We are living in a world where online sales are dominating, and it has been a challenge to keep open retail stores – mainly in New York, where the high price of rents ends up causing many businesses to close their doors. At the same time, having a fixed address in the city ends up being a showcase of the brand to the world. So, brands need to innovate. They can no longer sell the way it was sold earlier. The shops must be more than a space to exhibit products – it must offer experiences for the consumer. Below, I list seven addresses in Soho which are great examples of no obvious shops. For those who enjoy doing market, fashion and trends research, these are good places to be visited.
1. Gucci – last May, Gucci opened a new store in New York City – Soho – and the place is huge: 10000 square-foot. The decor is beautiful and it features a 3D video display and screening room. This will be also the first Gucci store in the world to feature the new Gucci DIY assortment. Even if you can’t afford the products, it is a must-see store, especially if you are a fashion lover!
Address: 63 Wooster Street.
2. Galeria Melissa – this Brazilian brand is very famous because of the plastic shoes. With the project signed by designer and multimedia artist Muti Randolph – who also designed our Galerias Melissa São Paulo and London – it is, in his own words, “a space that’s made to change, to host installations and guest artists.” The neighborhood inspired the designer in this project full of light and technology. “The entrance, with a LED installation and mirrors that “pull” people from the streets into a kaleidoscopic funnel. Displays imitate the original iron columns so typical of Soho warehouses.”
Address: 500 Broadway.
3. Sézane – Named L’Appartement, it has several environments, it is a conceptual store, like an apartment, and besides the clothes and accessories, it has some French brands cosmetics – I bought a wonderful fig perfume there – plus decoration items! Sézane s a French brand. It was founded by Morgane Sézalory, an inveterate bargain hunter since sheI was 14. After years of assembling and selling her finds through various outlets, she finally created the website Les Composantes in 2008 to present her vintage selections. In 2013, she decided to concentrate on design and launched the brand. The clothes had great fabrics, such as silk, cashmere and wool. Besides clothing, Sézane also has shoes and accessories. Everything is manufactured in countries like Italy, France, Portugal, Spain and Brazil. The mission is offering the most beautiful, finest designs possible at a fair price. Sézane was the first French fashion brand to launch 100% online. The ateliers are chosen for their expertise, working conditions and the origins of the fabrics: everything needs to make sense.
Address: 254 Elizabeth Street.
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4. Aerie – Aerie is a brand with super-young DNA and one of the things I think is coolest is its philosophy, which encourages women to love themselves the way they are – even if they are not within the “standards” defined by media. In fact, this speech from Aerie goes much further – the campaigns have models with real bodies and, in the hashtag created by the brand – #AERIEREAL – we can see girls of all bodies, with beautiful photos, proving that no one has to follow the imposed standards to be beautiful. The store has a lot of courageous quotes and is like someplace that we see on Pinterest. The brand features beach clothing, lounge clothing and gym clothing.
Address: 75 Spring Street.
5. Converse -If you love Converse sneakers, you need to stop buy at Converse store in Soho! It features a “Blank Canvas” workshop, personalized in-store experience for customers. Customizations add between $25-45 on top of the price of the shoes. The designs are finished and returned to the customer that day. It is one of the biggest stores of the brand in the world.
Address: 560 Broadway.
6. The Real Real – It is a consignment shop specializing in luxury goods. And what struck me the most in that it does not resemble a thrift shop – it’s a super clean, two-level store. The business started on the internet. Founder Julie Wainwright started The RealReal at her home and today is the premier online luxury consignment site with more than 600 employees and several locations in the United States that accept and ship products worldwide. On the second floor, there is a cafe and a garden. In addition, the store promotes free events that are very interesting, especially for those who loves fashion! Some of the topics include fashion history, how to invest in vintage items and more. Amazing! You can check the calendar of events here.
Address: 80 Wooster St.
7. Olfactory – Olfactory works with a very interesting concept: offering luxury fragrances at affordable prices. There are two ways to shop at Olfactory. The first one is to choose one of the store’s options, which are created by the best perfumers in the world, using the highest quality natural and sustainable ingredients found in the best luxury brands. The perfumers who developed the 9 options of Olfactory are world-renowned – and many have developed famous perfumes in the market. The other way to shop is by personalizing your fragrance. You start by choosing one of the fragrances from the Olfactory collection that you like best and can customize it by adding specific notes that will leave the perfume with your personality. As you can see from the photos above, each Olfactory fragrance has an information frame chart you can see which combination of notes is best with that fragrance. Perfumes cost $50 (store options) and $ 75 (for custom options).
Address: 281 Mott Street.
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.