Best indie shops: East Village

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  • Archangel Antiques

  • Archangel Antiques

  • Archangel Antiques

  • Archangel Antiques

  • Archangel Antiques

  • Cloak & Dagger

  • Cloak & Dagger

  • Cry Wolf

  • Cure Thrift Shop

  • Cure Thrift Shop

  • Fab 208 NYC

  • Fabulous Fanny's

  • Fabulous Fanny's

  • Fabulous Fanny's

  • Forbidden Planet

  • Forbidden Planet

  • Giant Robot

  • Giant Robot

  • Giant Robot

Archangel Antiques

 

An Ren
Lackluster spring coat make you want to skip from winter to summer? Head to this cheerful yellow-walled boutique, where designer and owner An Ren hawks her eponymous line of whimsical jackets. Ren often crafts her outerwear from a patchwork of different patterns like a modern Technicolor dreamcoat, adorning them with oversize buttons bearing carved designs. The eye-popping creations are mostly floral, perfect for those needing a bold pick-me-up on rainy days. 315 E 9th St between First and Second Aves (212-388-9486)

Archangel Antiques
It may look like a pre-spring cleaning garage, stuffed with old floral rugs and glass cabinets, but this shop has the best collection of vintage buttons ($1--$100) and cuff links (starting at $45, dating back to the 19th century) in the city. And if the hundreds of accessories to choose from are too overwhelming, the staff is more than happy to point you in the right direction. Keep your eyes peeled for delicate gold necklaces inside the jewelry cabinet and random vintage collectibles, including typewriters and home furnishings. 334 E 9th St between First and Second Aves (212-260-9313, archangelantiquesnyc.com)

Cloak & Dagger
This boutique houses a mix of off-duty--model pieces from designer Brookelynn Starnes's indie label, plus quirky vintage items that she snaps up while traveling with her musician husband, Howie Statland (of New York City Smoke). The store is best known for its rotating selection of preloved Ferragamo shoes. Though if the prices for Starnes's own supershort cotton dresses, coats and simple silk tops are a bit steep ($200--$600), ask about her new diffusion line, C&D by Cloak & Dagger. TONY deal: Mention TONY to receive 15 percent off everything in the shop through April 29. 441 E 9th St between First and Ave A (212-673-0500, cloakanddaggernyc.com)

Cry Wolf
Unlike most of its neighbors on St. Marks Place, this underground store feels spacious and serene. Husband-and-wife owners Abiri Ward and Nina Wolff keep a selection of indie clothing and accessories from global brands like Cutler & Gross, as well as items from Cheap Monday and Factory by Erik Hart. Exposed brick and low wooden beams characterize the minimalist shop, which also carries Y-3 sneaks for men and REVL silk skinny ties at $58 a pop. TONY deal: Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off everything through May 15. 111 St. Marks Pl between First Ave and Ave A (212-995-9653, crywolfny.com)

Cure Thrift Shop
The first floor of this respected thrift shop is devoted to jewelry cases, vintage furniture, and such curios as an old cash register and used sewing machine (both in working order). Head to the clean basement room to scour the racks for coats, skirts and jeans, priced to move at $35; or plop down on a cushioned bench to try on the shoes, organized on red bookshelves. The well-edited stock is in impeccable condition and sourced solely by donation—Cure donates all its proceeds to the Diabetes Research Institute. Check back twice a year for the shop's whatever-you-can-fit-in-this-bag-that-costs-just-$15 sales. TONY deal: Mention TONY to receive 15 percent off clothing, shoes, accessories, housewares and books through April 29. 111 E 12th St between Third and Fourth Aves (212-505-7467, curethriftshop.com)

Enz's
If you're a pinup rockabilly girl, guy or modern wanna-be—or just happen to have a sudden desire to outfit yourself in zombie-killer T-shirts—you'll find a home away from home at Enz's. The punk outfitter has migrated from St. Marks Place to the Hamptons and back, with a newly permanent space on Second Avenue. "This store is my baby," says owner Mariann Marlowe, who stocks retro-print dresses and pencil skirts by Stop Staring. Macy Gray, Norah Jones and Mischa Barton have flocked to Enz's for burlesque-inspired duds; you can also pick up '50s-style cardiganss, handmade hair fascinators, and vintage-inspired bags and jewelry. Marlowe also offers styling tips and keeps a black-and-white photo of herself in the East Village, circa 1972, behind the counter. Ask her for a peek before you hit the dressing room. TONY deal: Mention TONY to receive 5 percent off pinup dresses and 10 percent off jewelry through April 29. 125 Second Ave between E 7th St and St. Marks Pl (212-228-1943, enzsnyc.com)

Fab 208 NYC
Electric-pink walls adorned with black swirls make for a dramatic entrance at this 18-year-old East Village vet, owned by husband-and-wife designer duo Alan and Jo Smith. Check out their house label, Fab 208 NYC, which carries vintage-inspired ladies' apparel that's just as bold as the decor—most pieces are either printed or embellished with metal studs. And don't miss the 1940s-chic series of top-hat headbands, crafted with lace and feathers, which are guaranteed to jazz up your night out. 75 E 7th St between First and Second Aves (212-673-7581, fab208nyc.com)

Fabulous Fanny's
Whether you're searching for rhinestone-adorned 1960s cat-eye frames or Kanye West--style shutter shades, Fanny's specializes in one-of-a-kind eyeglasses. The moderately priced in-house brand, Spectaculars, features everything from posh sunnies to cosmetic frames, all starting at $135. It isn't unusual to find four or more staffers (all willing to give you an honest opinion) crammed into this pint-size shop, which displays its specs on antique wooden dressers. Fanny's also vends such vintage items as ladies' pillbox hats, and suspenders for lads looking to channel the 1940s (or maybe just Larry King). TONY deal: Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off everythingthrough April 30. 335 E 9th St between First and Second Aves (212-533-0637, fabulousfannys.com)

Forbidden Planet
You have no excuse for buying graphic novels at Barnes & Noble when a store like this exists. Offering about 50,000 volumes, the shop boasts one of the world's largest selections of manga and graphic novels. The ground floor is devoted to new comics, ranging from big-ticket publishers like Marvel and D.C. to one-off indie series. And there's no need to feel intimidated. If you've never heard of Neil Gaiman, the helpful staff is more than happy to give you a crash course. In the upstairs loft, get lost amid the manga DVDs and books; other shelves and cases are packed with anime and sci-fi toys and action figures, offbeat horror and imported magazines like Gothic Beauty, role-playing games and quirky character T-shirts. Be sure to check the store's Twitter feed (@fpnyc) for updates on when artists and writers will be stopping by. TONY deal: Mention TONY to receive 20 percent off all comics, books, graphic novels and manga, and 15 percent off everything else in the shop, through April 22. 840 Broadway at 13th St (212-473-1576, fpnyc.com)

Giant Robot
Although the white-washed decor is sparse, the energetic staff at this eclectic Japanese toy shop helps kick up the vibe. Expect to find everything from Uglydoll monsters to weird knickknacks like the Otomatone musical instruments (glorified electronic squeak toys with a variable pitch, straight from Japan). The store's 16-year-old Asian-pop-culture mag, eponymously titled Giant Robot, offers offbeat articles that include reviews of instant ramen packs, historical pieces on Asian gangsters, travel journals and more. 437 E 9th St between First Ave and Avenue A (212-674-4769, grny.net)

 

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