From Margiela to Moose Knuckles: What’s New in SoHo for the Holidays

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Maison Margiela on Howard and Crosby

New York is still the place to be for the holiday season.  It is also the place to find the best in shopping as brands of all stripes from around the world have just unveiled new boutiques in SoHo — four of which you should visit. And four completely different visions, each beautifully executed and each offering compelling visions and merchandise:

Maison Margiela from Italy, the American brand R13, Danish Modern Ganni, and the Canadian tongue in chic Moose Knuckles.

Accessories in the Margiela Soho store
Accessories are precisely displayed.

Maison Margiela just opened a second New York store on Crosby and Howard Street. The brand calls it an Ephemeral Concept Store, mixing works of art and works of clothing. John Galliano has been designing the line since 2014 and he continues the invisible designer approach of the founder, Martin Margiela. The space features soaring windows, and dark floors and walls.

Inside the new Margiela store in soho
Stand under the clear dome and hear John Galliano’s thoughts on the collection.

Works of art dot the store. One piece, a mini Jumbotron, created by Tabor Robaks, hangs close to one of two clear domes. The other one is in a dressing room. Stand under the the dome and you will hear the voice of Mr. Galliano, or rather his podcast, THE MEMORY OF … With John Galliano, explaining his most recent collection. Galliano is one of the few designers who can verbally describe his work in an articulate way. The art and displays will change every few months.

A boot display in the Margiela store.
A patchwork boot is encased in the floor in the center of the shop.

The boot is an artifact and almost an object of devotion. The staff dresses in white lab coats as they have since Martin Margiela‘s day.

Displays in the Margiela Soho store
Artistic seating fills the boutique.

The seating-come-sculpture is the work of Jesse Reeves and is both functional and a work of art. The women’s and men’s collections and accessories are on display.

The Margiela Artisanal collection in New York
The Fall Artisanal Collection is on display.

The Fall Artisanal Collection is the house’s couture collection and consists of limited edition pieces. Mr. Galliano’s ability to deconstruct and reconstruct a garment is backed up with thought and talent.

A vivid coat from the Artisinal Collection from Margiela
Pieces from the collection are displayed in the windows.

A vivid coat from the Artisanal Collection explodes with color. It is a singular collection.

Men's clothing from Margiela in the Soho boutique
Men’s clothing at the back of the boutique today.

The men’s and women’s collection are regularly moved around the store, and there are many pieces not on display. The staff is happy to bring them to you. Just ask for what you want.

White accessories from Margiela in the Soho store.
White accessories, including a Tabi boot.

The Tabi has been around for 26 years, and has never been copied. Margiela makes Tabi boots, shoes sneakers and offers new versions of the iconic toed piece every season. It was inspired by 15th century Japanese Tabi sock. The bags are from the quilted Glam Slam collection.

Replica Perfumes from Margiela for sale in NY
Replica Perfumes are a Margiela signature.

The genderless perfumes and eau de toilettes are created to evoke memories and perceptions. Try By the Fireplace or Lazy Sunday Morning. Or perhaps Mutiny, Flying, Jazz Club, or Whispers in the Library? Each bottle comes with an explanation of the designer’s thought process as the scent evolved.

Shoes, boots, and bags in the Margiela boutique
A selection of shoes and boots.

The store is full of shoes and bags for women, and shoes and accessories for men.

Inside the Margiela boutique in Soho.
More pieces of furniture and sculpture at the front of the store.

The artists are chosen by John Galliano and are connected to his inspiration for each season’s collection. I am looking forward to seeing the next installation and artists. The boutique is a perfect mix of art and fashion.

Maison Margiela1 Crosby Street, Soho

Video screen display in the R13 store in Soho
Video Screens dominate the decor.

Walk down Howard Street and you will see a discreet storefront with a glowing screen inside. Step into R13 and explore a world of grungy yet refined clothing. Huge video screens divide the minimal space playing both the runway shows and clips of ’80s and ’90s musicians at play. Men’s pieces are displayed on the left hand side of the shop.

Inside the R13 store in Soho
Women’s looks line one wall as you enter the store.

The brand has a distinctive look. Chris Leba, the founder and designer, spent 19 years working at Ralph Lauren. Since 2009, he has been refining his carefully and thoughtfully destroyed clothing.

Videos inside the R13 boutique in Soho
The decor is one of a kind and dramatic.

Five dividers are spaced along the depth of the store. The fronts and sides are video screens with looped images. The walls are stripped down and original.

Displays in the R13 store in NYC
A view of the display units.

The back of the units contain the clothing that is for sale. Some hold men’s clothing and some women’s.

Jeans and distressed jeans in the Soho boutique
Some of the women’s jeans.

Jeans are an R13 signature. Mr. Leba started by doing distressed jeans and other garments in the same vein followed. The clothing is all made in Italy. Carefully distressed clothing is an act of artful irony and not inexpensive to produce.

Women's clothing in the R13 boutique
Fall clothing for women.

A partially unfinished jacket is about as dressy as the collection gets. Grunge plaids and animal spots are signatures.

Tartans in the R13 boutique
Denim jackets and shirts.

There are also some tartans thrown in and fabrics mixed together like floral prints and plaids, or mini-checks and leopard prints.

Clothing in the R13 store.
Women’s and men’s coats and sweaters.

Sweaters come with purposely done laddering, and raw edge bottoms. You probably could distress your clothes yourself, but why bother when R13 does it perfectly for you. Add some chunky winter boots and your look is complete.

Clothing in the R13 store in Soho.
Individual pieces styled.

One pea coat is decked out with several pounds of 1950’s rhinestone pieces along with punk safety pins. And a ruffled cream prairie dress is topped with a vest with a gold lace collar. Downtown statement dressing for sure.

R13 Denim, 34 Howard Street, Soho

The front of the Ganni boutique in Soho
The front of the Ganni store.

Ganni just opened a store nearby that is a different kind of design statement. The Danish brand was founded in 2000 by the husband wife team Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup. Their contemporary brand has been growing rapidly. The store and the clothing and accessories ooze Scandi Chic.

Ganni clothing in the Soho store
Ganni Animal Prints.

The store is clean and colorful, like the clothing. Ganni mixes related prints and solids in their garments. The fixtures in the store are moveable and the open space has different colored panels placed around and in front of the open glass windows.

Dresses in the Ganni boutique in Soho.
Winter clothes.

This is Nordic that is not traditionally minimal. The clothing has clean lines, with a feminine touch.

Design inside the Ganni store in Soho
The dressing rooms at the back.

The elegant spaces are carved out with color. It is interesting to see how the pieces of clothing play against the sorbet colored walls. Nothing is crowded here.

Inside the Ganni boutique in Soho
The front of the store with its unique window treatments.

Clothing is grouped by color and playful globe lights fill the ceiling. This is carefully designed daytime sportswear.

Knitwear in the Ganni store in Soho
Knitwear is casually stacked around the store.

The effect is simple, clean and unpretentious. Sort of like the clothes.

Video screens in the Ganni boutique in Soho
Video screens display products in the boutique.

Ganni is now doing shoes, boots, handbags and sunglasses.

Bags and shoes at the back of the Ganni store
The accessories are displayed at the back of the store.

This is truly a lifestyle brand. A Danish lifestyle. Hygge is a Danish word that suggests a mood of coziness, giving the wearer feelings of happiness and wellness. Ganni is the unfuzzy version of this.

Ganni, 40 Mercer Street, Soho.

Parkas and puffers for men and women in the Moose Knuckles store
Parkas and puffers for men all hung on a decorative fixture.

You may not have heard of Moose Knuckles, the newest contender in the pricey puffer wars. It’s a Canadian company with a sense of humor. Offering impeccably made outerwear since 2009, it just opened. Video screens are used for display here too, although at Moose Knuckles they feature live stream of the Northern Lights.

The front display cases in the Moose Knuckles store.
The front display cases make a statement.

The store has parkas, puffers, tees, sweats and accessories for men and women.

Moose Knuckles logo on display
Hats and scarves with the metallic logo.

The logo is distinctive. See it above on a hat. It is metal. If you want the luxury version, you can get it plated in 24-carat gold.

Women's parkas and puffers on sale in Soho.
Women’s parkas and puffers.

The brand uses real ethically certified furs and faux furs and claims that their parkas and jackets are the warmest on the market. They certainly feel that way.

The women's area of the Moose Knuckles store.
The women’s area of the store.

Women’s clothing is to the back of the store.

A unique display that is futuristic in the Soho Moose Knuckles
A unique display that is futuristic yet nostalgic.

The metal display is called Moose Goldberg, and it can deliver jackets a la Rube Goldberg.

The Moose Knuckles store in Soho
The Moose Knuckles store mixes open spaces and quirky design.

The men’s area features floating mannequins, and more video screens.

A Soho Shopping see amodel train hidden in the display case
A model train hidden in the Moose Goldberg.

The miniature train set features a Tim Horton model restaurant and hockey sticks, both extremely Canadian references. Being Canadian they understand cold. Believe them. As they say: “We are as warm AF.” Warmth and humor. It’s a good combination.

Moose Knuckles, 57 Greene Street, Soho.

Barbara Hodes is the owner of NYC Private Shopping Tour, offering customized tours in New York and Brooklyn

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