Best Chelsea shops: Where to find fashion, vintage and art books

Chelsea shops offer everything from cool vintage threads and designer menswear to bric-a-brac and arty tomes.

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A longstanding gay hub, the neighborhood is also the location of the Fashion Institute of Technology, so it’s not surprising standout retail includes fashion-focused vintage and menswear boutiques. There are also some highly gift-friendly Chelsea shops. You’ll also find excellent bookstores and antiques emporiums, including flea-market fixture The Antiques Garage. When shopping fatigue sets in, retire to one of the area’s bars or grab a bite.

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Academy Records

  • Price band: 1/4

Academy Records, Academy LPs and Academy Annex are known for their selection of hard-to-find and extremely rare records and CDs.

  1. 2 W 18th St, (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)
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The Antiques Garage

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It's aways a scene: Lower East Side bargain hunters compete with city antiques dealers for the best prices on all things antique and vintage. Hosting more than 100 vendors spread across two floors of an old parking garage, this market is perhaps the best-known in the city, and for good reason—while the prices aren’t the cheapest you’ll find, the merchandise usually hits the mark. It has its share of curio crap, but an early-morning trip through the stalls—best to get

  1. 112 W 25th St, (between Sixth and Seventh Aves)
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Behaviour

Fans of this boutique’s first branch in Chelsea (which opened in 2005) can find even more of the European duds they have come to expect from the fashion-forward men’s shop. The gorgeous 170-year-old townhouse has a gallerylike vibe, featuring high ceilings, wooden floors and plush seating, and showcases guys’ threads from labels like Obscur and Mauro Grifoni. Add some edgy pieces to your wardrobe with Gaspard Yurkievich slim-fit color-block blazers ($795) and cropped cargo

  1. 160 Ninth Ave , (at 20th St)
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Buffalo Exchange

Chelsea thrift hounds, get ready to rifle: This consignment chain, which buys, sells and trades its inventory directly with customers, has opened a third NYC location (the first two are in Williamsburg and the East Village). The high-ceilinged shop has a throwback vibe with aquamarine-and-yellow walls and decorative vintage travel postcards. The fact that it’s a mere block from FIT can only mean good things for the mix of designer-label and vintage clothing, shoes, and

  1. 114 W 26th St, (at Sixth Ave)
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Chelsea Market

Opened in 1996, Chelsea Market is a one-stop gastronomic shopping playground.

  1. 75 Ninth Ave, (at 16th St)
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Mantiques Modern

Walking into this bi-level shop is a bit like stumbling upon the private collection of some mad professor. Specializing in industrial and modernist furnishings and art from the 1880s to the 1980s, Mantiques Modern is a fantastic repository of beautiful and bizarre items, from kinetic sculptures and early-20th-century wooden artists’ mannequins to a Russian World War II telescope and a rattlesnake frozen in a slab of Lucite. Pieces by famous designers such as Hermès sit side by

  1. 146 W 22nd St, (between Sixth and Seventh Aves)
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Malin + Goetz

The line lauded for its green-leaning simplicity runs a streamlined store full of apothecary delights. Shelves are lined with simple skin-care solutions in the same no-frills design as the stark, futuristic store. You'll find products and treatments from its eponymous line, including its signature detox facial and body products, along with home fragrances and perfumes in unusual notes such as rum tonic, synthesized lotus root and mojito. Best-sellers include the lip moisturizer

  1. 177 Seventh Ave, (between 20th and 21st Sts)
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Nest Interiors

  • Price band: 4/4

Husband and wife team Lana Sexton and Henry Stozek carefully pick every item for their reliably excellent home goods shop, so you’ll find everything from one-of-a-kind creations by small, local artisans—with a special focus on Chelsea photogs—to globally sourced objects and vintage treasures.

  1. 172A Ninth Ave, (between 20th and 21st Sts)
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192 Books

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Owned and ‘curated’ by art dealer Paula Cooper and her husband, editor Jack Macrae, 192 offers a strong selection of art books and literature, as well as memoirs and books on gardening, history, politics, design and music. Regular readings, signings and discussions, some featuring well-known writers, are further good reasons to drop by.

  1. 192 Tenth Ave, (between 21st and 22nd Sts)
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Parke and Ronen

Designed by Parke Lutter and Ronen Jehezkel, the boutique’s namesake line of menswear appeals to the sporty, sophisticated male who likes his button-downs crisp and his swimsuits tight-fitting. Though you’ll find Parke and Ronen’s figure-hugging board shorts ($85–$105) and Speedo-esque bikinis ($85) at high-end department stores like Saks and Bloomingdale’s, only the West Chelsea flagship stocks the full collection of sportswear, including such wardrobe staples as

  1. 176 Ninth Ave, (at 21st St)
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Pippin

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Stephen and Rachel Cooper’s brace of vintage shops, which take their name from their Cavalier King Charles spaniel, reflect their individual interests: Stephen, a trained gemologist, is behind the vintage jewelry, while his wife looks after the furniture and home goods. The former—everything from antique eternity rings to 1940s costume pieces designed by Coco Chanel herself—is displayed in a devoted shop, along with some choice vintage handbags. The latter is in a quaint

  1. 112 W 17th St, (between Sixth and Seventh Aves)
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Printed Matter

This nonprofit organization, which operates a public reading room as well as a shop, is exclusively devoted to artists’ books—from David Shrigley’s deceptively naive illustrations to provocative photographic self-portraits by Matthias Herrmann. Works by unknown and emerging artists share shelf space with those of veterans such as Yoko Ono and Edward Ruscha.

  1. 195 Tenth Ave, (at 22nd St)
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Rags-A-Gogo

Owner Joshua Suzanne Ethier began her career in what she calls “the rag business” as the manager of now-defunct Alice Underground, and it’s clear she takes pride in her chosen field: Ethier hand-selects her merchandise directly from textile houses, wholesalers and warehouses for a mix of unworn dead stock and well-preserved secondhand goods. Unlike most of the city’s cluttered thrift stores, items are meticulously organized by clothing type (oxford shoes on one shelf,

  1. 218 W 14th St, (between 7th and 8th Aves)
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The:LAB

In 2005, Greg Lawrance and Luis Fernandez’s quest for the perfect T-shirt resulted in their launching a tee company, 429, and culminated two years later when they debuted Number:Lab, the pair’s evolution to a full men’s line of tech sportswear. The dapper duo has since sold its threads at stores in Japan, Dubai and Russia, and it can add New York to that list with Number:Lab’s first independent storefront. Step inside the illuminated, minimalist space and you’ll spot

  1. 317 Tenth Ave, (between 28th and 29th Sts)
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