Marc Williamson, co-owner of JJ Hat Center and Pork Pie Hatters
Emmy Wildwood, owner of Tiger Blanket Records & Vintage Boutique
Eloïse Simonet, owner of Ale et Ange
Claire Distenfeld, owner of Fivestory
Any Old Iron
Creatures of Comfort
Julius Debruhl Lewis Design Studio Inc.
The iconic redheaded designer and stylist has moved her flamboyant boutique just two doors down into a space that’s nearly double the size, combining Field’s former apartment with a vacated store behind it. The spot is decorated with glittered brick walls and a faux-snake–wrapped pillar. Field’s old bedroom is now a full-service salon offering haircuts for both sexes ($40–$90), color ($60–$150) and makeup applications ($25–$150). Funky ladies’ threads include House of Field neon sleeveless tops ($48), Lazy Oaf fruit-print frocks ($95) and Highest Heel lipstick-heeled pumps ($78). Daring guys will find Keith Haring for House of Field denim shirts ($98) and Joy Rich plaid and star-print button downs ($99). Stock up on whimsical additions such as polka-dot shades ($14), DCI ice-cream-sandwich-shaped iPhone cases ($12) and camera-shaped rings ($18).
Trad hats are back in the fashion spotlight, but this venerable shop, in business since 1911, is oblivious to passing trends. Dapper gents sporting the shop’s wares will help you choose from more than 2,000 fedoras, porkpies, caps and other styles on display in the splendid chandelier-illuminated, wood-paneled showroom. Prices start at $35 for a wool-blend cap.
As the leading lady in up-and-coming bands Velta and the Stone Lonesome, Emmy Wildwood brings her glam-rock style to her first NYC vintage shop. Operating as both a boutique and a record label, the cozy space is accented with worn leather, cool flannel, flashy gems and a keyboard in the back. The store boasts stageworthy items that fit Wildwood’s bold aesthetic, such as men’s and women’s vintage concert tees ($68–$98), a ’60s motorcycle jacket ($198), a Niteline silk-and-sequined gown ($88) and local designer Katherine Lincoln’s metal jewelry ($125–$285).
Co-owners and designers Osore Oyagha and Eloise Simonet create casual men's and women's threads, producing locally by sourcing in New York and constructing in a midtown factory. Hailing from Nigeria and Jamaica, respectively, the duo use their cultures as inspiration, incorporating colorful, breezy fabrics to create men’s trousers ($195–$425), women’s silk floral tops ($125) and patterned pocket tees ($50–$125). The store also carries European apothecary brands, such as Tallba from Sweden, Luxo Banho from Portugal, Tabiano from Italy and Saltsjo Tval from Sweden ($3–$25); plus, an Ale et Ange line of soap is in the works.
After becoming frustrated by seeing everyone around her wearing the same garb, New York native Claire Distenfeld left her job as a gallery director to start her own luxury store, where she makes sure you’ll find only one-of-a-kind pieces. She achieves this by stocking just two of each item, and carries exclusive women’s clothing from avant-garde Russian designer Vika Gazinkaya ($1,795–$3,200) and French brand Risto ($395–$595). The third-floor space is meant to be a pop-up preview of the full-blown men’s and women’s boutique that Distenfeld plans to open on the second floor of the townhouse in March. Until then, you’ll find elegant threads from designer Carin Rodjeber, such as hand-beaded shirtdresses ($420) and suede pants with matching blouses ($195 each). Splurge on Cushnie et Ochs wool felt cropped jackets ($1,790) or Chrissie Morris black suede booties ($1,285) with stingray-leather details. Guys can discover dapper pieces such as Bespoken single-button blazers ($995) and a Hype Means Nothing Notorious B.I.G. T-shirts ($95). Nab great gifts, including Seletti white mugs ($38) with colorful handles and Gaia & Gino evil-eye vases ($55). For cold days, check out Fivestory’s house cashmere line featuring cozy men’s and women’s sweaters ($495–$550), scarves ($100–$500) and throw blankets ($1,100).
One trip to British designer and stylist Andrew Clancey’s new music-inspired menswear shop will have you humming Beatles tunes and rethinking your national loyalty. Clancey, who has styled Peaches Geldof and Snow Patrol, has brought his funky fashions—and two Big Ben–size British flags—to the LES, with must-haves like Sgt. Pepper’s–inspired Red Mutha blazers with denim patchwork ($300), London Undercover umbrellas ($74) and A Child of the Yago striped Daz jeans ($310).
Join the ranks of the elite in this part speakeasy, part subterranean tailor shop, where guys can customize their own suits while playing pool and drinking Scotch. Enter through the Ainsworth, one of NYC's most elegant sports bars, and proceed behind the DJ booth to a man cave dream come true. Pop in your iPod to the speakers and lounge on a leather sofa while browsing through hundreds of swatches of fine Italian and English fabrics to obtain a perfectly customized shirt ($158–$400) and suit ($750–$4,000).
Shop owner Loriann Smoak has racked up a lot of stamps on her passport (she traveled to 19 countries last year alone!), and now she’s bringing her worldly finds to this Nolita boutique. The bright, white, marble-detailed space is decorated with plants and greenery, and it’s loaded with garb from local and international designers. Eco-friendly silk tanks by Amour Vert come from France ($72), Ghost Dancer beaded bib necklaces are inspired by Native American culture ($178), Juma bird-printed scarves are made in India ($175) and cult photographer Neil Krug’s Pulp Art Book of grainy Polaroid-film photos can decorate coffee tables ($50).
After a fire consumed her design studio in July 2011, designer Gaby Basora got back on her feet by scouting this 2,000-square-foot space to house a new studio, showroom and storefront for Tucker, her line of ladylike contemporary women’s clothing ($175–$600). The brand’s first NYC location is designed with a large skylight, tin ceilings and antique furniture reupholstered with textiles from Tucker’s past collections. Simple racks display the whimsical yet demure pieces, done in delicate fabrics such as lace and silk. Slip into feather-print three-quarter-sleeve minidresses ($343), or opt for separates such as high-waisted pants ($324) and classic printed blouses ($276–$294). Adventurous fashionistas can test out the pajamas-as-daywear trend with silk button-downs ($357) and matching drop-waist pants ($242).
It may be the former home of the 12th police precinct, but the only thing criminal about Jade Lai’s Nolita store would be passing up its hip merch. A spin-off of the five-year-old Los Angeles boutique, Creatures of Comfort has made a name for itself by scouting up-and-coming labels from near and far. Now that it has expanded to the East Coast, you can browse pricey but oh-so-cool statement pieces from avant-garde lines such as MM6 and Zucca, plus bohemian basics from Lai’s Creatures of Comfort in-house collection. Items worth the sticker shock include head-turning Rachel Comey suede studded clogs with ankle straps ($380) and outfit-making Anntian silk mosaic scarves ($270). Don’t forget to sashay on back to the swanky garden patio after your plastic cools off.