ceramics from Tse et Tse, rare jewels, or 15th-century religious effigies. It's all the work of owner Federico de Vera who travels around the globe hand-picking and then arranging every single item for his two Manhattan stores. Nothing comes with a label, but should you want the backstory on any object, the staff are expert antiquarians and design connoisseurs.
Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter411 Lafayette St., NoHo | 212.861.1200
After spending decades in the art, antiques, and design world—at places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the antiques store Didier Aaron, and with the interior designer Jacques Grange—Jill Dienst opened her own gallery in 2005. Now housed in a former warehouse in NoHo, Dienst + Dotter offers a highly curated selection of furniture, paintings, objects, lighting, and books, the staple of which is Scandinavian art and antiques, pure and minimal.
Doyle & Doyle412 W. 13th St., Meatpacking District | 212.677.9991
Helmed by two sisters, Doyle & Doyle was the first shop to make estate jewelry cool, thanks in no small part to its original outpost in the LES (they recently relocated to the Meatpacking District). Since 1998, Elizabeth and Irene have been scouring the country for exquisite pieces from every conceivable period: You'll find intricately-rendered Art Nouveau lockets, Edwardian diamond drop earrings, and a huge range of 19th century engagement rings.
E.R. Butler & Co.55 Prince St., Nolita | 212.925.3565
The showroom, in the original Tiffany & Co. silver department building, is not only a stunning space, but it offers an encyclopedia array of hardware options from all styles and periods—they have the largest collection of hardware catalogs in the world. Along with their own gorgeous line, they also carry designer objects from Ted Muehling, Hella Jongerius, and Philip Crangi, a few of which they manufacture, too.
Global Table107 Sullivan St., Soho | 212.431.5839
Occupying a sliver of space in a quiet stretch of Soho, Global Table is one of those places that's packed from floor to ceiling. Sourcing items from all over the world, the prevailing aesthetic is bright, colorful, and modern, though they also have a great selection of wooden serving pieces, like salad bowls and cutting boards. It’s rare to walk out empty-handed.
Housing Works Bookstore & Café126 Crosby St., Soho | 646.786.1200
100% of the proceeds from this popular used bookstore go to its very worthwhile charity that provides housing for those in need (if you're looking to unload your bookshelves, bring donations here). Twice a month, the store hosts the popular Moth Storytelling Series, which is worth lining up for. The gorgeous space, lined with dark wood shelves, is also available for wedding rentals. There are Housing Works thrift shops that sell furniture scattered across the city.
Hotoveli378 Bleecker St., West Village | 212.206.7475
This is the sort of under-the-radar spot where you'll miss the actual storefront several times if you don't know exactly where to look: Inside, it's dark and moody, a sensibility reflected in the racks of Ilaria Nistri and Vivienne Westwood. The original location, just a few blocks away, stocks both men's and women's.
Idlewild Books170 7th Ave. S., West Village | 212.414.8888
Novels, travel guides, and history books are all jumbled together and categorized by country and region, rather than by author or subject matter at this travel-centric bookstore: The idea is that a book based in a particular place can be the perfect supplement to your trip. As an example, before heading to Istanbul, they suggest you read Orhan Pamuk's memoir by the same name, to get a real feel for the city. For those prepping for a longer trip or a move, their language classes are a major plus, as they're taught by native speakers. There's also a location in Brooklyn.
Il Buco Vita51 Bond St., 2nd Fl., Greenwich Village | 917.946.3085
Nestled upstairs on Bond Street, this shop from the Il Buco team is focused on homewares sourced from across Italy. There are gorgeous hand-blown glasses, rustic linens, and every conceivable kind of serving bowl.
Jayson Home138 Greene Street, SoHo | 646.892.3188
It was only a matter of time before this beloved Chicago-based vintage furniture and décor emporium made its way to New York. With the brand's signature mix of old and new, the Manhattan pop-up location includes a floral shop, workroom with custom fabrics, plus one-of-a-kind vintage across two light-filled floors.
Jeffrey449 W. 14th St., Chelsea | 212.206.1272
At this legendary boutique—an early pioneer in the Meatpacking/Chelsea area—you'll find all the big brands from Alaia to Dries van Noten to Prada, each with its own rack and an eager sales person nearby. The house DJ in his booth may be a sign of better times now past, but it's still a worthy shopping venue. (And if you're ever in Atlanta, you have to go to the original.)
Journelle125 Mercer St., Soho | 212.255.7803
Over the past few years, this lingerie boutique has grown and opened up several shops all over the city. It turns out there was a real hole in the marketplace when it came to lingerie: A place where you can find pretty lingerie that you don't feel silly wearing everyday, which means a tasteful mix of brands like Bordelle, Stella McCartney, Cosabella, and Princesse Tam-Tam, in both basic nudes and bright colors. There's also a location in Union Square and the Upper East Side.
Kirna Zabete477 Broome St., Soho | 212.941.9656
We’ve gooped about Kirna Zabete before, as owners Sarah and Beth have pretty amazing taste. At their decked out, neon-laced shop, they display only the best pieces from high-end brands like Balenciaga, Derek Lam, and Stella McCartney.
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.
M. Crow16 Howard St., Soho | 212.625.1797
As if founding and designing the now international furniture brand BDDW wasn’t enough, now the brilliantly creative (and energetic) Tyler Hays has opened up a second space in Soho named after a general store in his hometown of Lostine, Oregon. The reference to Hays’s childhood memories is ever-present here: Everything in the shop–from clothing to knives, butter dishes, and beyond—is handmade in Tyler’s studio in Philadelphia.
Maiyet16 Crosby St., Soho | 212.343.9999
Maiyet's chic, feminine runway and RTW collections are housed in their first flagship, a modern and refined all-white haven near Canal street. This newish line, which is quickly becoming a classic, is all the more appealing due to its provenance: Each and every item of clothing, jewelry and leather goods is hand-crafted in sustainable workshops around the world, from Kenya to Vietnam. Maiyet supports them all through social programs and skills training.
Marché Maman237 Centre Street, Soho | 212.226.0700
Benjamin Sormonte and Elisa Marshall–founding partners behind the charming, chic, and decadent Maman cafés (and one of our all-time favorite chocolate chip cookies)–recently opened this marriage of a marketplace, café, and boutique in the heart of Soho. Stocked with coveted French brands, from eclectic Jamini textiles to Bastide botanical creams to Merci Bisous wears for littles, this is one of those shops we can spend hours in–literally. Bonus: It's an ideal spot to grab a housewarming, birthday, host, anniversary, you-name-it gift–and there's a gorgeous West Elm-clad patio out back where you can take a respite and enjoy Maman's incredible menu.
Matter405 Broome St., Soho | 212.343.2600
Jamie Grey’s gallery-like design store carries exquisite furniture, lighting, and homewares from a mix of today’s most cutting-edge industrial designers. You’ll find pieces from Rich Brilliant Willing and Bec Brittain, and many exclusive collaborations. Though the aesthetic that runs through the space is extremely minimal, they make an effort to make home-like displays, which makes every visit inspiring.
Michele Varian27 Howard St., Soho | 212.343.0033
Along with her own line of printed wallpapers and textiles, Michele Varian sells a mix of flea market finds, jewelry, and general curiosities. It's always worth a stop for an unusual gift or home accent.
No.66 Centre Market Pl., Little Italy | 212.226.5759
Owners and stylists Morgan Yakus and Karin Bereson pride themselves on making their cozy store the sort of place where you can shop, but also just hang out. As avid vintage collectors, almost everything here is one-of-a-kind, though you'll also find their now-famous boot clogs.
Ochre462 Broome St., Soho | 212.414.4332
Andrew Corrie and Harriet Maxwell MacDonald’s rough-luxe furniture, lighting, chandeliers, and accessories bring a sense of ethereality to any room, and their store is a wonderful showcase of the breadth of their refined style. At Ochre you’ll find beautiful pieces in all categories, from the small accents to the big, thematic pieces. Along with Ochre's line, there’s a scattering of small curios and functional, beautiful objects sourced from all over the world.
Odin199 Lafayette St., Soho | 212.966.0026
This is the place to source an entire men's wardrobe: You'll find Simon Miller jeans, Alex Mill buttondowns, and Common Projects sneakers, along with dressier suiting from Comme des Garcons. The guys behind Odin are fashion arbiters of men's street style, which is why whenever we need to pick up a guy's gift, we head here first. There's also a location in both the West Village and the East Village.
Opening Ceremony35 Howard St., Soho | 212.219.2688
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. There's also a small shop at the Ace Hotel in Nomad.
Paula Rubenstein21 Bond St., Greenwich Village | 212.966.8954
Paula Rubenstein's eponymous store on Prince Street in Soho (which she occupied for more than 20 years) made her a bit of a local legend. Just recently she moved to a new, and arguably more convenient, location on Bond Street in Greenwich Village. As ever, her shop is full of incredible found objects, from industrial furniture to Navajo weavings to antique signs—the endless shelves of yellow-paged books alone are enough to occupy an entire afternoon. The collection of fabrics and linens is the stuff of dreams.
Proenza Schouler121 Greene St., Soho | 212.420.7300
Proenza's first brick and mortar location on the Upper East Side is everything you'd expect from this much-loved label: The space is a slick, geometric gray, with inlaid marble walls that are the perfect backdrop for the duo's structural pieces. The second location in Soho is a perfect match.
Rachel Comey95 Crosby St., Soho | 212.334.0455
Each season, Rachel Comey designs at least one item that becomes an instant classic, worn at offices and dinner parties from Williamsburg to the Upper West Side. For years, she's been one of New York's most influential designers—and a sweetheart among local editors and buyers for her playful yet grown up pieces. We love the tongue-in-cheek Leanne Shapton painted flag outside this flagship—the influential art director is a good friend—and the breezy Charles de Lisle interiors that make a feature of the exposed wood slat ceiling.
Resurrection45 Great Jones St., Nolita | 212.625.1374
Resurrection's stores in Los Angeles and New York are whitewashed, airy spaces with mid-century furniture scattered throughout. And then, of course, there’s the clothes. Owners Katy Rodriguez and Mark Haddawy gather all the greats like Lacroix, Valentino, and Westwood with an eye for some of their more colorful, over the top designs—though there are plenty of beautiful gowns and dresses here that don't scream costume.
Roman and Williams Guild53 Howard Street, SoHo | 212.852.9099
Roman and Williams's first brick-and-mortar location spotlights its Founding Collection—furniture, lighting, and accessories created by the husband and wife duo Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch—and collaborations with global artisans, found objects, and antiques. From the glossy custom grey paint to the open shelving showcasing French and Japanese artisan glassware, every detail in the space is considered and exudes the signature striking-meets-livable Roman and Williams style, as seen in spaces like New York's Ace Hotel, San Antonio's Hotel Emma, and Freehand Chicago (Roman and Williams are also the geniuses behind goop Lab's design). Standefer and Alesch wanted the space to reflect the way they live, so they incorporated La Mercerie, an all-day Parisian café and bakery (open until 11 p.m.), and flower shop from "local muse of botany" Emily Thompson. The result is a gorgeously luxurious, utterly authentic space we never want to leave.
Roll & Hill3 Mercer St., Soho
With its workshop in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and a roster of lighting designers that includes Lindsey Adelman, Jason Miller, and Bec Brittain, it’s no wonder Roll & Hill has been among the most in-demand lighting studios for New York’s in-the-know. The cat’s out of the bag now, though, with a sleek space in Soho that highlights each sculptural piece with just enough furniture to give it context. It’s a traditional showroom, so you won’t walk away with anything, but everything is technically for sale.
Saturday’s Surf17 Perry St., West Village | 347.246.5830
With top-notch surf beaches in Rockaway and nearby Jersey, New York is something of a surfer's destination, though you wouldn't think it in the middle of Manhattan. And this brand of casual men's clothing, from t-shirts and shorts to lived in sweatshirts for wearing post-surf, is a kind of destination in itself. Guys come to lust over the surfboards, the photographs by young artists displayed on the walls, and stay for an espresso at the in-house bar. The first location is on Crosby Street.
Steven Alan103 Franklin Street, New York | 212.343.0692
We head to Steven Alan for the perfectly tailored yet lived-in men's and women's shirting that comes in an endless variety of plaids and stripes. Beyond that, it's the relaxed mix of pieces from designers like A.P.C, Isabel Marant, Rachel Comey, that keeps us coming back. The outpost in Tribeca is the flagship and the original, though there are now locations scattered around the city. In Nolita, the men's (230 Elizabeth Street) and women's (229 Elizabeth) are next door to one another.
St. Frank Manhattan373 Bleecker St, Greenwich Village | +1.646.649.5750
With a dedication to holistically supporting individuals and communities in under-resourced, low- and middle-income countries, St. Frank is a luxury brand grounded in its ethics. The brand’s Greenwich Village location is full of beautifully handcrafted goods from around the globe, all sustainably sourced. Choose between pillows made from Mud cloth, colorful West African textiles, and Juju hats from Cameroon. A close second to its overall mission, is the fact that the store itself is, in a word: beautiful.
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.
Ted Muehling52 White St., Tribeca | 212.431.3825
Designer Ted Muehling’s timeless, nature-inspired pieces come in many exquisite shapes—spindly candlesticks, globe-like earrings—and are the result of collaborations with some of the world’s most revered manufacturers from Lobmeyr crystal to Nymphemburg porcelain. At his store and workspace—his studio is tucked away upstairs—you’ll find his jewelry, porcelain, and crystal, displayed in elegant glass vitrines. You’ll also find everything that inspires him, from found seashells and butterfly displays to the work of other artisans like Gabriella Hale and Axel Russmeyer.
The Apartment by The Line76 Greene St., Soho | 917.460.7196
Launched by Vanessa Traina—who has unabashedly exquisite taste—this bricks-and-mortar extension of her clean-lined website is an apartment that you can shop in real life, from the rugs, to the shelving, to the beauty products in the bathroom. We're obsessed with the concept, thanks in no small part to the fact that everything here is something you'd actually want to take home.
The End of History548 1/2 Hudson St., West Village | 212.647.7598
Lit up like a rainbow, The End of History is one of the more unique stores in the city—if not the United States. Here, you'll find really, really beautiful cased glass that's highly collectible (with prices to match). It all looks so stunning as a grouping, you'll want to take at least three pieces home. They also deal in really beautiful and rare pottery making the store an inspiration point for many home designers.
The Future Perfect55 Great Jones St., Greenwich | 212.473.2500
When The Future Perfect first opened in Williamsburg, it made waves by selling contemporary, well-designed furniture and small home goods by young, totally unknown designers. Nowadays, the store has grown up a bit and moved to Manhattan (and added a location in San Francisco, too). They still highlight their discoveries, but in an almost gallery-like manner, giving each piece space to speak for itself. You can still find their excellent selection of gifts and small goods online. There's also now a location in San Francisco.
The Nanz Company121 Varick St., Soho | 212.367.7000
Based in New York with showrooms around the country, Nanz works closely with architects and designers to get their custom work just right, providing pretty much any custom hardware you can think of for your project. Highly professional—and armed with great aesthetics—we'd recommend them, and their work, for any restoration need. They also have a massive online catalog, which is an excellent tool if you’re looking for ideas.
Thomas Sires243 Elizabeth St., Nolita | 646.692.4472
This irresistible boutique—the brainchild of Fiona Thomas and Alison Sires—was originally intended as a showcase for the duo’s eponymous line of well-cut separates (they're both Loeffler Randall alums). It’s become much more, though, as they’ve found any number of gifts, knick knacks, and kids’ pieces to line the shelves. There are $5 finds, and there are $500 finds, but it’s all a wonderfully happy jumble.
Three Lives & Company154 W. 10th St., West Village | 212.741.2069
A longtime mainstay in the village, the hand-picked selection at this crammed and cozy little shop is amplified by the store's incredible staff and their spot-on recommendations. Unsurprisingly, readings here are a warm and intimate experience.
Tomorrowland476 Broome St., Soho | 929.248.8178
This Japanese sportswear brand’s elevated riffs on classic-preppy separates—both women’s and men’s—are housed in a boldly designed, spacious Broome Street boutique. Among the wide-leg trousers, vibrant color-blocked sweaters, striped shirts, and boatneck tees you’ll find a highly curated selection of jewelry, shoes, and other goods from a global roster of designers like Knott and Want Les Essentiels. Whether your personal style skews classic or avant-garde, odds are you’ll find something here (though at a price).
Totokaelo190 Bowery, East Village
Totokaelo originated as a Seattle-based boutique (and online shop) renowned for contemporary clothing and artful objects (with a curatorial eye that skews largely monochrome/black-and-white). Its New York store, their first/only East Coast brick-and-mortar, is like a really impressive home: the naturally lit, five-storey, 8,400-square-foot brick building used to be an artist’s residence. There is a lot to process in here, but all of it is pretty much guaranteed to be fashion-insider chic: from their in-house label to brand like Vetements, The Row, Maison Martin Margiela, Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten, Junya Watanabe, and Acne Studios (conveniently, the lofty shop’s selection is organized by white, black, and color). The decor of this substantially sized, airy, open-concept edifice is whitewashed, high-concept, and as super-modern as the men’s and women’s separates, shoes, bags, jewelry, and miscellanea on display.
Ulla Johnson15 Bleecker St., Noho | 212.965.0144
It's hard not to have a thing for Ulla Johnson's breezy bohemian aesthetic—it's the kind that attracts New Yorkers and LA girls alike. So for the designer's flagship, she found a jewel box-sized shop on a tree-lined stretch Bleecker Street to call home. Inside a blush-hued space, Johnson's attention to detail is more than evident: there's a rotating roster of arrangements by Sarah Ryhanen of Brooklyn-based florist Saipua, a pendant light fixture by Lindsay Adelman, as well as macramé wall hangings by LA designer Taynya Aguiñiga. And then there's the clothes—pinafore-style dresses, pretty embroidered tops, hand-crocheted sweaters, plus a small edit of delicate jewelry from Pippa Small and Sonia Boyajian are all on display.
Vitsoe33 Bond St., Greenwich Village | 917.675.6990
Back in the '50s, when famed industrial designer Dieter Rams was the head of design at Braun, he developed a modular shelving system to hold his now-iconic hi-fi systems—and a company, started by Neils Vitsoe, was born. The system has been in production ever since, and in an anti-obsolescence testament, it's changed very little, meaning that original Vitsoe owners can still add onto, and change, their systems today. It's incredibly strong (Rams was an architect), meaning it can house huge vinyl and coffee table collections—and then you can take it with you when you move. (The planners will re-draw your systems for you for free.)
WANT Les Essentiels301 W. 4th St., West Village | 646.398.7584
It’s hard not to love the story behind WANT Les Essentiels, a leather goods brand that was started by a pair of design-obsessed twin brothers from Montreal. Their New York location is their first shop in the U.S., inside a townhouse in the West Village. Want’s line is a reflection of the brothers’ minimalist, Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic: The “essentials for living” include gorgeously-crafted, minimalistic handbags, travel accessories, and line of beautifully turned-out sneakers, all made from meticulously-sourced leather and finished with a signature gold and silver zipper. In addition to their own designs, the store carries a tight edit from the brothers’ favorite clothing and home goods designers, including Comme des Garçons Forever, Filippa K, and Hasami Porcelain. As for the interior, it’s simply decorated with mid-century furniture and modern art, in a style that’s equal parts sophisticated and comfortable, plus their “tea room” in the back actually serves tea.
Warm181 Mott St., Nolita | 212.925.1200
Winnie Beattie and her husband Rob Magnotta wanted to carve out a little piece of paradise in the middle of Manhattan. And they kind of did it. As the name suggests, the vibes here are cozy and chill, combining elements of surf culture and a hippie, beachy lifestyle via men’s and women’s lines like Raquel Allegra, Kule, and The Elder Statesman. For home, there’s Coqui Coqui, Apothia, and Warm’s own collection of fragrances.
Anine Bing81 Greene St., Soho | 646.678.3185
Danish-born designer Anine Bing knows a thing or two about nailing that whole classic-meets-modern mix. Since 2005, the LA-based designer and mother of two has been designing edgy-feminine pieces with a timeless bent (motorcycle jackets, Chelsea boots, high-waist denim, and silk camisoles). The entire line is meant to be mixed and matched in a way that’s totally relatable, no matter your style. So it was only a matter of time before the former model set up her second shop in New York, smack in the middle of the action in the Soho. The space is well-aligned with Bing’s aesthetic: a little raw (concrete floors, metal fixtures) and eclectic (potted plants and antique furnishings). And because she doesn’t churn out seasonal collections, every week there are at least five to ten new pieces, which means you have good reason to come back.
Hill House Home395 Bleecker St., West Village | 917.261.7677
Occupying the ground floor of a West Village townhouse, Hill House Home packs a real punch: Prepare yourself for a lot of blue and white palm trees. Nell Diamond, the bedding line’s founder, collaborated with Martin Brûlé of Martin Brûlé Studio to do the entire room in an eccentric, nineteenth-century fabric that Brûlé found at a flea market in Paris. The 500-square-foot-space feels a little like stumbling upon a grand European hotel (or the set of a Wes Anderson movie), with white lacquered furnishings and Hill House Home’s crisp, white bedding as the focal point. Don’t miss the wall of mini pillows—which make great gifts—each one embroidered with a playful phrase, like “5 More Minutes.”