You can pretty much find something for everyone in the Meatpacking District. A lot has changed since the days of Florent, but much is the same. Meatpacking has always been on the forefront of the interesting and inclusive.
Drag queens, artists, designers, truckers and butchers frequented the area in the early days. Florent (the restaurateur) was an early promoter of drag events, serving up the Bi-Decade(nt) Ball along with the Miss Meat Market Gown Contest. Jeffrey, which closed in 2020, brought the first designer boutique to the area.
With the Whitney Museum on one side and the Google New York headquarters on the other, creativity thrives in this neighborhood. Good restaurants, great shopping, the High Line, and the Little Island. What’s not to love.
Gucci recently joined Hermes, Loro Piana and other luxury brands in Meatpacking when it opened a new boutique on 14th Street and 9th Avenue. They had tested the location a few years ago with a pop-up in the same spot. The two story space is smaller then the Soho and Fifth Avenue boutiques, but it has its own character. More of this location is dedicated to accessories.
The decor is a mix of traditional brightened up with cool vintage furniture, and industrial and tech touches. The brand has parted ways with designer Alessandro Michele, and a new creative director will not show a full collection until September. The current collection was created by the in-house team. Women’s shoes are located in a bright space.
Men’s shoes are at the far end, and there there are spaces for Gucci Beauty, luggage and jewelry. There is a small selection of clothing for men and women on this level. Much of the stock is not on display.
Upstairs is more about the clothing. The selling space is smaller than the ground level. The staff is attentive and happy to work with customers. Vintage pieces restored by the house are placed all over the shop.
There are regular dressing rooms, and then, there is a luxury area where private appointments are conducted. There are also colorful dressing rooms for those of us who did not book a private appointment.
A colorful curved staircase connects the two floors. The RTW and shoes still have a bit of the Michele feel, but toned down. It will be interesting to see what September brings.
Gucci, 400 West 14 Street
A few blocks away New York-based Nili Lotan has opened another store. A just-opened store in L.A. was created with a similar minimal look. Bare racks and sculptures in lighting are part of her signature. The clothing features a lot of luxurious basics for men and women. Funnily enough, it is across the street from the restaurant building that housed Florent.
Signature slip dresses, denim, tees and blazers sit on spare tubular displays. Bare electrical boxes and exposed brick walls are part of the look.
Color is kept to a minimum. Black, white, khaki and navy are key. Jackets are an important part of the collection, including blazers and relaxed outerwear.
The dressing rooms are part of the design. And a new handbag collection sits on a rustic sculptural piece. Tasteful uniforms are the keys of the collection.
Men’s clothing and women’s clothing share the same aesthetic. There are, of course, differences in fit. The designer is seemingly onto something, as she keeps opening more (and more) new stores.
Nili Lotan, 66 Gansevoort Street
A very uptown brand, Bally Haus, has also opened a first New York store in Meatpacking. Not Madison nor Fifth. The Swiss brand, known for it shoes and bags, has been upping its presentations of clothing and hiring designers instead of relying on a faceless studio. They just named a Gucci alum as their new head of design. The brand sells more men’s wear than women’s and more accessories than clothing. They are hoping to increase sales with new and innovative ideas.
Leather had always been a part of the Bally collection. Along with leather shoes and bags, there are jackets, skirts, pants and coats in soft suedes and supple leathers. If leather is not your thing, there are silks, cottons and more.
Shoes and boots come in day and evening looks. Loafers and sneakers mix with sandals and dressy heels. The new designers have added unexpected evening looks for women as well.
And men’s looks are getting a makeover, too. Vibrant prints cover jackets and shorts. Snakeskin and gold leather are also fashioned into jackets for men.
There is a stunning bar at the back of the shop along with displays of the newly introduced Bally jewelry collection for women. You will also find a large selection of small leather goods and belts. Everything is beautifully crafted using Swiss know-how.
Bally Haus, 58 Gansvoort Street
Neighborhood Goods calls itself a department store with a difference. Founded in 2018, the Dallas-based retailer offers clothing, accessories, and some footwear for men and women, along with home goods, books, wellness and beauty products, and anything else they deem cool. The suppliers are both known and up and coming. And there is even a small cafe.
You can see the cafe through the racks of clothing. Pretty much all the clothing is on the casual side. And it is very wearable. Sustainable, well made and thoughtful are what is selling here. The space is large for a New York boutique, as it is in the front of the Chelsea Market.
Beauty and wellness items are found around the store. There are brands you know, and brands to explore. All of them clean and organic. Brands are welcome to contact Neighborhood Goods, as they want to sell unique products.
There are fun and colorful pieces, as well as a lot of denim and khaki. Fully Fashioning is one of the smaller brands available. Each label gets a rack. The racks are moveable, and the store can easily be rearranged.
There are tasteful collections of tablewear, vases, lighting and much more; for gift giving and for treating yourself. If you need any last minute graduation presents, they have you covered. There is a fun section called Consumerhaus selling candies, flavored salts and peppers, cookies, teas and coffees and more.
What store is complete without books? There is a very small selection of clothing and toys for kids. And games for adults. A curated selection of funny greeting cards is sold along with clever writing accessories. It’s fun to shop here where a little bit of everything creates a captivating atmosphere.
Neighborhood Goods, 75 Ninth Avenue
Unfashional is a mini-department store. They curate clothing for men and women, mixing clothing, accessories and jewelry from around the world with fashion art — all made by small, independent designers. Jewelry is displayed around the front room.
The store is small. The looks are artsy. Interestingly, they do not sell anything on their website. If you want to shop, you need to come in person to one of their three stores. The featured designers like working with prints and patterns.
A narrow space is full of racks full of jackets, tees, skirts, pants and more. The garments are definitely not mass produced.
Next to the dressing room, a chair is covered in fun throw pillows. There are bits and pieces of home decor scattered around the boutique.
The decor can seem a bit haphazard, and that is part of its charm. Scraps of artwork line the walls. This too is for sale. A quirky take on fashion is always refreshing. Especially when it involves one-of-a-kind pieces by independent designers.
Unfashional, 342 West 14th Street
Down the street sits Lucky Selectism, another boutique filled with a wide range of products. The designer/owner comes from a Korean family steeped in the design and production of eyewear. The store also houses a collection of apparel called I Common Concept Shop.
The brand’s eyewear is displayed around the store, mixing the old and the new. Everything is produced in the family’s Korean factories.
There are candles and dried flowers for sale. But the latter are sold as a unique home decor product. An artist poetically arranges dried flowers in antique glass bottles. The bottles are then filled with a preserving oil, and the flowers are floating. The bottles can be artfully displayed in sunlight or in shadows.
Jewelry and accessories are also on display around the store. There is a lot to take in here.
The clothing is for women, with plenty of gender neutral outfits available. The clothing is unique — not mass produced. There is a touch of color, but neutrals predominate.
There are many distinctive pieces to be found in Lucky Selectivism. And it is only in New York, with its melting pot ambience, where you will find such a wild assortment of unique and unusual stores like this.
Lucky Selectivism, 346 West 14th Street
Barbara Hodes is the owner of NYC Private Shopping Tour, offering customized tours in New York and Brooklyn.