Fall is here, and some sophisticated and interesting stores have recently opened or undergone major relocations. Some of the spaces are minuscule, and others are quite big. Just like everything in New York. What’s especially nice is that two of the stores are multi-brand boutiques. That genre of store had been hurt by business conditions over the part five or so years, with some going out of business or transitioning to online only in the last six months. All these new locations, save Lanvin, a corporate brand, are female owned and operated. And even Lanvin was founded by Jeanne Lanvin, a pacesetter in the 1920s and ’30s.
Lanvin has gone through a number of changes in the last year. The brand moved into the old Pucci store on 70th street. The store is larger and has a different feel than the older Madison Avenue store, and another in Soho. The decoration is serene and luxe now.
Bruno Sialelli, the designer since 2018, had taken the men’s and women’s looks into quirkier territory. He has since toned down the message, going with a more elegant and simplified look. Interestingly, Lanvin is doing a “release” for men and women this winter with the rapper Future, a real departure for the brand.
For now, you will find well designed, spare and chic looks in the store. Things to wear for day, evening and in between.
This rack hold dresses and outfits that are on the dressier side. The fabrics are softer, and the cuts are interesting.
Sneakers remain best sellers for many brands including Lanvin. There are fun touches, and design flourishes applied to the men’s and women’s sneakers here. Men’s shoes and bags are in the window.
The collection for men is smaller than the woman’s collection and is housed in a separate space. The classic cuts are enlivened by adding color to the suitings. And also adding interesting prints and stripes. There are also some unusual draped shirts in the collection.
Lanvin, 855 Madison Avenus
Elyse Walker has opened her second multi-brand store in New York. The new boutique on Madison is larger than the Tribeca location. It also has a much more diverse selection of designers and styles. Designer labels, and many less expensive, more contemporary labels are merchandised together throughout the store.
The different labels are unified by a cohesion of style and good taste. You will find a lot to choose from, including shirts, jackets, coats, dresses and bottoms. Throw in some knitwear to round everything out.
The display of bags and shoes is much less dense than Tribeca, and much more attractive. Since the store is larger, bags are tucked all over the store. The space is divided by fixtures into two sides, which are then hung with different categories of clothing. This seems to create boutiques within the boutique.
The most casual area has a selection of denim, leather jeans, and other easy bottoms. There are chic tops and jackets to add to and build a look. Book an appointment with a personal stylist, and let them help you build head-to-toe looks. It is an Elyse Walker specialty.
The boutique is almost a mini department store. There are more bags here, and fun things for the home like backgammon and poker sets. And there is plenty of jewelry from different designers.
Because it’s fall leading into winter, there is a nice selection of coats tucked around the store.
There is a small selection of evening wear. Oscar de la Renta, Galvan and Givenchy, Toteme and Zimmerman, with many other designers included in an edited mix. Ms. Walker knows what her customer likes.
Elyse Walker, 926 Madison Avenue
The block on Madison across from the Carlyle has had many changes. Several brands have moved on and new designers have replaced them, while others are on the way. Tanya Taylor, a New York-based brand, just moved into a redesigned boutique.
The collection is well-rounded, and personally conceived. The designer is also a painter, and there are several of her canvases in the store. Using that talent, she hand paints many of the original prints in the store.
This season she has a thing for little feathers, floating off tops and dresses. The clothing is modern, and at a contemporary price point.
There are also knits for fall that are textured and comfy. This season is anchored by black, with other colors layered in prints and plaids.
Interesting decorative items for the home are placed around the boutique. And there are several shelves of delicate jewelry. Scented candles are also in the mix. It’s a little bit of everything that works together.
Tanya Taylor, 980 Madison Avenue
Veronica Beard has the corner shop at 980 Madison Avenue. When the space next door became available, they scooped it up. After a complete overhaul, the new and improved shop looks good.
Veronica Beard, 980 Madison Avenue
Argent, which recently opened a space in Soho, also opened a tiny boutique across the street. This was the Sleepy Jones store previously. Argent is known for its clean tailored dressing for women who work. The collection is growing, and patterns and more casual clothing are being added to the mix.
The store is decorated with light wood walls and shelves that showcase the clothing.
New deliveries of colors arrive constantly, offering a choice during any season. Everything is made from Italian fabrics and assembled in New York. The owners wear the clothes and they pay attention to details that make clothing more functional. They do not design for an abstract customer.
The more casual clothing is a nice addition. And more and more dresses are being added to the mix. Take a look and see what else is new.
Argent, 989 Madison Avenue
Fivestory New York is in another new space. When Karen Murray bought the business in early 2020, it was located in two stories in a townhouse off Madison. She moved it into a two-store space on Madison in the 70s that had housed Lily Pulitzer. And now they have moved up the avenue to a new location.
Fivestory was known for its large selection of good vintage pieces and shoes. Since the new space is smaller, the vintage collection has shrunk to two racks. The Palm Beach location is currently carrying mostly a vintage selection.
There is, however, a big selection of new clothing from a variety of designers. The selection looks larger than what was available in the other space and offers more designers. The looks go from casual to fun pieces for evening. Feathers for evening are a thing here this season, too.
There are good casual sweater, jeans and boots for day. Cases of jewelry are dotted around. As are many bags, most of them at contemporary price points. It’s easy to put together all kinds of outfits.
There are over one hundred different brands to choose from. And Fivestory New York also offers personal shoppers and stylists to put looks together.
The selection of shoes goes from sneakers and loafers to heels for day and night; and boots. The designers are in both contemporary and designer price points. Choice is clearly important here.
Fivestory New York, 1044 Madison Avenue
Barbara Hodes is the owner of NYC Private Shopping Tour, offering customized tours in New York and Brooklyn.