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13-04-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by faust+Apr 13th, 2004 - 10:26 am--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(faust @ Apr 13th, 2004 - 10:26 am)</div><div class='quotemain'> <!--QuoteBegin-Pete@Apr 12th, 2004 - 7:14 pm
Quick tip... Just got a mailing from Bagutta. 25% off Spring/Summer collections and accessories for one day only. Wednesday April 14.... Get your Dior while it's hot!
Thanks! (twisting in temptation) <<< GET YOUR PRIORITIES IN ORDER [/b][/quote]
hahaha, LMAO, I just found out that my wife hid the postcard from me (because I keep threatening to buy her this funky Ann Dem. top from Bagutta)!!!

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20-04-2004
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I would like to revive this thread with a witty (as always) article from NYT's Guy Trebay.

Quote:

To Be Young in SoHo and Armed With Plastic
By GUY TREBAY

If Madison Avenue is a Frédéric Fekkai lady, groomed and pampered as a best-in-show spaniel, and NoLIta is a fake bohemian with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on her iPod and a platinum card in her Lulu Guinness bag, then lower Broadway in SoHo is a pastel-clad 13-year-old, giddily in the grip of a sugar rush.

It was just over 30 years ago that SoHo was rescued from a Robert Moses plan to raze its 19th-century buildings and replace them with a crosstown expressway. Back in the days when the Friends of Cast Iron Architecture mobilized to save the area, the artist Richard Serra once stood at the corner of Broadway and Spring Street and doomfully predicted to the museum curator Marcia Tucker that "one day this will all be boutiques."

Mr. Serra could hardly have anticipated how radically correct his prophecy would prove, as Broadway south of Houston Street mutated over three decades from a stretch of artists' lofts and galleries into a roofless mall simultaneously so mainstream and so hectically urban that it now resembles a cash-register Coney Island on a Saturday afternoon.

In fact, few could have predicted such an outcome, even as recently as three years ago. While chains like Banana Republic and Victoria's Secret long ago established outposts on lower Broadway, the persistent presence of small boutiques and fabric stores helped preserve a semblance of the area's earlier atmosphere. When Prada opened its Prince Street flagship, in December 2001, skeptics called the move miscalculated.

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, said Faith Hope Consolo, vice chairwoman of the Garrick-Aug Worldwide brokerage, did what even the Afghan war and the foundering economy had not. "SoHo," she said, "just dropped dead."

Now, part Frankenstein monster and part real-estate Lazarus, SoHo has jolted awake. According to Ms. Consolo, landlords are demanding, and getting, $200 a square foot for street level spaces that rented for roughly half that figure just three years ago. By far the most ballyhooed arrival is Bloomingdale's new downtown department store, which opens Saturday.

But nearly a dozen new boutiques have opened unheralded along lower Broadway since 9/11, among them Puma, Lounge, LTB and Nom de Guerre, whose caged entrance leads to a windowless underground space of ineffable hip.

Most sell the premium denim brands, limited-edition sneakers and costly purses, which tend to define what it means to be fashionable and young.

With the influx of consumers has come a surprisingly diverse demographic, one that blends uptown, downtown and out of town with ease. "There's a lot of diversity, comparatively," said Noah Zagor, a longtime salesman at Diesel Denim Gallery.

It is like a mall, Mr. Zagor added, although one with a lot more customers from Japan.

Retail consultants tend to refer to the sophisticated brand-aware young consumers to be seen along Broadway as pacemakers. This could be a fancy way of saying a tween with an active credit card, or of characterizing shoppers whom some term urban, code for minorities.

"There is this resurgence of a new young customer with money who's looking for the next hottest thing," said Deirdre Maloney, an owner of Brand Pimps and Media Whores, a retail consulting company. With their in-store D.J.'s and their frenetic energy, the stores in SoHo seem primed to provide.

"If you go down to Miu Miu or Prada on a Friday or Saturday night, they're packed with urban kids dropping money," said John Moore, the fashion director at Vibe. And, indeed, last Saturday afternoon, the cross section of those shopping and buying at Prada was more representative of the American population than is likely to be seen anyplace else in town.

"Dude, that looks more fashion and less business," May Ng, 23, said to her friend John Mui as he shopped for a Prada briefcase on Saturday. In his skintight tank top and hip-hugging Rogan jeans, Mr. Mui also looked distinctly more fashion than business. Yet he decided against the purchase only after Ms. Mui pointed out how weighty it would be when filled with legal briefs.

Minorities, among others, said Mr. Moore, "are moving out of this realm of thinking they should always buy throwback jerseys and urban style clothes." Among the reasons lower Broadway bids to become a certified fashion destination, he added, is that there are few places in New York where one can shop for a $20 T-shirt with an image of the Virgin and the legend "Mary Is My Homegirl" and also a matte leather bag costing a cool $1,065.

"It's just like when I was growing up," Mr. Moore added, "and my grandmother said, `We'll just have to go downtown to get what we need.' "

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20-04-2004
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And another one from NYT

Quote:
April 20, 2004
Bloomingdale's, Is That Really You?
By RUTH LA FERLA

Mention Bloomingdale's to Jodi Sweetbaum and the name uncorks a stream of nostalgia. "Bloomingdale's," rhapsodized Ms. Sweetbaum, the business manager for a New York advertising agency, "it was very coveted when I was in my teens. It was where you went for real fashion, for the new, most fashion-forward clothes. They had everything."

In those days, the 1970's and 80's, the department store at Lexington Avenue and 59th Street, in Manhattan, was a shrine to consumption scarcely rivaled in New York. Style-struck shoppers experienced the thrill of snapping up the latest bougainvillea-tinted lipstick from Yves Saint Laurent, dagger-heeled shoes from Charles Jourdan or fashions from standard-bearers of the avant-garde like Kenzo and Norma Kamali. Once a fashion-crazed passerby smashed a window to swipe an armload of Claude Montana suits.

Fast-forward a couple of decades to a store still thriving but much altered. A jewel in the coronet of the Federated Department Stores, with 32 branches generating about $2 billion in annual sales, Bloomingdale's outshines most department-store rivals. But it has also ceded fashion excitement and leadership to smaller, more narrowly focused stores, sliding, some say, into complacency.

Hoping to change that, to get its groove back, the chain is dropping anchor on Saturday in SoHo in a bid to reclaim its stature as an arbiter of hip. Built at a cost estimated at $30 to $35 million, the six-level Bloomingdale's SoHo is meant to capitalize on the flood of young, fashion-focused shoppers, local and from out of town, who prowl SoHo on weekends.

"Getting into that location raises the bar on being cool, and it gives Bloomingdale's the opportunity to go all out on the grooviness scale," said Candace Corlett, a principal in WSL Strategic Retail, a New York consulting firm. Calling the move necessary if the store is to regain its former fashion leadership, she added, "They're going to have to go all out on the hip meter. Otherwise they're going to be very disappointing. This can't be my mom's Bloomingdale's."

Small chance. The cast-iron and stone building at 504 Broadway, between Spring and Broome Streets, dispenses with Bloomingdale's traditions in all but it signature black-and-white checkerboard main floor. Lighter and airier than the uptown flagship, the store's interior is modeled on a multilevel loft, its design a mix of the old and the new: brick walls, cast-iron columns and arched windows, tin ceilings, which contrast with the sleek white marble floors and frosted glass.

The main doors of the 90,000-square-foot store open onto a three-story atrium. A full city block from front to back, the T-shape structure, with a set of doors on Broadway and another on Crosby Street, is illuminated by a series of arches and openings, allowing light to penetrate even into its fitting rooms.

"It will not look like a department store," said Michael Gould, the chairman and chief executive of Bloomingdale's.

Nor will it sell department store mainstays like wedding gowns and home furnishings. Instead, the concentration is on youth-oriented designers, many of whom are not represented at Bloomingdale's uptown, and expensive skin treatments, cosmetics and fragrances from Prada, Trish McEvoy, Crème de la Mer, Jo Malone and Nars.

The store is highlighting progressive looks from the next generation of runway stars — Zac Posen, Derek Lam, Jeffrey Chow and Peter Som — that retail for about $400 to $700. It will also present moderately priced offerings from Twinkle and Marc by Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui and Diane Von Furstenberg, priced from about $200 to $400.

"Because this is a Downtown store, we wanted to make the merchandise more cutting edge than in any of our other stores," said Kal Ruttenstein, the chain's senior vice president of fashion direction.

There will also be merchandise made by name designers expressly for the store. To get a jump on fall's big runway trend of pencil skirts, the store is offering specially made versions from Theory in muted, season-spanning pinstripes and plaids, paired with white stretch cotton dress shirts.

In coming months, the merchandise assortment will be in flux. "We are still not sure what we want it to be," said Mr. Gould, the chairman. "The customers will tell us, and we'll adjust." Mr. Ruttenstein said that Bloomingdale's SoHo would be a laboratory.

"We're always going to test new vendors and designers," he said.

The company will not comment on the volume of sales it expects, but industry estimates are around $45 million in first-year sales, and about $500 per square foot of floor space, compared with $900 in sales per square foot at the uptown store.

Alvin J. Rosenstein, a marketing and business professor at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., pointed out that in recent years specialty stores like Scoop, Marc Jacobs and Barneys Co-Op have taken the lead in New York fashion retailing.

"You have these small stores and boutiques in SoHo and down in the Village," said Dr. Rosenstein, a consultant to retailers including J. C. Penney. "Bloomingdale's may feel they could get their fair share of that business." He predicted that the new store would probably succeed. "What they have to offer that these other stores don't offer is selection," he added.

Todd Slater, a director and retail analyst at Lazard Frères, similarly suggested the outlook is good. "They are opening in virgin territory, where no department stores exist," he said. "There is virtually no competition in the area. No other store offers the convenience of having so many brands in so many categories under one roof."

But Gregg Clark, a retail consultant in Manhattan, was less sanguine. "It's better to go to the designer stores directly," Mr. Clark said. "They offer better service, not as confusing."

A number of retail experts gave the store high marks for enterprise. "This move will make Bloomingdale's part of the Downtown culture," said Ms. Corlett, the consultant. "The challenge will be to fit in."
Hey, Kit, was that you stealing Montana suits?!?!

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20-04-2004
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I wish !!!!

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20-04-2004
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It's interesting to read of Bloomingdales in its heyday as described in the article above. I think of it as a dump nowadays. But that's the Federated touch, unfortunately...

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20-04-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by tealady@Apr 20th, 2004 - 11:15 am
It's interesting to read of Bloomingdales in its heyday as described in the article above. I think of it as a dump nowadays. But that's the Federated touch, unfortunately...
agreed

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20-04-2004
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thx for posting the articles faust...

i remember bloomies in its hey day...see my post in 'do you have a dream' thread...i would love to see that store do well...


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20-04-2004
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God. I didn't know it was opening so soon. I pass by there almost every day and it certainly doesn't seem ready for business.

Do we really need another place that sells Zac Posen and Marc by Marc Jacobs? Are shoppers in New York City seriously having a hard time finding these labels?

I'm upset that the retail madness in SoHo is so quickly trickling into its crevices. Crosby Street was still a cool little safe haven from the madness that Broadway brings. I always walk along there to avoid the crowds. Looks like in less than a week even that area will be transformed.

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21-04-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by chickonspeed@Apr 20th, 2004 - 11:05 pm
God. I didn't know it was opening so soon. I pass by there almost every day and it certainly doesn't seem ready for business.

Do we really need another place that sells Zac Posen and Marc by Marc Jacobs? Are shoppers in New York City seriously having a hard time finding these labels?

I'm upset that the retail madness in SoHo is so quickly trickling into its crevices. Crosby Street was still a cool little safe haven from the madness that Broadway brings. I always walk along there to avoid the crowds. Looks like in less than a week even that area will be transformed.


Meatpacking district, maybe? Although it's becoming a cliche too fast, MUCH faster than it took SoHo.

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29-04-2004
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I would like to resurrect this thread with another informative article from NYTimes. No wonder stores are moving out, $1 million a year rent?! WTF?!

Quote:
In LoSo, the Old SoHo Spirit Burns Bright
By MARIANNE ROHRLICH

LURED by large spaces and manageable rents, 29 home furnishings stores have clustered in the lower reaches of SoHo.

Let's call it LoSo.

"The real spirit of SoHo has shifted south," said Jonathan Adler, who has moved his ceramic lamps and vases and a furniture line from a small shop on Broome Street to a bigger one on Greene Street, just south of Broome. "Five years ago I wouldn't have considered going below Broome."

Thomas O'Brien, a designer whose store, Aero Studios, has been a fixture on Spring Street for 12 years, is moving south, too, to Broome Street near Crosby Street.

Newcomers say that LoSo retains the flavor of SoHo before chain stores, shoe boutiques and expensive restaurants moved in and art galleries fled to Chelsea.

"I thought of moving to Chelsea," Mr. O'Brien said. "I thought about West 14th Street. But I feel there is something happening in lower SoHo around Crosby Street. It's quiet and energized at the same time."

Much of the movement has been price-driven, with retail space costing less in LoSo — south of Broome Street to Canal, east from West Broadway to Lafayette — than in central SoHo.

Steven Tartar, a real estate broker with listings in the neighborhood, said rent for a 2,000-square-foot retail space falls from around $175 a square foot on Prince Street to roughly $120 on Broome — and to less than $100 on Grand. Design and architecture practices were among the first to begin moving into LoSo lofts, followed by stores. And though LoSo stores provide a broad variety of wares, the character of the retail scene remains more upscale than mass market: new American furniture, 20th-century European furniture, contemporary Italian furniture and Asian antiques.

Federico De Vera, a San Francisco interior designer, cast about for the perfect spot for a New York store for a year, visiting 100 spaces in SoHo before finally settling on LoSo. His store, De Vera, amid Chinese foot-rub salons and stores selling Asian herbal cosmetics at the corner of Howard and Crosby, offers a carefully edited selection of objects, from 17th-century Italian figurines to modern glass vases from Australia. Mr. De Vera said he wanted to be near other high-end merchants, including Ted Muehling, whose jewelry store is on Howard Street.

Next door on Crosby is BDDW, which specializes in contemporary wood furniture and rugs by Tyler Hays, a New York designer. Across the street is a 20th-century furniture gallery owned by Carlos Aparicio, an architect who moved to Crosby Street from the Upper East Side two years ago. His gallery, BAC, sells 20th-century European furniture by masters like Jean-Michel Frank. "After Balthazar opened on Spring near Crosby we saw more pedestrians," he said, referring to the brasserie. And after Bloomingdale's opened last week, just above Broome, he added, "there are even more beautiful people walking around."

Mr. Apariciosaid: "The people who have shops down here have a vision, and we are all passionate about our products." He added, "Creative people need large spaces but cannot pay $40,000 a month rent," and predicted that customers will seek out stores like his to LoSo. "People are more educated about quality furniture today, and we get a very sophisticated client in this neighborhood."

Even the street vendors seem more creative. On West Broadway near Grand last Saturday, pocketbook vendors were scarce, but one artisan was making and selling miniature wire bicycles in the tradition of Alexander Calder ($1 each).

LoSo newcomers include Liora Manné, a textile designer who recently opened her first store on Grand Street, and Monica Melhem, whose store M at Mercer Street, carries contemporary Italian and Argentine furniture. John Sofio, a Los Angeles architect and furniture designer, opened Built Soho on Howard Street. Run by his brother, Gregory, Built Soho sells low-slung furniture and shaggy rugs. "I grew up on Grand Street, and this neighborhood feels good to me," said Gregory Sofio, who offers exhibition space in the store for unknown New York artists.

One resident, Jane Sachs, an architect who moved to Crosby near Broome 15 years ago, says she used to make cabdrivers wait until she got into her building at night, but now there's a doorman across the street. Despite gentrification, she said, LoSo stores still sell idiosyncratic products, making the area more interesting to browse than central SoHo.

Which is not to say that good design no longer exists in SoHo. The influential design store Moss, on Greene Street near Houston, is about to expand, taking over part of the ground floor of a new luxury condominium on Houston. "We are a SoHo store," said Franklin Getchell, an owner with Murray Moss, noting that customers shop there from all over New York and from Europe.

"SoHo rocks," said Rob Forbes, the founder of Design Within Reach, which opened a store on Wooster Street last spring. "In Milan you have Italian furniture; in Copenhagen you have Danish design; in SoHo you have everything."

The area around Design Within Reach, however, now seems to be reserved for big chains that can afford high rents, including Room & Board, a Minneapolis-based furniture company that will occupy 37,500 square feet on Wooster Street, near Spring. About 40 stores in central SoHo are vacant, said Susan Meisel, a real estate broker. "Central SoHo is sad now, but the quality of the stores on the outskirts of SoHo is very exciting," she said.

Longtimers can remember when central SoHo was a similar kind of destination. Craft Caravan, an emporium of African crafts, was the first store to open, in 1969, at the corner of Spring and Greene, moving to Greene north of Broome Street 17 years ago. The rent has risen considerably since then and — with the loss of customers after 9/11 and the proliferation of street vendors selling African wares — is forcing the pioneering store to close this Sunday. Caroline Villarreal, who owns the store with her husband, Ignacio Villarreal, said, "The galleries' moving out definitely hurt our business, and perhaps our product doesn't have a place here anymore." After Craft Caravan closes, the oldest SoHo store will be Jacques Carcanagues, a chic ethnic furnishings and high-end Asian antiques gallery that opened in 1974 and has been on Spring at Mercer Street since 1984. Two years ago, when the rent soared to $1 million a year, Jacques Carcanagues, the owner, bought a building on Greene Street near Canal in LoSo and signed a lease for space next door. "Because the landlord could not find a new tenant for Spring Street at his price, he has allowed us to stay at our old rent while we slowly move into our Greene Street location," Mr. Carcanagues said.

There is less foot traffic in LoSo, he said, but for stores like his, a destination for decorators and collectors, that may not matter.

"For the smaller stores selling beautiful items," he said, SoHo rents are now out of reach. "Can you imagine a million dollars a year for rent?" Mr. Carcanagues encourages other stores to follow — "not another Ferragamo," he added, but "stores with original products."

Paula Rubenstein, who has owned an antiques store on Prince Street since 1992 and passed up a lease in LoSo two years ago, describes her business as something of a holdout. "The weekend crowds are not our customers," she said on Saturday, shooing out a couple who were holding ice-cream cones. "Our clients come during the week, and many are stylists and designers."

"I long for the uniqueness of the shops in old SoHo," she said. "Maybe I should have taken a chance and moved south."

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29-04-2004
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I wonder how long before Banana Republic and Starbucks reaches LoSo.

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29-04-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by chickonspeed@Apr 29th, 2004 - 11:35 am
I wonder how long before Banana Republic and Starbucks reaches LoSo.
what's LoSo?....

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29-04-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by softgrey+Apr 29th, 2004 - 12:09 pm--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(softgrey @ Apr 29th, 2004 - 12:09 pm)</div><div class='quotemain'> <!--QuoteBegin-chickonspeed@Apr 29th, 2004 - 11:35 am
I wonder how long before Banana Republic and Starbucks reaches LoSo.
what's LoSo?.... [/b][/quote]
that's what the author of the article i just posted dubbed Lower Soho.

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29-04-2004
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oh//\\...i didn't realize u had posted a new article...i thought it was one i had read already....thx

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12-06-2004
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ok...so for anyone who's wondering...

the bloomingdale's in soho is officially crap...over crowded and over priced tacky tacky merchandise...way too much ...the one thing i will say is that the ground floor cosmetics dept looks amazing...so much to choose from all in one place...and all good ...

i don't know how they will do with sephora up the street...seems like pretty stiff competition...they are also selling prada beauty products...once again...the prada store is right up the street...i don't see how this will work...but i'm not in charge...

i was especially disappointed by the shoe and handbag depts at bloomies...they are definitely catering to a tourist crowd and i'd say that's all that was there when i stopped in...

very disappointing...not very 'downtown'...


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