My style guide to NYC: Carole Sabas, author of The Fashion Insiders’ Guide to New York

Carole Sabas, author of The Fashion Insiders’ Guide to New York, reveals her favorite lesser-known salons and shops.
 (Photograph: Noffar Gat)
Photograph: Noffar GatCarole Sabas
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairMociun
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairMociun mismatched triangle turquoise-and-diamond studs, $391
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairRobert Blue 14-ounce stoneware tumbler, $18, at Mociun
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairBaggu drawstring leather pouch, $140, at Mociun
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairMiomia
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairMcBride Balm in a Stick multipurpose repair sticks, $15 each, at Miomia
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairKnock Out Cosmetics Flatte matte nail polishes, $14 each, at Miomia
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Photograph: Camille A FernandezMeena Threading Salon
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairTai Chi Bodywork Center
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairFox and Fawn
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairTee Jays Guns N’ Roses T-shirt, $60, at Fox and Fawn
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairPleated sleeveless top, $40, at Fox and Fawn
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairJoinery
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairCrazy Wind sleeveless dress, $436, at Joinery
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairEtudes dyed shirt, $217, at Joinery
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairRachel Comey floral shorts, $334, at Joinery
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Photograph: Camille A FernandezFox & Boy
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairRePop
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Photograph: Melissa Sinclair1950s exit sign, $150, at RePop
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairMilo Baughman circular leather chair, $450, at RePop
 (Photograph: Camille A Fernandez)
Photograph: Camille A FernandezSoho Nails
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairUrban Jungle Vintage
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairFaded Glory colored-denim shorts, $5, at Urban Jungle Vintage
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Photograph: Melissa SinclairLevi’s cutoff denim shorts, $5, at Urban Jungle Vintage
By Cristina Velocci |

Hot on the heels of releasing her new book, The Fashion Insiders’ Guide to New York, French transplant and Vogue Paris correspondent Carole Sabas spills her favorite lesser-known NYC stores and salons. She reveals what makes places such as Fox & Boy, RePop, Joinery and Mociun special and worth investigating.

Although she’s lived in New York for just six years, Marseille-born fashion writer Carole Sabas ( knows more about the city’s hot spots and hidden gems than some natives. The Vogue Paris correspondent’s search for the top stores and salons started when she’d often field inquiries from visiting French friends. “At the beginning I didn’t have too many [favorite places], so I started asking my New York girlfriends for their best secrets,” she explains. She eventually amassed enough recommendations to self-publish a booklet at McNally Jackson Books (52 Prince St between Lafayette and Mulberry Sts; 212-274-1160,, which she gave out as Christmas gifts to her amis abroad (she also made a version for her American pals on Paris, where she lived for 15 years). The pamphlets proved so popular, she decided to take them mainstream by creating full-fledged volumes of The Fashion Insiders’ Guide ($25 each, Abrams Books) on both style capitals. The Nolita resident was kind enough to spill some of her beloved under-the-radar venues—many of which are in Kings County. “Parisians are obsessed with Brooklyn,” she explains. “If you want to compliment a restaurant owner in Paris, you’d say, ‘It’s so Brooklyn what you’re doing here,’ which is why I made sure to [include] Williamsburg and Bushwick.”

Mociun 224 Wythe Ave at North 4th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-387-3731,
“She is very artistic, [creating] prints and drawings for textiles,” says Sabas of California-bred owner Caitlin Mociun, who studied textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design ( “She recently decided to do jewelry, and focuses on gold and turquoise. The rings ($230–$2,277), earrings ($184–$1,545) and necklaces ($483–$1,898) are very clean, very delicate, very poetic. She also surrounds herself with people who are artistic and crafty like her, offering ceramics and leather [goods] by other Brooklyn artists.”

Beauty boutique:
Miomia 318 Bedford Ave between South 1st and 2nd Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-490-5599,
Makeup artist Alexa Rodulfo ( led Sabas to owner Katie Chang, who introduced her to several Brooklyn beauty brands for an exhibition she put together for Fashion’s Night Out 2012 at Colette ( in Paris. “Miomia is really a hole in the wall, but it carries cool products from hand-selected niche brands,” says Sabas, noting makeup from Los Angeles line Julie Hewett ($18–$25), Armour Beauty natural lip gloss ($22), McBride Beauty skin care ($15–$47) and Knockout Cosmetics matte nail polish ($14) as standouts. “Katie is very knowledgeable and she’s really there to explain [everything] but not overwhelm you or be too pushy. I also like that she specializes in men’s grooming products, so you can take the boyfriend and convince him that he has to moisturize.”

Brows: Meena Threading Salon 164 E 56th St between Lexington and Third Aves (212-486-7273,
Even after experiencing $120 eyebrow waxes while researching socialite-approved spots for an article, Sabas still prefers the budget threading ($7) at this five-chair salon. “It’s not Meena Threading that I love, but this girl, Shabnam Patni, who works there,” she clarifies. “It’s really her that’s special. She respects the natural arch of your brows and just cleans them up without changing the shape. She is very stern—she won’t talk too much—but in five minutes [the threading] just opens your eyes. It’s magical.”

Cheap massage: Tai Chi Bodywork Center 216 E 6th St between Second and Third Aves (212-777-1213)
Sabas was tipped off to this no-frills massage parlor by “the queen of Chinatown,” 80%20 ( shoe designer Ce Ce Chin. “Best massage ever—I prolonged mine for 15 minutes [for an extra $13], it was so good,” she enthuses of the budget rubdown (30mins $25). “Ask for Amy—her skills are amazing. She works deeply on knots but it still feels like a massage, not wild acupressure. The owner told me that Amy is who she requests for herself when she needs work on her back. She’s the best!”

Consignment shop:
Fox and Fawn 570 Manhattan Ave between Driggs and Nassau Aves, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-349-9510,
“[Owners Marissa Johnson and Beverly Hames] mix newer pieces from two seasons ago with very vintage items and you can’t tell whether they’re Marc Jacobs or really from the ’70s,” says Sabas of this resale boutique, which offers 35 percent of the retail price in cash upfront or 15 percent in store credit for gently used men’s and women’s duds. “It’s small, the racks are really packed and everything is organized by color—there’s a lot of black because that’s what [New Yorkers] want. If you take some time, you can find some really amazing things: Theory blouses for $20, Steven Alan cotton shirts for $20, Michael Kors dresses for $19.”

Contemporary clothing: Joinery 263 South 1st St at Havemeyer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-889-6164,
When it comes to shopping for new threads, Sabas favors this unisex boutique. “I love the smell when you arrive—everything is wood, so it’s like going to an Alpine chalet,” she muses. “It carries very niche brands such as Kordal ( from Brooklyn, Crazy Wind ( from Portland, Oregon, and a French label called Monsieur Lacenaire ( [Owner Angela Silva] puts a small tag [on each garment] with the history of the brand so you know where it comes from. Everything is unique and special.” On a recent visit, Sabas was particularly drawn to Folk men’s button-up shirts ($184–$283) and Rachel Comey printed shorts ($334).

Hair salon: Fox & Boy 280 Mulberry St between E Houston and Prince Sts (212-965-0369,
The drawings by British artist David Shrigley ( that decorate this small neighborhood salon were what initially attracted Sabas inside. “They are very ironic and have a dark humor,” she says. Sabas gets her hair cut ($90–$105, with Dickson $105) by owner Julie Dickson, whom she admires for her straightforward approach. “She’s very talented, funny and grounded, and she can recommend things for your face [shape] and personality,” enthuses Sabas. “The only thing is that she’s very busy, so I usually have to wait to see her.”

Home decor:
RePop 143 Roebling St at Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-260-8032,
“It’s not expensive and so well curated,” says Sabas of this midcentury-modern furniture and accessories shop, recommended to her by vintage specialist and friend Kate Sekules ( “It has original decorative objects, such as handmade puppets (set of seven $300), and [investment pieces], including a beautiful circular white-leather chair I recently spotted for $450 that was very pop,” she describes. “Everything is pristine and perfect for spicing up Ikea shelves.”

Nail salon: Soho Nails 458 West Broadway between W Houston and Prince Sts, third floor (212-475-6368)
After encountering an hour-long wait at Blue Ribbon Sushi restaurant (, Sabas’s friend, designer Angel Chang (, took her to this affordable nail salon to kill time before their table was ready. “It was 8pm and it was still open—it’s so New York,” she says. “[The staff is] reliable and nice, and it’s $29 for a mani-pedi. It’s not chic at all, but it’s clean and they do an amazing job.”

Vintage: Urban Jungle Vintage 118 Knickerbocker Ave between Flushing Ave and Thames St, Bushwick, Brooklyn (718-381-8510,
Sabas stumbled upon this massive warehouse for men’s and women’s vintage clothing because of its proximity to popular restaurant Roberta’s ( “It has a huge selection of vintage T-shirts and dresses from the ’60s, and everything is between $5 and $10,” she says. “It’s incredible.” Her recent finds include a Gloria Vanderbilt embroidered-cotton tunic ($5) and a Donna Ricco printed-cotton wrap dress ($7). “It’s very well organized [by garment type] and clean, but I’m obsessed with bedbugs, so I’d put [purchases] in the freezer for five days.”

Follow Cristina Velocci on Twitter: @cvelocci