Best indie shops: Midtown East

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  • Bauman Rare Books

  • Bauman Rare Books

  • Bauman Rare Books

  • Fogal

  • H20

  • H20

  • H20

  • Jurlique

  • Jurlique

  • M0851

  • M0851

  • Mulberry

  • Mulberry

  • Mulberry

  • Mulberry

  • Mulberry

  • Mulberry

  • Sam Flax

  • Sam Flax

  • Sermoneta Gloves

  • Sermoneta Gloves

  • Stuart Weitzman

Bauman Rare Books

Bauman Rare Books
Although some of the rare tomes at this 35-year-old store cost as much as a studio apartment—the most expensive being the $365,000 The Nuremberg Chronicle, an illustrated history of the world, dating back to 1493—you can still score some autographed first editions (like Frank McCourt’s ’Tis) for around $150. The gorgeous two-story store and gallery is designed to resemble a traditional English library and is worth the visit alone. Of course, the knowledgeable staff can help you build a starter collection, if you’re interested; to date, the most requested books are anything by Winston Churchill, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. 535 Madison Ave between 54th and 55th Sts (212-751-0011, baumanrarebooks.com)

Fogal
Stocking devotees swear that once you’ve worn Fogal, nothing else compares. And indeed, browsing this high-end boutique’s selection of panty hose, suspender tights, thigh-highs, knee-highs, leggings, bodysuits and socks—available in more than 80 durable colors and styles—will make any Mad Men--ish dame’s heart skip a beat. Most goods are priced in the $30--$60 ballpark, though big spenders may want to go all out with a pair of luxe cashmere tights ($365). 515 Madison Ave at 53rd St (212-355-3254, fogal.com)

H20
It comes as no surprise that with a name like H20, the brand’s flagship is decorated entirely in aqua and white. Beauty enthusiasts flock here for reasonably priced sea-derived skin- and body-care products, including Face Oasis ($34), an oil-free hydrating moisturizer. Shower gel costs $9; lotions in punchy scents like Tango Mango and Raspberry Guava will set you back $12. 511 Madison Ave between 52nd and 53rd Sts (212-750-8119, h2oplus.com)

Jurlique
Two tranquil treatment rooms are located in the back of this 25-year-old skin-care brand’s 450-square-foot flagship. Book ahead for a luxe treatment (a signature aromatherapy facial costs $90), or just stop by the farm-themed concept shop for a quick skincentric pick-me-up. The brand grows all of its own ingredients in biodynamic and organic-certified farms in South Australia; prices range from $15 for the all-purpose Love Balm salve to $67 for Herbal Recovery Gel, reported to brighten skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. 477 Madison Ave between 51st and 52nd Sts (212-752-1980, jurlique.com)

M0851
This 23-year-old Canadian line, named for founder Frdric Mamarbachi’s month and year of birth, specializes in outerwear and accessories for both sexes. Mamarbachi, a former architect, designed the store and all the furniture within, which artfully highlights the shop’s selection of calfskin handbags, clutches, hobos and weekend bags ($250--$575). Women’s bomber jackets start around $790 and trench coats at $1,375. Small leather goods can be had for less: Belts cost $75--$140, pouches and cardholders $40--$45. 635 Madison at 59th St (212-988-1313, m0851.com)

Mulberry
England’s Mulberry goes theme-crazy every season, and this spring’s obsession with fairground iconography is no exception: Trippy carousel wallpaper and life-size horses that looked as if they were plucked right off a merry-go-round greet customers at the door. The ready-to-wear collection blends seamlessly with the small leather goods, bags, and Technicolor-printed shoes and scarves. Prices start at $95 for a credit card case or passport cover and reach as high as $1,250 for the Alexa, a bag designed by Emma Hill and donned by Brit import Alexa Chung. We also love the vibrant Betty Bow flats ($250), leather thongs entwined with silk. 605 Madison Ave between 57th and 58th Sts (212-835-4700, mulberry.com)

Sam Flax
Sam Flax’s massive flagship—a 9,000-square-foot bi-level creative paradise—sells oodles of art supplies, stationery, gifts, picture frames, desk accessories and even furniture. Indulge your creative whims with colored-pencil sets ($6--$100), scrapbooking stickers ($2 and up), and funky photo albums and frames for $10 or less. 900 Third Ave between 54th and 55th Sts (212-813-6666, samflaxny.com)

Sermoneta Gloves
This teensy shop sells every style and color glove imaginable—and the clean, white dcor and bright red countertops really allow the accessories to pop. Unlined leather gloves are just $59, silk-lined are $79, and cashmere-lined are $85. There are also quilted ($190), fur-trimmed ($145) and polka-dot varieties ($125), should the plain leather style prove too boring for your wild-child taste. 609--611 Madison Ave between 57th and 58th Sts (212-319-5946)

Stuart Weitzman
It’s safe to say that Stuart Weitzman is skewing younger these days—what with the teetering, glittery Avalon peep-toe pumps ($335), of-the-moment clogs ($375) and loads of Lucite. This 3,000-square-foot space is also modern in its design, using a palette of creams and grays and ribbon detailing throughout the store. Yet gladiators and open-toe booties aside, Weitzman is still considered a go-to for classic footwear, including evening and bridal options. Satin peep-toe styles start at $298; a crystal-embellished number can run as high as $698. 625 Madison Ave between 58th and 59th Sts (212-750-2555, stuartweitzman.com)

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