Market watch

A recession may be looming, but our favorite newcomers still deserve your hard-earned cash.

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LOWER EAST SIDE  |  CHINATOWN  |  NOLITA/SOHO  |  EAST VILLAGE  |  UNION SQUARE  |  MEATPACKING DISTRICT  |  UPPER EAST SIDE  |  BROOKLYN  |  MORE

Lower East Side

Dear: 55
Called “the White House” by its neighbors due to its alabaster interior, this edgy joint promises to veto unstylish wardrobes. Owner Moon Rhee and designer Hey Ja Do fill the gallery-like setting with elegant vintage womenswear and accessories from such haute labels as Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens and Comme des Garçons. Do’s one-of-a-kind jewelry, often crafted from found objects like antique chandeliers, should guarantee that you’ll never look like you raided the First Lady’s collection of pearls. 55 Clinton St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-673-3494)

Earnest Sewn Co.
We love the cult denim brand’s Meatpacking District flagship and its pop-up shop championing everything from Jimmyjane vibrators to indie label Trovata, but we always secretly wished that it would open a second outpost, wholly dedicated to its Americana-inspired frill-free pieces. Fortunately, this rustic branch quietly arrived last September in the Tenement Museum’s gift shop, answering our stylish prayers for broken-in jeans. 90 Orchard St at Broome St (212-979-5120)

Honey in the Rough
When we’re in the mood for something sweet and charming, we hit this cozy, ultrafemme boutique. Owner Ashley Hanosh fills the well-worn spot with an excellent lineup of local indie labels including Mociun, Samantha Pleet and Eventide, as well as more well-known brands like Sue Stemp. 161 Rivington St between Clinton and Suffolk Sts (212-228-6415)

Suite Orchard
Fashion veterans and sisters Cindy and Sonia Huang worked at Diane von Furstenberg and Chloé, respectively, before joining forces to make their mark on the LES. Adorned with gray-and-white-striped walls, the boudoir-inspired spot pays tribute to their well-honed aesthetic via gamine pieces from Alice Ritter, Jovovich-Hawk and the siblings’ own Soni & Cindy line. 145A Orchard St at Rivington St (212-533-4115)

Travessia
Worth the long trek east from the subway, this art-fashion hybrid should please gallerists, or those just looking for striking works for their home and closet. Its stark white walls place the focus on rotating exhibits by fledgling artists, as well as hard-to-find, avant-garde lines including StarStyling and Hui-Hui. 176 Stanton St between Attorney and Clinton Sts (travessia-nyc.com)

NEXT: CHINATOWN »

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Chinatown

Msg.
Launched on March 3, Girls’ Day in Japan, owner Mami Suzuki’s bantam nook attracts insiders with its offbeat mix of global treats including the latest Japanese streetwear, quirky jewelry and its funky private-label line. 66 Kenmare St between Mott and Mulberry Sts (212-334-4032)

Project No. 8
A painstaking study was conducted to make this former mah-jongg parlor eco-friendly. The high-concept emporium’s tightly edited, almost sparse selection—artfully displayed in the wedge-shaped joint—is just as diligently formulated, choosing from an international roster of culty brands like Boudicca, Sunshine & Shadow and the owners’ personal line, Various Projects. 138 Division St between Ludlow and Orchard Sts (212-925-5599)

NEXT: NOLITA/SOHO »

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Nolita/Soho

Hem
If you’re on a quest for well-fitting trousers, make a pilgrimage to this bottoms-centric shop, where you can try on 30 flattering styles of ladies’ pants from the exclusive line YRMIS Christina. 155 Prince St between Thompson St and West Broadway (212-674-2311)

Hickey
This menswear depot might be outfitted like an upscale gentlemen’s club, but the marijuana leaf painted on one of the walls hints at a younger target customer. But you don’t have to worry about running into fratty hemp necklaces: Hickey is the hip spin-off brand of natty big-brother company Hickey Freeman. Fittingly, its tweed blazers, distressed sweatshirts and polos strike the right balance between bong-toting youthful insouciance and manly stylishness. 96 Grand St between Greene and Mercer Sts (212-219-0230)

In God We Trust
Larger than Shana Tabor’s original Bburg emporium, this second branch cultivates a similar aesthetic via old leather suitcases, tattered hardbound books and her house line, which offers women’s frocks on one side of the shop and men’s plaid shirts on the other. 265 Lafayette St between Prince and Spring Sts (212-966-9010)

Irregular Choice
Illustrations culled from manga and nursery-rhyme books cover the walls of the funky British footwear label’s debut outpost. As youthful as the decor, its collections of girly kicks includes flirty boots and patent leather pumps. Don’t miss its campy collaborations with flamboyant NYC label Heatherette. 276 Lafayette St between E Houston and Prince Sts (212-334-3404)

Korres
Like its gorgeously designed packaging, the Greek beauty firm’s enchanting first U.S. depot is stunning, thanks to a lone golden tin wall and cubbies neatly stocked with its nature-based potions. 110 Wooster St between Prince and Spring Sts (212-219-0683)

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Just around the time when budget-minded chains like CB2 and Muji were storming downtown, this high-end modernist-furnishings company broke ground. The 12,000-square-foot joint brims with sleek investmentworthy couches, chairs and lighting—all of which should please folks tired of Ikea-ish decor. 210 Lafayette St between Broome and Spring Sts (212-431-2575)

Sew
Sure, items are pricey at this unassuming spot, but menswear designer Scott Wasserberger cuts his suit jackets and shirts from posh English and Italian fabrics that hail from coveted mills like Loro Piana. His upcoming womenswear promises to be just as posh. 229A Mott St between Prince and Spring Sts (212-686-1630)

Space.NK. Apothecary
This Sephora rival from England boasts a coveted lineup of cult makeup and skin-care brands like Face Boutique, keeping beauty junkies addicted both uptown and downtown. 99 Greene St between Prince and Spring Sts (212-941-4200); 217 Columbus Ave at 70th St (212-362 2840)

3.1 Phillip Lim
Magpies and fans of this beloved label flocked to this supershiny flagship when it first landed in the ’hood last summer. Serene elements such as wood-block floors and a corrugated oak wall complement Lim’s elevation of humble materials in his beautifully constructed pieces for both genders. 115 Mercer St between Prince and Spring Sts (212-334-1160)

NEXT: EAST VILLAGE »

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East Village

Den
Temporary boutiques are no longer a novelty on NYC’s retail landscape, but we still dig this guerrilla-style nook, which is located next door to cousin men’s haven Odin.Den champions a single label from a rotating flock of chic upstarts including Tim Hamilton, Cheap Monday and Rag & Bone, and often carries loot for the ladies. 330 E 11th St between First and Second Aves (212-475-0079)

TTL Annex
Customers of esteemed DJ equipment shop Turntable Lab kept clamoring for more of its streetwear and books, so TTL opened this addendum next door. The tiny joint is crammed with books, zines, CDs and DVDs about design, music and skateboarding, along with garb by 10 Deep, Burton, Gravis and Obey. 120 E 7th St between First Ave and Ave A (212-677-4012)

NEXT: UNION SQUARE »

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Union Square

Journelle
Thanks to cramped fitting rooms and grannyish goods, some NYC lingerie boutiques are as unremarkable as their underpinnings. But this fancy French-sounding depot (journellement means “daily”) offers 2,000 square feet of glam inner wear from upscale lines including Araks, Cosabella and Elle Macpherson. Sporting purple fabric-covered walls, this Victoria’s Secret alternative also features huge changing chambers tricked out with adjustable lighting to help you set the mood while trying on your spanking-new skivvies. 3 E 17th St between Fifth Ave and Broadway (212-255-7800)

NEXT: MEATPACKING DISTRICT »

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Meatpacking District

Adam
After a recent name change for his label Adam + Eve, Adam Lippes—the former creative director for Oscar de la Renta—decided it wasn’t enough that his clean-cut designs for both genders were already a staple at posh shops like Bendel’s, Intermix and Saks. Embellished with elegant touches like hand-glazed tiles, his first eponymous shop brings together his signature collections under one roof, saving you a schlep around town. 678 Hudson St between 13th and 14th Sts (212-229-2838)

NEXT: UPPER EAST SIDE »

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Upper East Side

Diabless
Uptowners won’t have to worry about dismal exchange rates: This superfemme French brand is surprisingly easy on your wallet but still swanky enough to suggest that you’ve run into an unexpected windfall. 1138 Third Ave between 66th and 67th Sts (212-744-0290)

Edit
Scanning the racks at this handsome bi-level townhouse is akin to peeking into a socialite’s closet. Luxe labels like Derek Lam and Michael Kors mix with less expensive ones such as J Brand and Nili Lotan. We wish we could move into its posh digs, which include an old school library. 1368 Lexington Ave between 90th and 91st Sts (212-876-1368)

NEXT: BROOKLYN »

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Brooklyn

Lee Lee’s Valise
This plus-size boutique fills a need for stores catering to larger ladies. Bedecked with three chandeliers, the quaint parlor carries trendy garb from a slew of companies including Tadashi, Donna Ricco and B&Lu—all in sizes from 12 to 24. Full-figured lasses can pluck flattering lingerie from Spanks, Prima Donna and Hanky Panky. 368 Court St at President St, Carroll Gardens (718-246-5337)

Sprout Home
This oasis in the middle of industrial B-burg bloomed last summer, giving urbanites a resource for rare ornamental trees, dinnerware, gardening supplies and cleverly designed housewares. 44 Grand St between Kent and Wythe Aves, Williamsburg (718-388-4440)

NEXT: Hidden and hard-to-get-to stores »

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Hidden and hard-to-get-to stores

The Dressing Room
Sure, it might appear like another LES lounge, thanks to a handsome wood bar that serves happy hour specials until 9pm every night, but stylist and designer Nikki Fontanella’s quirky co-op-cum-watering-hole rewards the curious who venture inside. Make a beeline past the mixologist and slip down the steps to the subterranean clothing exchange where you can swap preloved loot for a cocktails tab upstairs or cash. But if you’ve imbibed too much to get down the stairs, you’re in luck: What you thought was an avant art display is actually racks of designs by ten indie labels, including Love Brigade and Suzette Sundae. The designers on offer rotate every four months. 75A Orchard St between Broome and Grand Sts (212-966-7330)

Jennifer Ouellette
This haute milliner’s first eponymous outpost isn’t exactly hidden, but it’s located on Manhattan’s northern tip. But unlike the limited selection of Jennifer Ouellette accessories at Barneys, you’ll have access to the full gamut of glam-satin or ostrich-feather headbands, trim fedoras and hair clips. So stop coveting what Blair Waldorf’s wearing on Gossip Girl and take the A train to Inwood. 854 W 181st St between Cabrini Blvd and Pinehurst Ave (212-927-7451)

NEXT: Shops where you can meet your maker »

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Shops where you can meet your maker

5 in 1
A genuine co-op in a former railroad-car manufacturer, 5 in 1 houses both edgy clothing and accessories from the likes of local up-and-comers including Made Her Think, Eventide and Uluru and the ateliers of the creative virtuosos who make them. 60 North 6th St between Kent and Wythe Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-384-1990)

THECAST
It took two weeks for this up-and-coming menswear label’s two designers, Chuck Guarino and Ryan Turner, to transform the basement of an LES tenement into their first flagship boutique. Though this slightly cramped, ramshackle, taxidermy-adorned spot is still a work-in-progress (Guarino and Turner plan to slightly expand the space), there’s nothing slapdash about the dapper leather hoodies ($225), slim vests ($195) and 24-karat-gold-and-black-diamond ashtrays shaped like human jaws ($3,250). The latter is the product of a collaboration with Derrick Cruz of cult line Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons. And since the duo’s studio is hidden behind a partition in the back, you can often inquire about a piece’s silhouette or color by chatting with its creators. 119 Ludlow St between Delancey and Rivington Sts, lower level (212-228-2020)

NEXT: The overhyped and disappointing »

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The overhyped and disappointing

Apple
Though we appreciate that NYC’s third house of Jobs dedicates an entire floor to its 46-foot Genius Bar and Pro Lab training classes for creatives, we were bored with its humdrum layout. Where are the meat hooks to deliver iPods? This was formerly Western Beef, people! 401 W 14th St at Ninth Ave (212-444-3400)

CB2
As much as we cheer for Ikea alternatives, we were unimpressed when this Crate & Barrel spin-off finally got to Soho. Though its 7,500-square-foot space carries more styles than are revealed in the catalog, we found its couches, chairs and home goods too basic, boxy and reminiscent of competitor West Elm. 451 Broadway between Grand and Howard Sts (212-219-1454)

Muji
Perhaps we were overly psyched when we heard that this designcentric Japanese emporium was coming to NYC. But despite the lack of frills and flashy packaging, its housewares, office supplies and furniture were still pricey enough to send us into sticker shock. And too much of the smallish shop is filled with misguided clothing—who needs Yohji Yamamoto–esque crinkled shirts in a lackluster palette? 455 Broadway between Grand and Howard Sts (212-334-2002)

NEXT: Just opened »

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Just opened

Buckler
The label for darkly romantic dandies has sprouted a second NYC home for its rockerish duds in Soho (93 Grand St between Greene and Mercer Sts, 212-925-1712).

Oak
This culty Brooklyn chainlet has quietly crossed the river with a 3,000-square-foot spot (28 Bond St between Bowery and Lafayette Sts, 212-260-7536) that opened in mid-January to host a harried sample sale. Now that the last bargain hound has exited its premises, the third outpost can finally focus on honing its well-edited blend of men’s and women’s loot from Filippa K, Unis and Harmon, while the Park Slope location becomes a shoe store.

NEXT: Coming attractions »

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Coming attractions

Brooklyn Flea market
Don’t worry, you’ll probably be spared from endless sock vendors at this Fort Greene bazaar, which is slated to set up its tables on April 6. The space outside of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School on Lafayette Avenue between Clermont and Vanderbilt Avenues will host a quirky roster of items, including housewares curated by Design*Sponge blogger Grace Bonney and beauty loot sold by an Avon lady.

Ikea
The controversial Red Hook outcropping of the megachain (ikea.com) on Beard Street is rumored to finally emerge this summer, taking over what was a historic shipyard facing the Gowanus Expressway.

Madewell
In a land of cheap-and-chic behemoths like H&M and Forever 21, J.Crew’s trendy, wallet-friendly sibling—whose pop-up shop just closed last week—provided a much-needed alternative to what the masses are donning on the L train. But don’t fret if you missed out on its temporary incarnation: A permanent store (486 Broadway at Broome St, madewell1937.com) will arrive at the end of February—just a block south of the original location.

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