Best in Class: NYC Concept Stores
In typical New York fashion, a class of concept stores has raised the bar for what you can expect from a clothing boutique. Local-made ceramics sold amidst the rich scent of roasting coffee beans, and beachwear, surfboards, and wetsuits sitting among art and books have become the new norm. The idea is to evoke a feeling, edited enough to inspire, but personal enough to make one feel at home. Each store caters to customers who crave something with a story, breathing new life into traditional brick-and-mortar. With the abundance of stores in such close quarters, New York offers an unparalleled entrance into this kind of contextualized shopping experience. To help navigate these unique retail spaces, we’ve compiled a list to appeal to New York’s most discerning locals and visitors.
Surfer blood is shared by owners Morgan Collett, Josh Rosen, and Colin Tunstall, who together have made a splash in SoHo with Saturdays NYC. Launched to suit a lifestyle occupied by surfing, their cosmopolitan oasis on 31 Crosby Street is part clothing store, part barista, all within a laid-back atmosphere derived from their SoCal inspirations. Beachwear, boards, and wetsuits sit among art, books, and their own private label, all to welcome the likes of those surfing, living, and working in New York City. We’re keen on their grooming projects, and head-over-heels for a bar of soap called ‘Atlantic’—it’s loosely based on Baxter of California’s Italian Lime glycerine bar, but was re-mixed by the Saturdays team to capture the essence of the Atlantic Ocean. For a tranquil escape in the warmer months take your espresso to the store’s backyard, relax in their serene wood-decked sanctuary, check out the wave reports on your iPad and lock down a weekend share in Montauk. Or a month in Santa Barbara.
31 Crosby St, New York; T. (212) 966-7875
The Primary Essentials is the ultimate gift shop with a special selection of artisanal goods and objects for everyday life. Textiles, ceramics, jewelry, books, furniture and more, sourced from independent craftsmen around the world, are expertly placed around the renovated brownstone of the Atlantic Avenue space in Brooklyn. Lauren Snyder, founder of TPE, explains, “I always hope that customers will feel comfortable when they are in the shop. I want them to be inspired by their surroundings but at ease at the same time.” It’s a must-stop shop for gifts, planning dinner parties, or updating the objects around your home.
372 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn; T. 718.522.1804
Founded by Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria, Coming Soon is an immaculate furniture, design and gift shop in the heart of the Lower East Side. Drawn to the creative, emerging and authentic neighborhood, the founders have curated a space connected to the area and the artists that shape it. The store has a true collaborative concept, working closely with designers to create a unique untraditional experience. It could be described as funky yet refined, with a collection of pieces that are tough to find anywhere else. From furniture and home goods to accessories and one-of-a-kind gifts, Coming Soon is a fun place to find some real treasures.
17 Allen Street, 5th floor, New York; T. (212) 226-4548
This New York City-based fashion and lifestyle brand owes its trademark high-low mashup of street and tailored essentials to the culture imbued in the borough from which it was born—Queens. The brand’s Nolita flagship is an impressively curated, spacious shop-slash cafe on Mulberry Street stocked with contemporary takes on the classics—think, trench coats, bombers, utility jackets, windbreakers, and streetwear staples like hoodies and t-shirts informed by the daily life and culture of New York. Founder Teddy Santis launched the menswear brand in 2014 and has continued to expand over the years to the delight of menswear editors and in-the-know guys world over.
214 Mulberry St, New York
It may be the scent of coffee brewing that lures you into this lifestyle store on Greenpoint’s Franklin Street but it’s sure to be the selection of flowers, plants, ceramics, magazines and more that compel you to stay. Many of the pieces are made by hand, arranged and assembled in a relaxed, sunlit room, taking the guesswork out of whether you might use these in your life. To add to the curated collection on offer, Homecoming has crafted its own range of coffee beans with all the favorites varieties from around the world. This really is the best kind of one-stop shop.
107 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
The Webster is a design junkie’s dream. Its serious interiors somehow take the seriousness out of high-end shopping with a playfulness that makes you feel part of the party. Each nook of the six-floor building is decorated to perfection: colored couches, plush carpets, and printed wallpaper serve as the backdrop to impeccably merchandised racks of the season’s best buys. The woman behind all of this is Laure Heriard Dubreuil, an entrepreneur who opened the first iteration of The Webster in Miami in 2009, inspired by the city’s escapist appeal and appreciation for art. In opening the New York location, Heriard Dubreuil has created a getaway as an answer to the city’s sartorial redundancy. Expect exclusive products, collaborations, art installations, and endless inspiration.
2508, 29 Greene St, New York, NY 10013; T. (212) 226-1260