Best indie shops: Alphabet City

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  • Amaran

  • Big City Records

  • Big City Records

  • Big City Records

  • Geova

  • Geova

  • A Little Wicked

  • A Little Wicked

  • Love Shine

  • Monk Vintage Thrift Shop

  • Monk Vintage Thrift Shop

  • The New World Order

  • The New World Order

  • Old Village Hall

  • Old Village Hall

  • Rue St. Denis

  • Rue St. Denis

  • Rue St. Denis

  • Tokyo Rebel

  • Tokyo Rebel

Amaran

Amaran
When husband and wife Sonia and Ivan Tonkin took a vacation to Indonesia, they fell so in love with its beauty, they decided to bring a slice of it back to New York City. Their sprawling, window-lined space offers chic ethnic imports like batik-print pillows ($40) and khusa slippers ($39), scented soy candles ($27) and gorgeous hand-carved Indonesian furniture (starting around $200). The shop also offers wares by independent designers, like clothier Johnny Was and local jeweler Jane Diaz. 109 Ave B at 7th St (212-420-0427, amaran.com)

Big City Records
A haven for crateheads and vinyl connoisseurs, this tucked-away spot specializes in rare and collectible jazz, disco, soul and hip-hop LPs. Sample the goods in-store on headphones and turntables, and don't be shocked if you run into an A-list DJ while browsing. Folks who could give a rip about mint-condition collector's items can dig through the $5-and-under bargain bins. 521 E 12th St between Aves A and B (212-539-0208)

Geova
Blink and you might miss Brazilian designer Geova Rodrigues's tiny studio/boutique, which sells a host of arty, embellished and often retooled clothing for men and women. Handmade cloth dolls line the inside of a jewelry case and small hanging racks display tulle and sequined statement necklaces, party dresses and slouchy sweaters. Price points are fair given the handiwork that goes into each original piece; men's button-down shirts, for example, hover around $285. 208 Ave B between 12th and 13th Sts (212-473-9092, geovafashion.com)

A Little Wicked
Sisters and co-owners Robyn and Bianca Moreno want to be "personal stylists for busy New York ladies," and they source their flirty, feminine vintage threads from throughout the country. Top finds include cute sundresses (shortened to reflect up-to-date silhouettes and priced to move at $100 or less), stonewashed jean skirts, sequined bustiers and '80s pocketbooks galore. 279 E Houston St between Clinton and Suffolk Sts (917-501-6116, alittlewicked.com)

Love Shine
Designer Mark Seamon's funky gift shop sprang to life in 1997, and while his hand-sewn bags—fashioned from colorful printed canvas and oil cloth—are still a big draw, casual shoppers fall hard for the world traveler's Haitian and Mexican imports, and Day of the Dead decorations (skulls, faux flowers). Ken Brown postcards cost just a buck, and you'd be hard-pressed to leave without at least one Mark Seamon for Love Shine creation (like a tattooed messenger bag for $52). TONY deal: Mention TONY to receive 15 percent off everything in the store through Wednesday 21. 543 E 6th St between Aves A and B (212-387-0935, loveshinenyc.com)

Monk Vintage Thrift Shop
Dig and ye shall find: The booty at this crazy-packed thrift shop includes women's jeans, tops, skirts, shoes and dresses, plus a half floor's worth of menswear. On our last visit, we sniffed out a pair of Chanel flats ($135) and a sequined dress by Alice + Olivia ($125). Don't miss the neatly arranged costume jewelry at the front counter, or handsome selection of men's vintage satin bow ties ($15). TONY deal: Mention TONY to receive 25 percent off everything in the store through Wednesday 21. 183 Ave B between 11th and 12th Sts (212-673-5961)

The New World Order
Stylist Renee Bejil has spent eight years (many of them in Paris) acquiring the pieces in his carefully curated vintage boutique, shopped by celebs (Alexander Wang, Kanye West) and label-whorish plebs alike. The heavily mirrored, 1970s-inspired den houses barely used pieces by such awe-inspiring brands as Givenchy, Lanvin, Norma Kamali and Theirry Mugler—with prices to match ($385 for an Armani beret, for example). 13 Ave B between E Houston and 2nd Sts (212-777-3600, thenewworldordernyc.com)

Old Village Hall
Scott Hill's 200-square-foot old-timey shop feels a bit out of place in the grungy East Village—in all the best ways. Glass cases house stuffed foxes and dusty country-chic knickknacks, reupholstered chairs neatly line the walls, and used books tower above a reading nook in the back. One-of-a-kind finds include vintage paint-by-numbers paintings, colonial soldier paper-doll statues and mounted antlers, though we're also smitten with the selection of screenprinted pillows and tote bags. 170 E 2nd St between Aves A and B (212-677-7307, theoldvillagehall.com)

Rue St. Denis
For 20 years, Rue St Denis has sold vintage threads from the 1940s to 1980s, all of them in pristine condition. Owner Jean-Paul Buthier curates the collection, which includes fashionable shades, groovy old bathing suits, printed tunics and dresses, dead-stock slim-cut designer suits (we spotted an Yves Saint Laurent jacket for $350) and a host of Italian men's boots. The shop also offers on-site tailoring. TONY deal: Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off everything through Wednesday 21. 170 Ave B between 10th and 11th Sts (212-260-3388, vintagenyc.com)

Tokyo Rebel
This purveyor of punk, goth and Japanese Lolita--inspired fashion and gifts offers a hangout spot in the back, ideal for the high-school- and college-aged customers who flock here. Spooky-pretty offerings (petticoat, anyone?) from specialty labels like Sex Pot ReVenGe, Atelier-Pierrot and Putumayo fill the racks, while Victorian-inspired flower combs, Elite pocket watches and street fashion mags fill in the gaps. TONY deal: Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off everything through Wednesday 21. 170 Ave B between 10th and 11th Sts (212-228-1232, tokyorebel.com)

 

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