It’s been a great summer. And it got even better when several of the brands I adore opened up some creatively designed stores on Madison Avenue; with each of them offering a totally different take on fashion, and unique and interesting shopping experiences. All have stores downtown, but they brought new vision to their uptown locations.
Zimmermann, the Australian brand, was created in Sydney in 1991 by Nicky Zimmermann. Nicky was shortly joined by her sister Simone, and in 2011 the brand was first sold in New York. What started as primarily as a “fashion swimwear” line grew into one of the most coveted haute boho brands. Since they design Down Under, their seasons are very different than those in the Northern Hemisphere, meaning that it’s their winter now. This has led to a more season-less approach to clothing, that most of the rest of the fashion world is now adopting. Who needs heavy wools in July and August, or even September?
The Zimmermann signature look offers lots of ruffles and flounces, along with full sleeves, prints, embroideries and tiers primarily worked in silks and cottons.
Zimmermann works with the Australian architect, Don McQualter of Studio McQualter. Each store is different. The space the Madison Avenue store occupies used to be the much-missed Calypso. The studio did an entire overhaul of the space, opening up the back entirely and creating a dreamy and comfortable space in which to shop. A living area with a fireplace opens onto a small garden near the changing rooms. The space is filled with a selection of furniture and lighting.
The colors and prints are wearable all year round, with some darker colors and leathers being offered for fall. But these darker colors would not be out of place in the high summer months.
Zimmermann also offers shoes, boots, bags, hats and sunglasses, all displayed with great attention to detail.
Shopping in the store is easy, and the space has a great flow. You take a creative journey through the store. Clothing is tucked all over for one to discover.
Nicky Zimmermann’s boho aesthetic is going in a very luxe direction. It’s a distinctive look, which is why the brand is so popular. It’s not generic, so no logos are needed.
All the clothing is carefully arranged.It’s a joy to shop in this store. Browsing is encouraged, and nothing in the store is too hard edge, intimidating or overlit. The design of the store and the clothes complement one another. Both are very luxe.
I find the notion that clothes crammed together in an uninviting space is an incentive to shopping to be outdated. Shopping in this boutique is not a challenge. It feels like you could (almost) move in and feel right at home. It’s all rather effortless. Sort of like the clothing.
The Soho store arrived in 2012 and moved into this space on Mercer Street in 2013. However it looked nothing like it does now. It was redone by McQualter Studio in 2018. More dramatic, and certainly more luxe than it was, it houses the same collection as the Madison Avenue store.
The space flows through a series of high ceiling rooms, each with a part of the collection on display.
There is still the quirky mix of furniture surrounded by flirty party dresses, blouses and bottoms.
There is a large living area at the back of this store too, where you can get a sense of movement of the outfits you put on. No cramped spaces here.
Floral prints have always been a Zimmermann staple. Mini and midcalf dresses vie for your eye.
There is also a very small shop in the Meatpacking District. Its clean design is simpler than the other two boutiques, but the merchandise is just as artfully arranged.
And along with the colors and prints, you will find some of the signature swimwear that propelled the brand to popularity.
Zimmermann, 55 Mercer Street, 900 Madison Avenue, 652 Hudson Street
Moschino, the irreverent and jokey Italian label, has just opened a jewel-box of a boutique on Madison Avenue. Designed since 2013 by Jeremy Scott, an American designer, the clothes all have a sense of humor. The space has a nifty design, and typical Moschino touches are all around the space. Mr. Scott specializes in clothing that might make people take a second look, like the feather skirt and embellished Fair Isle sweater. Twisted preppy perhaps?
Moschino loves bears. The Ready-to-Bear Roman Gladiator Teddy Bear is only one of them. An overstuffed one sits smack in the middle of the store. Scott’s humor extends to a current video ad campaign features supes duking it out in a Dallas parody shot by Steven Meisel. The Moschino soap opera is only a part of the world Scott has created.
There are a lot of tee shirts and super casual wear in the Madison store. Bears included.
There are plenty of “serious” clothes as well. The Good Luck Trolls x Moschino shirts and dresses as well as leather suit studded studded with gold diamante dollar signs. Shock value is a Moschino hallmark. Moschino and Jeremy Scott do lots of collaborations, including Barbie, Coca-Cola, Spongebob, and The Simpsons.
The men’s casual clothes are not quite so blatant. The store decor is interesting. Here you can just see the neon letters spelling out Moschino hanging from the ceiling.
A bear chair sits next to sneakers, shoes and bags set into a neon display case.
The Soho store opened in 2015. Mr. Scott had a hand in decorating the store. The space is larger, allowing the visual effects to provide entertainment. Shop from oversize handbags, backpacks, and shoes. You will find the same merchandise, Trolls included, and a wider selection of bags and shoes.
The clothes are bright and lively. And the bears are everywhere.
It’s great to see brands that don’t take themselves so seriously. Parody can be an art form.
It’s serious fashion, with a totally unserious attitude.
Moschino, 635 Madison Avenue, 73 Wooster Street
Anine Bing, an LA based brand, is another newcomer to Madison Avenue. Bing, who started her line in 2012, offers her California cool, with a rock and roll edge clothing, in a minimal setting. New deliveries are weekly so new styles are always coming to the store. The look is casual and jean based, and very wear now.
The boutique is airy and decorated eclectically with a trendy Mouille chandelier hanging over a large service desk.
You will find relaxed tee shirts, denim pieces, shirts, sweaters and hoodies. The brand also offers lingerie and children’s clothing with a rock edge.
Bing’s rock’n’roll tinged boots are best sellers. The brand also offers bags and sunglasses as well as jewelry from other designers.
The Soho boutique is larger, but has the same spare chic feel. Shop for dresses, tailored or super casual jackets.
Nothing feels forced here. It’s a relaxing space in which to shop.
The first store in New York was opened on Bleecker Street in 2015. It’s smaller than the other two, but you’ll find the same attitude. If you like cool, clean and together, then this store is for you.
Anine Bing, 838 Madison Avenue, 81 Greene Street, 330 Bleecker Street
Barbara Hodes is the owner of NYC Private Shopping Tour, offering customized tours in New York and Brooklyn.