This past year has been eventful in New York City retail, from market newcomers to high-tech stores to welcome announcements of what's to come. And of course, my last column of 2014 is the perfect time to discuss my favorite new stores of the year. Let me know what you think!
Caruso - 45 East 58th Street
It was a joy for my team and me to bring this elegant menswear line, from former Brioni CEO Umberto Angeloni, to the United States at this shop, formerly the Spanierman Gallery. And Caruso takes a gallery-like approach to present its fine apparel. A beautiful experience from beginning to end.
COS - 129 Spring Street
An opening that saw long lines, this entry from H&M offers a beautiful presentation of affordable style -- at the site of a notorious 18th Century murder! (The well that the victim was found in actually was incorporated into the store's décor.)
Hueb - 717 Madison Avenue
Yet another sign of the growing globalization of New York City retail, this family-owned jeweler from Brazil manufactures everything in-house. Beautiful gemstones are set in contemporary yet timeless designs of 18K gold.
Rebecca Minkoff - 96 Greene Street
I've written about this before, but this is a spectacular use of in-store technology, a partnership with eBay. A wall-sized touchscreen allows shoppers to order drinks - as well as merchandise to be sent directly to a fitting room. Mirrors in the rooms identify the merchandise and can suggest different sizes and colors. It may be the future of the in-store experience.
Neiman Marcus Last Call - 210 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn
Neiman's first entry in the city, it presaged the announcement of the full-price store that will come to Hudson Yards.
Other Criteria - 458 Broome Street
A singular vision from artist Damien Hirst, this shop offers his works costing tens of thousands of dollars, as well as postcards and shirts, and even bathroom tissue. It's a unique retail experience.
Rent the Runway - 16 West 18th Street
One of my favorite clicks to bricks, Rent the Runway allows all of us to have the occasional designer dress or accessory for that special occasion, training the fashionistas of the future!
Space Ninety 8 - 98 North 6th Street, Williamsburg
You have to give parent company Urban Outfitters credit for this retail experiment, which combines goods from local craftsmen, rotating special collections, a bar, restaurant and deck - in a stunning design. It's just fun to be around!
Topshop - 608 Fifth Avenue
There's a reason that shoppers literally have been lining up to visit this massive flagship, which combines Topman as well as Topshop - terrific fashion at even better prices!
Valentino - 693 Fifth Avenue
The former Takashimaya store is now a temple to luxury, with a highly architectural gray terrazzo interior that employs color to separate different departments. The store is almost as beautiful as the men's and women's apparel it displays.
Happy New Year and Happy Shopping!