Mixing it up on Madison Avenue

Featured image
Another beautiful day on the Avenue.

Madison Avenue is full of new stores. Those I recently spotted are all stand-alone brands, not part of huge conglomerates. You know, the ones that have been raising prices as of late just because they can. All of these new businesses belong to individuals or to partners and offer their own take on style.

While some stores are offering higher price points and more luxurious fabrics and details, quite a few of the brands are providing their fashions at an accessible price. All are full of clothing that New Yorkers and Upper East Siders can wear. And while we all have our places we love to shop, it’s always fun to find something new and interesting.

Dramatic Looks in A Dramatic Space
Dramatic looks in a dramatic space at Del Core.

Del Core has an interesting business model. The Italian designer marries couture and RTW, and also offers customization, with day to evening outfits. But a glimpse around the store informs one that the bulk of the business is in dressier looks. Customers can buy ready-to-wear off the rack, or they can make an appointment to have looks made to measure in the Del Core couture atelier.

Sculptural Dresses and Fanciful Footwear
Sculptural dresses and fanciful footwear.

Up the spiral staircase are rails with precisely placed gowns. Demi Moore wore one of Del Core’s looks to the Cannes Film Festival this year. Aside from buying made-to-measure looks, customers can also choose to add personal touches to pieces to make them unique.

Gowns For Any Occasion on Madison
Gowns for any occasion.

Taraji P. Henson was photographed in a yellow version to the dress to the upper left that had beading scattered across the front. Customers enjoy being able to embellish their pieces.

Softer Colors for Spring and Summer
Softer colors for spring and summer.

There is plenty of suiting as well, done in fine wools. And a collection of shoes, boots and bags that have couture details.

Cocktail Looks Are Popular Too on Madison
Cocktail looks are popular too.

Skirts, shorts and blouses are also available to create more relaxed looks. Everything seems to exude Milanese chic.

Demi-Couture and Ready To Wear
Demi-couture and ready-to-wear.

And the staff are all extremely helpful. They are the ones who turn the customer’s wishes into reality.

Del Core, 789 Madison Avenue

Tailoring in Unusual Fabrics
Tailoring in unusual fabrics at Generation Love.

A few blocks north, Generation Love has opened a large boutique. The looks available in the store skew young and fun. And the prices are on the low side of contemporary, which is perfect for their target customer.

Clothing For the Young At Heart on Madison
Clothing for the young at heart.

Many of the outfits are based on looks with jackets that are detailed. The skirts are short and nothing is too serious. This is Generation Love’s first boutique.

Denim With a Twist on Madison
Denim with a twist.

The New York-based female designers love lace. They also do a lightweight denim that is worked into fun pieces with decorative embellishments.

Constantly Changed Springtime Prints
Constantly changed springtime prints.

And there are feminine prints. This season there is a lot of pink, both pastel and hot. And crochet adds a feminine touch, too. But the look is more “look at me.”

Spring With a Bit Of Attitude
Spring with a bit of attitude.

To reiterate, lots of looks are made in lace. Jackets, pants, shirts, tops and even shorts are all done in a sturdy version. The lace is meant to be mixed with hard pieces in the base colors. The looks are precise and polished.

Dress in Stripes, Lace or Florals
Dress in stripes, lace or florals.

There are also sporty pieces, with swimwear just added to the collection. Or you can stand out in clean stripes with a nautical feel. There’s a lot to choose from in this shop.

Generation Love, 804 Madison Avenue

Well Mannered Clothing on Madison
Well-mannered clothing at Veronica de Piante.

Veronica de Piante has opened a small boutique selling elevated basics. The mostly seasonless collection features elegant tailoring. Everything is made in small artisanal Italian factories. And those factories use the best Italian wools and silk.

Tailored Clothing Wit Surprises
Tailored clothing with surprises.

Some of the garments, like the skirts above, have interesting hand work done by artisans with SEP, a social enterprise program based in Jordan. Much of the collection is done in Italian wools, with some silk used here and there.

A Narrow Range of Colors on Madison
A narrow range of colors.

The colors are mostly muted, reflecting a quiet luxury ethos. The designer’s intent was to create clothing that stands the test of time, both in style and workmanship.

Layering Pieces Make The Outfit
Layering pieces make the outfit.

There are skirts in silk, and sweaters in silk, wools and cashmere. Coats and trenches in silk, wool and leather offer another finishing touch. These are elegant pieces for those who can afford the best.

Veronica De Piante, 833 Madison Avenue

A Tiny Space With Interesting Display
A tiny space with an interesting display at Cartolina.

Cartolina, a brand from Nantucket, has landed further uptown. Their original store in New England, Centre Pointe, was the starting point and has been offering clean and colorful home decor for a long time. The women-owned brand then developed a line of clothing called Cartolina.

Soft Colors and Crochets
Soft colors and crochets.

Cartolina means postcard in Italian, conveying a vacation spirit. The clothing is colorful, and feminine. And new deliveries arrive all the time, bringing new mixes of color to the tiny boutique.

New Deliveries All The Time
New deliveries all the time.

Along with the clothing, there are accessories and small touches for the home. The price points are contemporary ones, and the clothing is well made, with many intricate details.

Clothing With A Feminine Accent
Clothing with a feminine accent.

If eyelet and embroidery is not your look, you can also find more tailored dresses and jackets and blazers. Handbags and totes are also tucked around the boutique.

Cartolina, 966 Madison Avenue

Easy To Wear Lifestyle Dressing
Easy to wear lifestyle dressing at Me+Em.

A British brand, Me+Em, has been expanding at a very rapid pace. With stores located in London and Scotland, they have now opened in the States. The Madison Avenue boutique is quite large, and offers many different categories of clothing.

Clean, Casual and Well Priced
Clean, casual and well priced.

As a brand, they position themselves as offering well made clothing at excellent prices. And they are proudly direct to consumer, making everything in their own factories. Their style? Clean and classic.

New and Popular
New and popular.

Every time I have been in the boutique, there are shoppers trying on and buying. The styles seem to resonate with the women who live and shop in the neighborhood. Me+Em offers interesting pieces that do not try too hard. And they also offer affordable shoes; always a good idea.

A Range of Blue at The Rear of The Store
A range of blue at the rear of the store.

A collection of denim and other casual styles is also on display. All the trendy baggy styles are here, merchandised with fun tops and jackets. Me+Em creates head-to-toe looks.

A Selection Of Looks
A selection of looks.

The clothing comes from suppliers across Europe and Asia, and the manufacturing is done with an eye towards sustainability. This brand, too, is female owned and operated.

Me + Em, 980 Madison Avenue

Dogs Are Welcome
Dogs are welcome at Vuori.

The luxury athletic brand Vuori opened first in Soho almost two years ago. The company is based in Southern California and is still majority-owned by its founder. It is known for its buttery soft fabrications that makes the workout wear for men and women so comfortable. They are now open on Madison Avenue.

Lots Of Neutral Colors on Madison
Lots of neutrals.

There are outfits for yoga and pilates, as well as clothes just for hanging out. About two thirds of the store is devoted to women’s pieces, along with some accessories. And if the clothing has a luxury feel to it, the prices are very affordable.

Workout Wear To Street on Madison
Workout wear to street.

And these days Vuori is expanding into casual dressing in their luxury fabrics, dresses, rompers and tennis dresses. The company just keeps growing.

Summer Active Wear on Madison
Summer active wear.

They got their start in leggings, tees and hoodies. And now for summer Vuori offers legging shorts, sports bras, and fuller shorts. It’s all done in fabrics that offer ease of movement and comfort.

Casual Clothing Too
Casual clothing, too.

Men’s clothing is less body-con than the women’s. It’s all for a casual life, offering jackets and pants in wovens as well as in knits. Most of the colors lean neutral, as in the women’s collection. Vuori men offers good looking casual clothes in proprietary luxury fabrics at sensible prices.  It’s why they just keep growing.

Vuori, 1153 Madison Avenue

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

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