Where to shop in Soho: Best stores for fashion, design and books

Shop in Soho for everything from cult fashion and cool design goods to bestselling fiction and natural-history curiosities.



Despite the “mallification” of the neighborhood (and consequent slow-moving foot traffic), the retail-rich area is an intoxicating consumer playground. You can shop in Soho for everything from cheap street fashion to upscale designer garb and stylish items for the home—including taxidermy! We’ve selected the best shops in the area, including fashion-cognoscenti favorite Opening Ceremony and quirky one-offs like Evolution and Kiosk. When shopping fatigue sets in, retire to one of the local bars or grab a bite.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Soho, New York

AvaMaria

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At Katherine Virketiene’s second Manhattan boutique (her first, Elizabeth 260 on the LES, closed in 2008), local emerging designers like Chulette and Inni Choi are the focus. All grand, of course, but we predict it’s the deep discounts on big-name designer dead stock that most shoppers will be seeking out. Threads by Miu Miu, Alberta Ferretti and Stella McCartney are marked up to 70 percent off ($80–$500), and shoes from Manolo Blahnik, Brian Atwood and Jimmy Choo are

  1. 107 Crosby St , (between E Houston and Prince Sts)
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Evolution

A skeleton stands guard outside of this cavelike spot, suggesting that a jaunt here is not for the faint of heart. It’s true: The taxidermied animal heads and skeletal jaws lining the walls provide a frightening sight. Also check out the slightly creepy collectibles including replica skulls of wolves, hyenas and lions ($90–$395); bracelets crafted out of genuine beetles ($39); and man-eating piranha figurines ($35). But beyond freaky stuff, the natural selection can also

  1. 120 Spring St, (between Greene and Mercer Sts)
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The Hat Shop

Milliners Guild founder Linda Pagan opened this shop 15 years ago, and stocks her own designs, as well as though by Tracy Watts, Heather Huey, Jill Courtemanche, Omri Millinery, and Cha-Cha’s House of Ill Repute. Most of the inventory is priced between $150–$350, says Pagan, though “you can also buy a $20 beret or a $900 Kentucky Derby–style hat. The clientele is mostly female, but Pagan boasts of an ever-loyal male customer base.

  1. 120 Thompson St, (at Prince St)
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Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is an extraordinarily unusual and endearing place. The two-level space—which stocks a range of literary fiction, nonfiction, rare books and collectibles—is a peaceful spot for solo relaxation or for meeting friends over coffee or wine. All proceeds from the café go to providing support services for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS. The premises also host an interesting array of literary events.

  1. 126 Crosby St, (between E Houston and Prince Sts)
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Ina

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Ina has long reigned over the downtown consignment scene by virtue of its drastically reduced, immaculate castoffs from haute labels. With five locations around the city that book weekday appointments, it’s easy to find time to drop off your goodies. Don’t expect to profit from your grandma’s old knit sweater, even if it’s a brand name: For the most part, the stores accept only current (within the last five years) apparel. This branch caters to women; others (check the

  1. 101 Thompson St, (between Prince and Spring Sts)
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Jacques Torres Chocolate

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Walk into Jacques Torres’s glass-walled shop and café, and you’ll enter a Willy Wonka-esque chocolate factory that turns raw cocoa beans into luscious goodies before your very eyes. As well as selling the usual assortments, truffles and bars (plus more inventive delicacies such as chocolate-covered corn flakes), the shop serves rich hot chocolate, steamed to order. This location also houses a full-on ice cream parlor, offering treates like homemade waffle cones and cookie

  1. 350 Hudson St, (between Charlton and King Sts)
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Kiki de Montparnasse

This erotic luxury boutique channels the spirit of its namesake—a 1920s sexual icon and Man Ray muse—with a posh array of tastefully provocative contemporary lingerie in satin and French lace, including such novelties as cotton tank tops with built-in garters and panties embroidered with saucy phrases. Bedroom accoutrements such as molten crystal “dilettos” give new meaning to the term satisfied customer.

  1. 79 Greene St, (between Broome and Spring Sts)
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Kiosk

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Don’t be put off by the unprepossessing, graffiti-covered stairway that leads up to this gem of a shop. Alisa Grifo has collected an array of inexpensive items—mostly simple and functional but with a strong design aesthetic —from around the world, such as hairpins in a cool retro box from Mexico, Finnish licorice, colorful net bags from Germany and a butterfly can-opener from Japan.

  1. 95 Spring St, (between Broadway and Mercer St, second floor)
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Kirna Zabête

The designers stocked at this bi-level boutique—big hitters like Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Chloé, and younger names such as Alexander Wang and David Szeto—may be exclusive, but the vibe in the simple space, with its painted floorboards and white walls, is unintimidating. The laid-back air is reinforced by a selection of art books and fun gifts.

  1. 96 Greene St, (between Prince and Spring Sts)
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McNally Jackson Books

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The New York outpost of Canada’s fine independent, McNally Robinson, McNally Jackson has a good selection of novels, nonfiction and magazines. A diverse range of writers present readings in the shop’s comfortable café.

  1. 52 Prince St, (between Lafayette and Mulberry Sts)
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Matter

The Soho spin-off of the Brooklyn design store offers an international selection of furniture, homewares and jewelry, including architect Zaha Hadid’s interlocking Nekton stools and hot duo FredriksonStallard’s provocative cross-shaped clothes brushes. There are great New York-centric gifts too: Look out for metal manhole-cover coasters by Curios and Tel Aviv-based Johnathan Hopp’s miniature porcelain buildings.

  1. 405 Broome St, (between Centre and Lafayette Sts)
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MoMA Design Store

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A must for design fans, the museum’s stand-alone retail arm assembles an impressive array of contemporary furnishings and gifts, including sculptural vases, clocks, kitchenware and gadgets. Downstairs, along with larger furniture, is an outpost of Japanese lifestyle store Muji.

  1. 81 Spring St, (at Crosby St)
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Opening Ceremony

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Go on an international shopping spree without leaving Soho at this large, meticulously curated boutique. Globe-trotting owners Carol Lim and Humberto Leon create something akin to a fashion Olympics inside the store, showcasing American designers alongside both up-and-coming and established brands from other countries. The breadth of items rivals Urban Outfitters (a lofted nook has a small collection of CDs, magazines and books, and glass cases contain cool-kid accessories like

  1. 35 Howard St, (between Broadway and Lafayette St)
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Topshop

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When it comes to trendy fast fashion, British chain Topshop, which opened its four-story stateside location in spring 2009, is queen. Blaring pop music and sales associates dressed to the nines make for a clubby atmosphere; bop along as you rifle through the sassy Kate Moss for Topshop frocks ($70–$310), fits-like-a-glove skinny jeans ($145–$165) and gauzy tops ($36–$50). Those with only a few bills to spare should take advantage of the massive accessories selection on the

  1. 478 Broadway, (between Broome and Grand Sts)
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Treasure and Bond

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Nordstrom’s high-end philanthropic boutique donates 100 percent of its profits to select charities that benefit the youth of New York City. The sleek shop, which incorporates reclaimed and repurposed materials, stocks more than 150 local, national and international fashion, accessories and home-decor luxury brands. Discover glamorous Satya Twena handmade hats ($250–$575); Akong London vibrant, chunky wool South American–inspired necklaces ($175–$1,100); and the Vintage

  1. 350 West Broadway, (between Broome and Grand Sts)
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What Goes Around Comes Around

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Highly curated wares and contemporary brands make their way to this Soho vintage destination, whose creative director then culls looks for each season's collection. The prices reflect the caliber of design, with articles ranging from Victorian and punk classics to Gilded Age and enviable Chanel chains.

  1. 351 West Broadway, (between Broome and Grand Sts)
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