Midtown Is Having Its Moment

Featured image
Fifth Avenue south of 57th Street.

As the sun sets on summer and the crowds stream into New York, many new boutiques, stores, restaurants and even hotels are opening. Yes, hotels. The Four Seasons may still be closed for major renovations with some never to open again (Hôtel Plaza Athénée … sigh), but the brand new Aman hotel and residences has opened in the Crown Building on 57th Street. Reputed to be the most expensive hotel in the city, we will see if the condos fetch record prices. Aman is offering 100 New Yorkers a chance to join its uber-luxury health spa for a $100,000 initiation fee, and a mere $15,000 a year in dues. Welcome to the post-pandemic neighborhood!

Speaking of which, the nabe is covered in scaffolding; from the Crown Building all the way down Fifth Avenue. 666 Fifth Avenue is completely surrounded, and you can barely go a block without hitting more. But the good news is that eventually all the buildings will re-emerge cleaned up and looking better than ever. And the Fifth Avenue vista will be back. The shopping in the broader neighborhood is better than ever, too.

Sun Glasses and Accessories on the Ground Floor
Sunglasses and accessories on the ground floor at Isabel Marant.

Isabel Marant, the French queen of Boho dressing, has moved down to Madison and 61st Street. Her new two story boutique has a much better assortment of clothing than the old store on 67th Street. The renovation is interesting, with lighting fixtures dropped from a raw concrete ceiling.

Peasant Inspired Looks in The Collection
Peasant-inspired looks in the collection.

The Isabel Marant collection fills the ground floor. There are some summery peasant looks, and a hint of fall merchandise starting to arrive. Isabel herself says she personally tests every garment to make sure that everything is comfortable and flattering. Her jeans, blouses, sweaters and coats are collectable.

Some of The Bags on The Ground Floor
Some of the bags on the ground floor.

Well-made handbags are also displayed on the ground floor. The bags are casual, with attitude. There are over 60 Marant stores around the world, all featuring the designer’s easygoing style.

Isabelle Marant Upstairs
Isabelle Marant upstairs.

The diffusion line, Isabel Marant Etoile, is housed on the second floor. Etoile features the same hippie-chic joie de vivre, but at a lower price point. Easy dresses sit with the designer’s trademark high heel sneakers. Boots are also an important part of the Marant look.

Etoile Jackets, Jumpsuits amd Tops
Etoile jackets, jumpsuits and tops.

Highly styled denim jackets mix with light-hearted blouses and skirts. Jumpsuits are another easy staple. The style of her clothing continues to evolve over the years, but always maintains the same vision.

Floral Prints for Isabelle Marant Etoile
Floral prints for Isabelle Marant Etoile.

Prints are always a big part of the Isabel Marant look. In this group of Etoile clothing, you can mix and match the solid and print garments to create many different looks. Creative sneakers are also key.

Shoes on The Second Floor
Shoes on the second floor.

Laid back boots form a good part of the footwear collection. The rest consists of loafers, slides, clogs, mocasins, wedges and heels. Isabel Marant is lifestyle dressing. It is meant for people who want to live free and enjoy life.

Isabel Marant, 677 Madison Avenue

Clean Looks at the Store's Entrance
Clean looks at Mango’s entrance.

Mango has also made a bold statement on Fifth Avenue. The Barcelona-based fast-fashion chain has kept a low profile in New York. They had a small boutique on Broadway and Prince for years, but Mango has recently gone into expansion mode — opening stores across the US. Their New York statement was to take over the former Ralph Lauren space on Fifth Avenue and make it into a major flagship.

Summer Dressing
Summer dressing.

The store consists of three levels of fashion. Again, there is still a bit of wear-now summer mixed in with new fall styles. Mango offers head to toe dressing for everyone in the family.

Colorful Tailored Pieces
Colorful tailored pieces.

They pretty much always offer clean tailored pieces. In the summer they sold jackets with shorts or pants. Come fall, it is a variety of trousers. Bold colors are always part of the mix.

Dress Up and Dress Down
Dress up and dress down.

There are flirty dresses and separates for hanging out and going out. Pops of color are very important.

Casual Clothing In Bright Reds
Casual clothing in bright reds.

The second floor has huge windows that let light stream in. There are lots of jeans, and fun summer pieces mixing crochet and stripes. New looks are delivered all the time, so once things sell … they are gone.

An Elegant Shoe Salon
An elegant shoe salon.

Mango also does very well-priced shoes and bags. Fast fashion normally allocates this kind of space for presentation, but it is nice to know that there is somewhere comfortable and relaxing to try on shoes.

The Men's Department
The men’s department.

Women’s fashions take up the first two floors. Men and kids split the third floor. The suede jacket at the center is real suede, and very well priced. Faux-suede and pleather are also for sale. The clothing is a mix of tailored and casual pieces.

A Snoopy Collaboration
A Snoopy collaboration.

Mango sells baby clothing as well as clothing for children of all sizes. The clothing is stylish and fun. Children grow quickly(!), so clothing that is both on-trend and well-priced just makes sense.

Mango, 711 Fifth Avenue

Handbags and Neutrals
Casual clothing and tailoring at Todd Snyder.

Brands continue to open in Rockefeller Center. Todd Snyder opened early on, and then closed down for a style renovation. The original decor had been informal and laid back; the new is more formal with wood paneling, a fireplace, and a clubby attitude. American Eagle Outfitters bought the brand in 2015, so there is plenty of cash to fund the redecoration.

More Tailored Clothing Facing the Rink
More tailored clothing facing the rink.

The store has two levels, one on the Channel Gardens and the other on West 50th Street. You can enter from either side. The are very large windows overlooking the Rink and the colorful flags.

Casual Clothing Mixed With Vintage Pieces
Casual clothing mixed with vintage pieces.

There is a full range of Todd Snyder clothing. You can find looks that are super-casual as well as very buttoned up suits and jackets. The store stocks other brands that compliment the clothes. Collaborations with other brands, sunglasses, jewelry and shoes are the primary categories.

The Upper Level
The upper level.

There is a collab with Champion currently in store. Everything speaks all-American sportswear.

An Aesop Shop
An Aesop shop.

Aesop cosmetics are given a prime spot on the upper level. The products are aimed at men’s beauty needs, often overlooked in other stores.

Shirts and Tailoring Upstairs
Shirts and tailoring upstairs.

Dress shirts come in different cuts, slim and classic fits, and many different fabrications. There is also a wide range of tailored clothing. Made to measure and custom clothing is available by appointment in this location (there is a large selection of fabrics and cuts to chose from).

Todd Snyder, 620 Fifth Avenue, on The Channel Gardens

Minimal Styles in Color
Minimal styles in color at Ryan Roche.

Ryan Roche has a small store on the Channel Gardens. Her store is mostly filled with soft cashmere knits. There are a few woven pieces, coats, blazers, trousers and shirts to round out the wardrobe.

Styles and Colors
Various styles in colors.

Most of the pieces are color multipliers — that is, she does a limited amount of styles in a range of colors. Most of the time the colors are neutrals. But every once in a while pops of color appear.

The Soft Shades Up Close
The soft shades up close.

The styles do not neccessarily change with each season, but the color palette does. The styles are clean and easy to wear. The designer is big on sustainability. There are pieces made from recycled cashmere.

Handbags and Neutrals
Handbags and neutrals.

The designer also invites brands she likes, in this case Mark Cross, to sell in the store. The items change regularly, so always look for something new.

Ryan Roche, 620 Fifth Avenue, on The Channel Gardens

A Different Kind of Display
A different kind of display at P448.

P448 is an Italian sneaker brand that likes to have fun. They promise innovative sneakers made with Italian crafsmanship. The store is a design statement as well. The pillars for the shoes are done by graffiti artist Spraying Bricks, and graffiti also adorns the walls and the park bench seating. The Italian ice cart is actually a custom lacing station. And there is a hidden speakeasy at the back done in partnership with McConnell’s Whiskey. There is a lot going on in this small space.

Kicks on Display
Kicks on display.

There are sneakers for men, women and kids in the store. Some are basic, but many are not. P448 offers sneakers that are sustainable. They use leather and vegan leather, suede and recycled suede as well as fabrics.

Sweats and Sneakers
Sweats and sneakers.

A small collection of unisex sweats are in-store, and you can get matching sneakers if you want to go for a head to toe look. Go ahead and customize your look with some of the many colored and textured shoelaces for sale.


Shoes With Attitude
Shoes with attitude.

Sustainable sneakers made from recycled leathers and prints don’t have to be boring. These pairs in color-blocked animal prints are sold in limited editions. The kicks use up fabric and leather scraps for a zero waste approach. The company works hard to produce earth-friendly kicks.

P448, 605 Fifth Avenue

Casual Clothes from Paris Saint-Germain
Casual clothes from Paris Saint-Germain.

I am not a huge soccer fan, but I was interested to see that Paris Saint-Germain, one of the top 10 soccer clubs in Europe, had opened a largish store on Fifth Avenue.

The Star's Football Shirts
The star’s football shirts.

You can buy tees featuring the star players, or even a rather expensive replica of the official stadium shirts and kits. Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Marquinhos are among the players celebrated.

Hats and Casual Looks
Hats and casual looks.

Qatar Sports Investments bought the team in 2011. President Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been busy propelling the team to new heights. He added a highly regarded Paris Saint-Germain Woman’s Team and a Handball team to the franchise. So why not celebrate with merchandise?

Tees for Men and Kids
Tees for men and kids.

The word Paris is everywhere, as is the team logo. Everything comes in a large range of sizes.

Player Pennants, Scarves and Slides
Player pennants, scarves and slides.

Paris Saint-Germain x Jordan merch is available, as are shorts, slides and celebratory pennants.

Women's Jerseys and Leggings
Women’s jerseys and leggings.

Women’s clothing is towards the back of the store and customization is available at the very back. If soccer is your thing, outfit yourself with clothing and equipment. It is all here.

Paris Saint-Germain, 587 Fifth Avenue

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

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