New York City Shops
Café con Libros
724 Prospect Pl., Crown Heights
This bookstore-slash-café’s name sums up the kind of Saturday morning we all want: one filled with coffee and books. Settle in to this Crown Heights spot for a slow morning of too many cortados and a few chapters of something recommended by the store’s exceptional staff. The women behind Café con Libros run a stellar feminist book club that meets regularly (currently on Zoom), with an emphasis on titles that reflect an intersectional feminist viewpoint. They also host a monthly podcast, Black Feminist & Bookish, on which store founder Kalima DeSuze chats through the club’s current read with a community member and waxes lyrical about the many delights of Brooklyn.
71 Franklin St., Greenpoint
We have long been obsessed with Brooklynite Aurora James’s personal style. While traveling around Nigeria, South Africa, and Morocco, James fell in love with the traditional shoes and sandals handmade by local artisans. Then when she was back home in Brooklyn, Brother Vellies was born (“Vellie” is local speak for veldskoene, South African leather walking shoes). Stepping across the threshold is like walking into another world: There are plants and greenery everywhere, speckled with insanely cool merch. Mexican huarache sandals, feathered pumps, Kenyan-made slides, and butter-soft knee-high boots mingle with embossed leather handbags and woven clutches. Each piece is crafted by artisans from across the globe. In a continued effort to both assemble a treasure trove of gorgeous things and support unique makers, James has introduced a new “something special” vertical on the Brother Vellies site. Expect Oaxacan mugs, the coziest ruffled socks, and…well, see for yourself.
74 Guernsey St., Greenpoint
Ask any in-the-know New Yorker where you might score the best vintage in the city and you’ll likely get this answer: Beacon’s Closet. A goldmine of sorts, Carrie Peterson’s legendary consignment store has a little bit of everything—from au courant pieces by Proenza Schouler, Isabel Marant, and Acne to one-of-a-kind finds that walked straight out of 1970 (where do you think all those epic Hawaiian shirts Zoë Kravitz wears in High Fidelity came from?). Now with four locations (Greenpoint, Park Slope, Bushwick, and Greenwich Village), this vintage mecca continues to reign supreme. (Also see: the recent mass upcycling following the Kondo craze). Give yourself ample time to dig around—who knows what you might end up walking away with. Images courtesy of Carly Rabalais.
102 Franklin St.
Jason Scott takes his cotton seriously. Every piece in his eponymous clothing line is airy, velvety, supple. This comes from Scott’s obsessive attention to detail. In his previous career he worked at one of LA’s top talent agencies. Instead of schmoozing with industry executives at lunch, he went to Barneys, where he grilled the salespeople about the details and craftmanship of the pieces he like. That led to Scott starting his own line of supremely soft, wearable basics in 2013. He considers every stitch (an anomaly in simple casual wear). The crewnecks keep their shape, the high-neck tanks flatter, even the sweatpants look chic. And it’s worth noting that Scott is the nicest guy. Visit his pristine brick-and-mortar boutique in Tribeca and you may catch him there pouring whiskey and inviting friends (and customers) to take a load off.
402 Atlantic Ave., Boerum Hill
Designed by Australian potter Shelley Simpson and handmade in her Sydney studio, Mud Australia’s products are distinguished by their unique finish. Simpson only glazes the interior of her pieces, so the bottoms of the bowls and plates maintain a raw texture that actually becomes softer over time as they’re handled day-to-day. Despite their unique textural qualities, each piece is built for everyday use—everything is microwave-, dishwasher-, and oven-safe. You'll also find the full range at the Mud Australia Store x ABC Home on Broadway.
25 Bond St., Noho
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 from cobbled Bond Street into 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.
175 A Mott St., Nolita
Rebecca Atwood is universally adored for her face-plant worthy textiles and somehow simultaniously elegant and playful patterns, which range from the prettiest pastel pinks to a rich spectrum of cobalt blues. An online operation for years, her new-ish Nolita store is the kind of place where time stops. As in, you walk in and get totally, blissfully lost in the beauty of the hand-dyed shibori bedding, the embroidered textiles, and the mountains of hand-sewn throwpillows—all handcrafted in family-owned factories in Portugal. It's impossible to leave empty handed, so don't say we didn't warn you.
St. Frank Manhattan (Closed)
373 Bleecker St., Greenwich Village
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.
259 Elizabeth St., Nolita
Friends and designers Megan Papay and Cristina Palomo-Nelson know a thing or two about the kind of shoes women want to wear everyday. Enter Freda Salvador, a designed in California, made in Spain label that relies on top-notch Italian and Spanish leathers for its slip-on loafers, oxfords, and stacked heel boots. They’re the kind of shoes that just get better, softer, and even more loved the more you wear them. (One of our editors basically lives in the Keen Mule.) So it was only a matter of time before the Sausalito, California-based brand made things permanent on the East Coast. On a walkable stretch of Nolita with Clare V as its neighbor, FREDA’s minimal vibe is apparent the moment you walk into the bright, smartly appointed space that was designed in conjunction with their friends at COMO ID. The modern shelving keeps the focus on the shoes, but there are vintage rugs, plus old cobbler’s tools and lasts, which add visual interest. They have two other storefronts in SF and Culver City, where they share a space with milliner Janesse Leoné.
29 Prince St., Nolita
Cuyana has long been our go-to for small leather goods (shout-out to one particularly great Marie Kondo jewelry box collaboration). For their East Coast flagship, cofounders Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah took everything they knew from years of hosting pop-ups and created a pale-pink minimalist space. Visitors have the option of using small blocks shaped like laptops, water bottles, and cell phones to get a sense of a bag’s weight and look when it’s full of their personal items. There is also an in-store monogramming station—which is great if you’re in need of a quick, functional gift—and a well-edited clothing selection: silk camisoles, classic V-necks, and long, loose cardigans, all arranged by color.
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