Moving in on Madison Avenue — Just in time for Fashion Week

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On The Corner of 75th Street and Madison

The Northwest corner of Madison Avenue has been under wraps for the last 8 months. The Carolina Herrera boutique had temporarily relocated to 70th Street, but moved back into its new beautifully renovated home last week. Lafayette 148, a longtime downtown brand, opened a stunning shop next store the same day. Just in time for Fashion Week.

I love the fact that both stores, with completely different looks, have raised the shopping experience in New York to new levels. The stores showcase the clothing, and the clothing complements the store design. Me, I could move into either one and be perfectly happy. I guess that’s the point.

The Carolina Herrera 75th St entrance
The 75th Street entrance has a set of double doors.

Mrs. Herrera’s boutique has been renovated to resemble a private home. A set of doors provide an entrance  from 75th Street. The enlarged windows and graceful canopies were added. The 1925 building has been given a complete overhaul by the Brazilian architect and designer, Andre Mellone.

The downstairs salon in the Caolina Herrera boutique in NYC
Dogs and children are always welcome.

The boutique is spare, but warm. Furnished in an appealing melange of periods by Chiara de Rege, each floor has its own vibe. The ground floor is spacious, with the clothing and accessories shown along the wall. No T stands here, please. And if it does feel like a living room, so did the original Herrera store.

Inside the Carolina Herrera Madison Avenue boutique shopping
The grand staircase remains.

The grand spiral staircase that Mrs. Herrera commissioned for the original boutique remains. The large windows let the light stream in; all the better to set off the clothing.

Clothing in the Carolina Herrera Madison Avenue boutique
Under the sculptural staircase.

The selection of clothing is deliberate. The rails are not overcrowded; you can see each piece as they hang. The clothes are flattering and yet have sex appeal. They are happy clothes, tucked away in architectural spaces.

Yellow dresses in the Carolina Herrera Boutique on Madison Avenue
Carolina Herrera is known for her wonderful sense of color.

Carolina Herrera, the company, has a new creative director, Wes Gordon, who came on board last year. He has taken the Herrera code and tweaked it.

The back wall of the Carolina Herrera Madison Avenue boutique
Airy étagères hold accessories.

Everything in the space is beautiful, and works in harmony — from the stone floor to the wonderful walls. Just as Herrera clothes flatter the wearer, the store does as well. The walls are a faint shade of an almost pink. The color flatters anyone that walks into the store. Abundant daylight doesn’t hurt.

Shoes and Bags on display in the Carolina Herrera boutique in NYC
Kitten heels and small bags.

The accessories too are in harmonious shades. Makes you wonder why you always wear black shoes.

Clothing in the Carolina Herrera Madison Avenue boutique
Rosy colored clothing.

Color is the message for the clothing as well.

The back of the second floor in the Carolina Herrera Boutique in NYC
An inviting chaise longue is parked upstairs.

The second floor has wooden floors, and an elegant 1940’s inspired rug.

Perfume for sale in the Carolina Herrera boutique in NYC
A wall of perfume for men and women.

The back wall shows the Carolina Herrera Perfumes off in delicate arched niches.

Specialty perfumes for sale in NYC
Good Girl and Bad Boy perfumes.

Good Girl perfume comes in a bottle in the shape of a stiletto, while the newest fragrance, Bad Boy, for men, is lightening in a bottle. Bad Boy was introduced earlier this year.

Clothing in the Carolina Herrera boutique in NYC
A wall of dresses on the second floor.

The clothing hangs from custom designed fixtures that echo the furniture and decor.

Sling Back shoes for sale in the Carolina Herrera boutique in NYC
Cool sling back shoes in radiant colors.

Shoes, bags, sunglasses, belts and other accessories are on display.

Tote bags and shoes in the Carolina Herrera Boutique in NYC
Beautifully colored bags.

Bags and shoes sit on a slightly curved console, made to stand neatly around the staircase.

Clothing in the Carolina Herrera NYC boutique
Evening clothes and day clothes.

All the clothing displays mix daytime and evening ensembles all over the store. This is a fresh way to approach merchandising, and makes the store feel like a very elegant dressing room.

The dressing room in the Carolina Herrera Madison Avenue boutique
The dressing rooms are luxurious.

The dressing rooms themselves really make you look fabulous. I have never understood why so many stores have such unattractive, small, badly lit dressing rooms. That is not the case in the Herrera store. The lighting, soft colors and elegant furniture make you look your best.

The Bridal Floor at the Carolina Herrera Boutique
A hallway is lined with beautiful wedding dresses.

Walk up to the third floor and you will find the Bridal Collection, with traditional as well as very modern looks.  A long hall lined with gowns leads you to a spacious room.

Bridal Salon iin the Carolina Herrera Madison Avenue Boutique
The Bridal Salon overlooks Madison Avenue.

Book an appointment, and you will have a private bridal experience.

Inside the bridal salon in the Carolina Herrera boutique in NYC
A soft palette enhances the Bridal Salon.

The room is a soft flattering pink, as is much of the furniture in it.

Shopping in the Carolina Herrera Boutique in Bergdorf
Inside the Bergdorf Goodman Boutique.

The look of the store was adapted for new boutiques at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Carolina Herrera Pink Prints at Bergorf Goodman
Wonderful pink animal prints.

Some of the merchandise is the same as in the boutique, but not all.

Shopping inside the Carolina Herrera Bouitque on Madison Avenue
The top of the staircase.

Coming back down from the Bridal Salon, you can descend the sculptural staircase.

A display inside the Madison Avenue Carolina Herrera boutique
A curated display on the way out.

As you leave the store, the simple and discrete window display leaves you smiling.

The Madison Avenue entrance to the Carolina Herrera store
The Madison Avenue entrance.

Carolina Herrera,  954 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, 212-249-6552

Entering the Lafayette 148 Store on Madison Avenue to shop
Entering Lafayette 148.

True to its downtown roots, the new Lafayette 148 boutique has a wide open space that is reminiscent of Soho.  Lafayette 148 was named after its original headquarters downtown at — you guessed it — 148 Lafayette Street. Named The Townhouse, the new space has an interior that is loft-like and minimal. And the clothes follow suit.

On a shopping tour in NYC in a store on Madison Avenue
Minimal clothing and spare display.

The clothes this season are in very neutral colors. The fabrics are soft and the accessories clean.

Shopping for minimal clothing on Madison Avenue
Spare designs and custom fixtures.

There are walls of grey clothing, as well as camels and beiges. Accessories are neatly placed.

Inside the Lafayette 148 Store on Madison Avenue
Warm wood sets off the clean clothing.

Here too, the decor and the clothing have the same voice.

Inside a fashion boutique on Madison Avenue
Relax in a corner of the shop.

Nothing in the store is crowded or overcrowded. It’s a pleasure to shop here.

Coats for sale on a shopping tour in NYC
Greys and caramels work in tandem.

Garments are shown in leather, silk and wool for fall. Sweaters come in wool and cashmere.

Inside a Madison Avenue Boutique in New York City
The stairs lead to the second floor loft.

Head upstairs to what the salespeople call The Loft. You can book personal styling appointments.

Shopping for clothing in New York City
The second floor loft.

A wide and airy space overlooks Madison Avenue.

Clothing Inside the Lafayette 148 store on Madison Avenue
A selection of black and white clothing.

Lafayette 148 designed a special capsule collection exclusive to the new store. The company does a limited made to measure and offers over 50 sizes.

Necklaces and earings for sale
Jewelry on display.

Jewelry, scarves, belts, boots and shoes that complement the clothing are displayed around the shop.

Shopping in a new store on Madison Avenue
Looking out on Madison Avenue.

The Lafayette 148 offers another unique shopping experience. Walk in and you will feel right at home.

Lafayette 148, 956 Madison Avenue, 914-600-8776

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

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