Impeccable style is standard in Manhattan, especially if you’re strolling down Madison Avenue, catching a Broadway show or enjoying a bite at one of the borough’s Michelin-starred restaurants.
Whether a result of this focus on fashion or the reason for it, New York is the birthplace of some of the world’s most renowned fashion schools, design houses, department stores and, of course, New York Fashion Week, which returns Sept. 10-17. And though menswear has its place in all of these circles, women’s ready-to-wear is the true bread and butter of the city’s fashion scene, as evidenced by the numerous shops around every corner tailoring to females.
“Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman—the original stores—[are] old standbys, but still great resources,” explains James Jolis, chef concierge at The Chatwal. In addition to these fashion industry behemoths, hidden boutiques in Soho and popular storefronts on Fifth and Madison avenues give ladies a bevvy of choices when deciding where to go to stock their closets.
To help sift through the seemingly endless options, let these recommendations from local concierges guide you on your shopping excursion, and keep your eyes peeled for any hidden gems along the way. After all, New York—like its fashion—is nothing if not ever-evolving.
Steven Alan Annex
“Steven Alan [Annex] is definitely one of my go-to boutiques for women’s shoes, sweaters, tops and jewelry.” Shoppers will find specialty pieces Steven Alan created in collaboration with international brands like Superga and Le Mont St Michel. (103 Franklin St.; 212-343-0692; stevenalan.com) —Carmen da Silva, chef concierge at GrandLife Hotels
Creatures of Comfort
“Creatures of Comfort [is the place] I visit for inspiration or to splurge on that one great fashion-forward piece that really brings an upscale feel to your existing basics.” The brand launched on the West Coast in 2005 and opened its current flagship shop on Mulberry Street five years later. Founder Jade Lai designed the boutique with exposed brick, high ceilings and wood floors to frame her clothing collections. (205 Mulberry St.; 212-925-1005; creaturesofcomfort.us) —Carmen da Silva, chef concierge at GrandLife Hotels
“Tucked away, in what seems to be a classic New York townhouse on Madison Avenue, lies a hidden gem [called] Fivestory. The neighborhood fashion boutique houses an array of chic garments, home furnishings, distinctive jewelry and accessories from the latest breakout designers. Despite the name, the store is only two floors. [It’s] best for those looking for a luxury shop off the beaten path [and] bright, bold designs.” (18 E. 69th St.; 212-288-1338; fivestoryny.com) —Linda Pham, attache at The Quin
With its selection of carefully curated designer brands, Intermix’s Manhattan boutique, located on Madison Avenue, aims to provide shoppers with tailored looks that reflect the attitude and lifestyle of New York. From jumpsuits to little black dresses, you’re sure to find a wardrobe of must-haves at Intermix. (1003 Madison Ave.; 212-249-7858; intermixonline.com) —Jeanie Voltsinis, chef concierge at Viceroy New York
“Trademark offers trendy, fashion-forward and also simple designs that allow you [to] create your own ‘trademark’ look.” The shop’s varied selection of boxy dresses help visitors looking to make a bold statement, and interesting accessories like peacock earrings, snake bracelets, and wishbone necklaces can pull together the new ensemble. (95 Grand St.; 646-559-4945; trade-mark.com) —Jared Gullekson, chef concierge at The London NYC
“Opening Ceremony offers a trendy selection of unique, high-fashion culturally diverse pieces. They feature fashion for a different country each year; Brazil, Germany and the United Kingdom being their latest highlighted. The impeccable taste of Carol Lim and Humberto Leon allows New Yorkers access to pieces otherwise unattainable. From delightful avant-garde pieces to contemporary popular design catered to the Chelsea gallery hopper, the Soho shopper and the Meatpacking District clubbers, Opening Ceremony has a little of everything for the fashionista in all of us.” (35 Howard St.; 212-219-2688; openingceremony.us) —Linda Pham, attache at The Quin
In God We Trust
Owner Shana Tabor of In God We Trust brings her version of East Coast style to shoppers at the brand’s three locations in Williamsburg, Soho and Greenpoint. Tabor, who grew up in New Hampshire but fell in love with New York City when she moved here to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology, fills each storefront with clothing, jewelry and accessories crafted in nearby studios. With a focus on presenting special finds to shoppers, the shops redefine the term “basics” as all the pieces feature distinct prints, textures and shapes. (Multiple locations throughout New York City; ingodwetrustnyc.com) —Carmen da Silva, chef concierge at GrandLife Hotels
“Launched in February 2014, Negative Underwear—by appointment only in a private showroom in Soho—is the brainchild of two college friends who were obsessed with style and gave the same concern to undergarments as to clothing. I recommend them as they honor women’s bodies with comfortable [products].” (54 Greene St.; 631-316-8641; negativeunderwear.com) —Jolie Mansky, chef concierge at Urban Concierge
Dover Street Market
“I absolutely love the Dover Street Market. The collections are so unique (and not just for women), where fashion enthusiasts can find everything from high fashion to ready-to-wear. Lunch there is amazing, too, so you can really make a fun day of it.” (160 Lexington Ave.; 646-837-7750; newyork.doverstreetmarket.com) —Tim Markman, lead concierge at The Standard, High Line
—Written by Bria Balliet