Boutique and designer stores, everywhere you look
Starting at 60th Street and Madison Avenue and running uptown are some seriously stylish, and often quite expensive shopping options. But despite all of the global designers like Celine (62nd and Madison), Valentino (65th and Madison) and Yves Saint Laurent (71st and Madison) on offer, there are also a number of more “only in New York” options.
Barney’s New York (660 Madison Avenue; +1-212-826-8900; www.barneys.com) is always my first stop. It’s my favorite department store in the city, and has seriously good edits of the season’s collections, as well as a ridiculously excellent and pricey shoe department where you’ll find the likes of Louboutin and Manolos at deep discounts. I also love the “Coop” where there is a special jeans section with J brand, Seven for Mankind, Lucky and vintage Levis at prices cheaper than in many other cities. I often stop in for lunch at Fred’s, the store’s restaurant, not only for the signature chopped salad, but also to see what other guests are wearing; it’s excellent people watching!
One block over is an emporium of a very different kind, Sherry Lehman (505 Park Avenue at 59th Street; +1-212-838-7500; www.sherry-lehman.com) a one-stop New York wine shop with a cult following. It is crammed with everything from hard-to-find Burgundys, to excellent bottles for under ten dollars. They often run sales on champagne and reds, and offer special editions like a Dom Perignon tribute to Andy Warhol.
Outdoor enthusiasts and hip-hop emulators will find the Timberland flagship (709 Madison Avenue; +1-212-754-0434; www.timberland.com) at 63rd Street with all manner of hiking books through the well-designed bi-level space. I am also a big fan of Searle (609 Madison Avenue; +1-212-753-9021; www.searlenyc.com), not only for its great selection of dresses and chunky knits but most of all for the full-length down coats that keep a New York gal warm and stylish even in the depths of winter.
Further uptown, one has to stop into the Ralph Lauren store (867 Madison Avenue at 72nd Street; +1-212-434-8000; www.ralphlauren.com), in a beautiful mansion from the 1800s. Even if you aren’t in the market for a full-length gown or RL sheets, the temple to the designer gets high marks for the way it is laid out.
Another lifestyle line, Calypso (935 Madison Avenue; +1-212-535-4100), is perhaps more practical – one can find great easy-to-pack pieces, especially for summer. I love the floaty silk dresses, leather sandals, light cashmere scarves, and pretty well-priced, jewelry.
Carolina Herrera’s (954 Madison Avenue at 75th Street; +1-212-249-6552; www.carolinaherrera.com) flagship is also a must-see, particularly for brides to be – her wedding dresses are ethereal. I also love Zitomer’s (969 Madison Avenue at 74th Street; 1-212-737-5560; www.zitomer.com), a New York institution for Upper East Side ladies. As well as carrying everything from hard-to-find anti-aging creams to cosmetics to tights, it is testament to other New York markets, you can find plush first cashmere sweaters for baby, beautiful dog beds and collars for the family hound, along with tiaras worthy of the finest Manhattan ball, not to mention all manner of Italian and French beauty potions and products.
I will always have a penchant for E.A.T. Gifts (1062 Madison Avenue; +1-212-861-2544) with its well-edited selection of great presents and accessories, especially for kids, like Le Petit Prince placemats and “singing” birthday candles.
Next door, its gourmet deli has scrumptious chocolate chip cookies and great sandwiches which you can either take them to go for a picnic in nearby Central Park or sit in the little café.
After you refuel, take a look at Michael’s (1041 Madison Avenue between 79th and 80th Streets; +1-646-755-9397), a consignment shop where only “once worn” merch from the likes of Vera Wang, Chanel and Louis Vuitton is a testament to those who give up their designer threads after only one gala.
Younger chic types spend more time at the large outpost of Intermix (1003 Madison Avenue; +1-212-249-7858) on 77th and Madison, where you can pick up a cocktail dress by Catherine Maldrino, Herve Leger, or Luella Bartley that’s worthy of the red carpet, or just a romantic dinner, or Scoop (1035 Madison at 79th Street; +1-212-717-4022) which also sells casual but sexy street wear and barely there cocktail dresses. I also highly rate Anik (1122 Madison Avenue; +1-212-472-5251) for its fashionable basics like Katayone Adeli and Theory.
For more information, see my guide Shopping in New York City: Soho and around