Luisa New York
42 Memorial Plz, Pleasantville
(914) 741-2144/(866) 805-8472
FOCUS: This beauty boutique specializes in all-natural, handmade olive-oil soaps in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and scents, as well as aromatherapy products, lotions, moisturizers, and skincare products.
VIBE: Don’t look for a storefront; there isn’t one. This teensy-weensy shop—just 144 square feet—is tucked away inside a nondescript building directly across from the Pleasantville Metro-North station.
BACK STORY: “I wanted to see my customers and be able to talk to them face to face,” says owner Gili Zilca. So, last July, after five years of selling her products through her website, Zilca, who wanted to do something “creative and artistic” with her master’s degree in applied chemistry, opened her Pleasantville boutique.
THE STUFF: A lovely array of bath and body products including colorful, aromatic bath confetti and herbal bath bags (like teabags full of herbs for your bath).
OUR FAVE: Luisa New York’s patented 41-ounce signature olive-oil soap cakes, which are available whole ($66.95 for a plain “iced,” birthday, or baby shower cake; $79.95 for a 41-ounce, two-tiered wedding cake) or sliced (a 4.14-ounce slice costs $5.50 and lasts about a month) and can be customized. If you display your cake at an event, be sure to let the guests know it’s soap—it really does look good enough to eat!
TRENDING UP: “There has been an increase in demand for men’s products,” Zilca reports. So she’s developed a men’s bar soap, “Midnight,” made with Frankincense, myrrh, and dry peppermint herbs. “The colors are darker than the women’s soaps,” she says, “almost black.”
PRICE TAGS: From $2.95 for lip balm and lip gloss made with cocoa butter and beeswax to $79.95 for a two-tier soap “wedding cake.”
YOU’LL LOVE: Knowing that everything is handmade (in Zilca’s basement), in small batches to ensure quality and freshness.
PS: Zilca can customize her products in a variety of colors and scents, and also will customize the labels.
Olivier New York
12 Purchase St, Rye
FOCUS: Luxurious eco-friendly skincare potions, lotions, and soaps, handcrafted from all-natural ingredients.
VIBE: Old World European elegance meets “green” chic: crystal chandeliers twinkle above shelving of wood reclaimed from Canadian barns and farms.
BACK STORY: This is the first U.S. retail venture for Olivier, which has 15 boutiques in Canada.
THE STUFF: Olivier’s own brand of artisan soaps and a wide variety of skincare products. All are handcrafted from natural ingredients; none contain any preservatives or detergents.
OUR FAVE: The specialty soaps in such decadent scents as honeysuckle, violet, and juniper. Yes, these little indulgences are pricey at $9.99 a bar, but, explains Olivier New York President Gabriella Valentine, “ours are made from all-natural ingredients and are solid, not aerated, and olive-oil based. So not only are they better for you, they’ll last much longer.”
TRENDING UP: Using essential oils instead of perfumes to scent skincare products. “We do not use perfumes at all,” says Valentine.
PRICE TAGS: From $9.99 soaps to the $79.99 Fortress Women’s All Essential Perfume containing 50 essential oils.
PS: “If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin,” says Valentine. “We would eat anything we sell.”
Olivier New York shows off its good scents.
Szent and Company
1969 Palmer Ave, Larchmont
FOCUS: This “apothecary and fragrance bar” specializes in custom-blended hair- and body-care products.
VIBE: A tiny jewel box of a shop with rich dark wood, gilt walls, and light-green painted bamboo floors. Perch on a stool at the fragrance bar and an essence mixologist will help you custom-design your personal signature scent from a blend of more than 90 scented oils. That custom formulation, the recipe for which is kept on file for future use, is then added to the unscented products you select.
BACK STORY: Upon hearing about this retail concept, Larchmont moms and self-confessed beauty-product junkies Janet Robinson and Barbara Truesdale were so intrigued that they decided to open their own shop. Szents is the only fragrance bar in our area.
THE STUFF: Shampoos, body creams, shower gels, scrubs, and, for men, shaving lotions and creams. Also available are scented artisanal soaps (by bar and slice) and candles.
OUR FAVE: The “give the gift of scent” gift basket (prices vary depending on the products chosen). You pick the unscented products and Szents wraps them all up in an enchanting almost-too-good-to-open presentation. Attached will be a note for the recipient inviting her to come in and create her own special scent and have it blended into the goodies you’ve selected.
TRENDING UP: Customized everything—and increased use of non-alcoholic, plant-based oils. “Nothing in our store contains alcohol,” says Truesdale.
PRICE TAGS: Unscented products range from $10 to $25; scented are slightly higher (an unscented eight-ounce bottle of shampoo costs $10; scented, $13). Oils range from $20 to $55, depending on type and amount desired.
PS: Gather up to 10 of your BFFs and book a date for a private scent-shopping party. Each guest receives a complimentary roll-on vial of her signature scent. Even without the free nibbles and vino (okay, something in the store contains alcohol occasionally), it’s as fun as it sounds.
BLUE BUS MUSIC
24 Parkway, Katonah
FOCUS: Guitars and everything you need to play them.
VIBE: Tiny storefront with one wall mounted with gorgeous guitars, another with music books, accessories, music-related gifts, and more.
BACK STORY: For years, Patrick Nimmo commuted to lower Manhattan to his job as an office manager for a law firm. When his wife, Sanna, opened lingerie boutique Shirley McCoy and found the space too large for her, Nimmo decided a career change was due and opened Blue Bus in the adjoining space.
THE STUFF: Guitars by Larrivee, Gary Vail, Gadow, Hamer USA, G&L, Godin, Guitar Mill; ValveTrain and Genz-Benz amplifiers, Pigtronix effects pedals, Boss pedals, Creation Audio Labs pedals, headphones, microphones/stands, Hal Leonard music books/fake books, accessories, music-related gifts, and more.
OUR FAVE: Guitars from the G&L Tribute Series, running $600 to $900 each. “After selling his namesake business, Leo Fender started making these and people just love them,” Nimmo says.
TRENDING UP: Brands other than Fenders, Gibsons, and Martins. Also, the Guitar Hero craze has led to more teenagers wanting to learn to play a real guitar.
PRICE TAGS: Guitars run $150 to $3,600; headphones $25 to $170; music books $7 to $40.
YOU’LL LOVE: In-store guitar lessons: one hour, $65; 30 minutes, $40; packages available.
Beyond Fender: Blue Bus Music carries under-the-radar brands of guitars popular with musicians.
1037 Boston Post Rd, Rye
FOCUS: This ultra-trendy upscale kids clothing store focuses on the latest must-have clothing, shoes, and accessories for young trendsetter-wannabes.
VIBE: A huge stand-alone location—with plenty of free parking—that’s surprisingly easy to navigate.
BACK STORY: The first Lester’s opened 60 years ago in Brooklyn and soon added Long Island and Manhattan locations. The current second-generation owners, responding to requests from their many customers who moved to Westchester from New York City, opened its first 914 location last summer.
THE STUFF: You’ll find an extensive selection (3,000-plus brands) of the coolest, hippest looks for babies/children (Charlie Rocket, Flowers by Zoe, Junk Food, etc.); tweens/teens (So Low, Hard Tail, Free People, etc.); boys/young men (Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Diesel, etc.); and juniors/women (Laurie B, Ella Moss, etc.), plus shoes (Stuart Weitzman, Adidas, etc.) and school and camp uniforms and clothing. The collection of hard-to-find boys’ apparel (sizes 8-20) is especially noteworthy.
OUR FAVE: For toddlers and girls sizes 4 to 6X, Juicy’s yummy terry collection, including zipped hoodies ($78), full-length ($64) and cropped ($55) pants, and flirty little skirts in lots of luscious colors; all-white terry sports an exclusive-to-Lester’s pink Scottie.
TRENDING UP: “Fashion for this spring is taking direction from the Woodstock generation,” says co-owner Barry Cohen. “It’s all about peace, love, happiness, and rock ’n’ roll.” Ergo, ripped and frayed jeans, fluorescent neon-colored tanks and tops, and tees and sweatshirts featuring silkscreen-printed peace signs, smiley faces, guitars, etc.
PRICE TAGS: From $3 for a funky headband to $200-plus for a hip leather motorcycle jacket.
337 Main St, Mount Kisco
FOCUS: Exclusively artisan wares from mostly local, emerging designers and entrepreneurs.
VIBE: Bright, airy, modern space, chock full of fun, fanciful, and whimsical offerings. Feels like a seasonal market, with an ever-changing inventory.
BACK STORY: Graphic designer Petra Geiger opened the first Beehive Co-op
in Atlanta in 2004. After moving to Westchester last year, she missed the business—which still is running in Atlanta—and opened the second franchise here. “We only feature upcoming, independent designers,” Geiger says.
THE STUFF: A wide selection of handcrafted and one-of-a-kind jewelry, ceramics, throw pillows, fun halter aprons, potholders, and oven mitts in bright, festive prints, handmade newsboy caps with pins, children’s clothing and accessories, craft books, and a fabulous collection of handbags.
OUR FAVE: If you loved Legos as a kid, you’ll love the shop’s Lego-inspired rings in sterling silver with diamond insets by Jacqueline Sanchez Jewelry Designs ($250); the whimsical hand-knit stuffed animals, bunny, lion, and the like are irresistible ($44), as are the wonderful kids’ ponchos that are made from gently-used sweaters ($72).
TRENDING UP: Think boho-chic for spring ’09, with flowing, natural clothing and jewelry made of natural materials like wood and jute, a plant-based fiber.
PRICE TAGS: Something for every pocketbook, including handmade soaps for $3 and lip balms for $4, mid-price jewelry (a $45 bracelet with an eclectic assortment of beads; a $250 ring with diamond insets). Geiger notes that there are lots of special sales events and coupons.
Beehive Co-Op takes “shopping local” very seriously.
549 Warburton Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson
FOCUS: Playful and unusual gift items.
VIBE: This corner store is positively packed with gifts. So many wind chimes and doodads hang from the ceiling and so many picture frames and plaques hang on the walls that you probably can find a gift for your next occasion without even looking on the shelves (which are also full of items).
BACK STORY: Owner Karen Leone used to be the director of fine craft at the Animazing Gallery, which she ran with her brother and sister-in-law in both SoHo and Hastings. Both the businesses—the gift shop and the art gallery—were growing, so Leone pulled her wares out of the SoHo shop and took over the Hastings boutique completely.
THE STUFF: Jewelry from Jillery, Kenny Ma, and Sorrelli ($30-$250); Giftcraft wine stoppers ($16); hand-painted home accessories and everyday items from Pylones; pottery by Caroline Koons; photo albums by Terra Traditions; and oversize 20” x 20” picture frames.
OUR FAVE: “The Ex” knife holder, which is made of plastic molded to look like a Keith Harring-esque figure that’s been stabbed through its various body parts ($100). Our second faves—which are a little less gruesome—are the Jessie Steele vintage-inspired hostess aprons for $35.
TRENDING UP: Crystal-adorned items. Check out Leone’s “Chick Buds,” which are ear buds emblazoned with Swarovski crystals ($60).
PRICE TAGS: From $3 for a “fairy penny” or cute little charm bracelets for kids, to $38 for a delicious-smelling silk Sonoma Lavender neck pillow, to $285 for a big wooden sign inscribed with an Irish blessing. “Most of our items are very affordable,” says Leone. It’s true; most merchandise is under $50.
YOU’LL LOVE: The wooden cheese and bread serving boards by Out of the Woods of Oregon, made from red alder wood, a renewable resource from the Pacific Northwest ($25-$50).
PS: The shop has gourmet food by Bella Cucina, featuring a delicious assortment of pestos and spreads, including sun-dried tomato, walnut, and artichoke-lemon ($20-$35).
2095 Boston Post Rd, Larchmont
FOCUS: “Green” gifts from recycled, repurposed, organic, sustainable, and/or fair trade materials.
VIBE: Homespun and laid-back with a smidgen of old-school hippie.
BACK STORY: Field is a labor of love and the first retail venture for Gunda Sabel-Sheehan, who formerly worked in publishing. “When I moved here from Brooklyn, I missed all the interesting stores,” says Sabel-Sheehan. “I wanted something different from the typical suburban store.”
THE STUFF: Handcrafted earth-friendly gifts from around the world, for both
the home (tin lanterns, quilted canvas blankets, bamboo serving trays, etc.) and those who live in it (wooden toys, felt-and-chiffon scarves from Nepal, organic baby onesies, etc.)
OUR FAVE: Fun multi-crayon-colored welcome mats ($30-$40) and baskets handmade from recycled flip-flops ($40-$50).
TRENDING UP: Reusing materials in unexpected ways: advertising banners turned into slick-surfaced computer bags ($83) and shopping totes ($42), and genuine sail cloths refashioned into graphic, color-block totes ($49 plus) and pillows ($56 plus ).
PRICE TAGS: From $5 for a kid’s felt hairclip to $375 for a white felt mobile.
YOU’LL LOVE: The feeling you get when you’re doing your own little part to help the planet.
DIANA HEIMANN JEWELRY SALON
3 Renaissance Sq, White Plains
FOCUS: Exquisite jewelry, much of which is designed by Diana Heimann herself, and some fine gifts.
VIBE: Located right off the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, the shop has warm wooden built-in shelves and feels more like a personal library than a hub
for travelers. “I call it a ‘jewelry salon,’” Heimann says.
BACK STORY: Heimann has spent more than 12 years as a jewelry designer and, after more than a decade of showing at trunk shows, jewelry boutiques, and national department stores, she felt she had enough know-how to open her own store.
THE STUFF: Heimann’s jewelry often incorporates colored stones, sometimes layered on top of one another so you can see two colors shining through in one stone. Other jewelry designers represented in the store, include Aaron Henry, whose 18-karat gold and platinum nature-inspired pieces cost from $100 to $1,000. You can also find fine crafts such as Kenny Pieper’s hand-blown glass goblets ($350 each; $10,000 for a set of 20) and Karen Ford’s leaf-shaped ceramic sushi serving sets ($95 and up).
OUR FAVE: Charm earrings and diamond hoops that can be worn with interchangeable stone-and-diamond charms ($1,000- $3,000).
TRENDING UP: “Jewelry is getting larger,” Heimann declares. Her evidence: big cocktail rings (check out her “Big Rocks” line). Also, in is the layering of necklaces and bracelets and adding new stones or charms onto jewelry already owned. “That way,” she says, “you’re not forgetting about what you have in your drawer.”
PRICE TAGS: From $130 for Catherine Michele’s amulets, symbols, and messages strung onto hand-dyed silk cords to $250,000 for custom-designed diamond pieces.
YOU’LL LOVE: Getting in on the creative process. Heimann says she enjoys designing with her customers. “We have great resources,” she says. “I have customers who routinely redesign their rings.”
PS: If you really want something specific, you can put in a request and the shop will scour its estate collection for it. One customer, who collects emeralds, purchased crystal-clear 34-karat emerald earrings worth more than a million dollars that way.
Diana Heimann Jewelry Salon offers big, layered, sparkly designs.
MARATHON GOLD CITY
4771 Boston Post Rd, Pelham Manor
FOCUS: Fine gold, sterling silver, and diamond jewelry, many pieces custom designed and handcrafted in Italy or in an on-site workshop.
VIBE: A stylish interior—Swarovski crystal chandeliers, dark wood cabinetry with gold braid detailing—in an unassuming strip-center location.
BACK STORY: After an environmental cleanup closed the Pelham shopping center in which their previous shop was located, owners Myra Celli and Tammy Orrico opened this boutique in the heart of Pelham Manor.
THE STUFF: Highlighted are the shop’s own custom designs, including wedding bands in platinum, 18-karat gold, and titanium, with and without diamonds, and a large collection of chains, classic pendants, diamond drops, and diamond stud earrings. Among other designers showcased are Del Valencia, an exclusive to lower and central Westchester.
OUR FAVE: A smashing cocktail ring featuring a big, glorious round tanzanite—a very rare deep-purple stone imported from Tanzania—encircled by pavé diamonds ($11,500).
TRENDING UP: Colored stones like smoky topaz, citrine, and tanzanite.
PRICE TAGS: Run the gamut from $50 garnet studs to a platinum necklace featuring 28 karats of round, brilliant-cut diamonds for $60,000. But, says Tammy Orrico, “we’re very eager to work with customers on pricing.”
ROYAL JEWELS OF RYE
56 Purchase St, Rye
FOCUS: Fine gold and diamond jewelry, many custom-designed and handcrafted by goldsmith John Givelkian in his on-site workshop.
VIBE: A stylish boutique featuring Queen Anne-style display cabinetry, crystal chandeliers, decorative wall sconces, and oak floors.
BACK STORY: After he came to the states from Istanbul as a teen, John Givelkian, who co-owns this Rye shop with his wife, Anoush, apprenticed with an experienced goldsmith, repairing, resetting, and restoring heirloom jewelry. He brings with him more than 30 years of experience in New York City’s Diamond District.
THE STUFF: Many of the pieces showcased are Givelkian’s own designs. Also featured are pieces with certified Murano hand-blown glass from Venice, estate jewelry, 20-karat gold with rose-cut diamond jewelry by Coomi, and diamond wedding bands and engagement rings by Hratch.
OUR FAVE: Givelkian’s own hammered-finish 18-karat yellow gold ring featuring three rows of pave diamonds ($3,200).
TRENDING UP: “Yellow and rose gold are definitely coming back,” John Givelekian says. “And colored stones like citrine, tourmaline, and amethyst are big for spring.”
PRICE TAGS: $200-$30,000
JULIET LINGERIE AND SWIMWEAR
111 E Main St, Mount Kisco
FOCUS: Lingerie, shapewear, swimsuits, and resortwear.
VIBE: Bright, well-lit, 1,900-square-foot space located on the ground floor of the Elephant’s Trunk building.
BACK STORY: Co-owners Andrea Alvarez and her aunt, Marina Alvarez, formerly worked for the Dorothy Stein lingerie shop which used to occupy the same space. “My boss said she was closing the store, and since I always wanted my own business, this was a good opportunity,” Andrea says.
THE STUFF: Want bras? Juliet Lingerie has them: strapless, lacy, padded, nursing, in cup sizes from AA to G, from names like Simone Perele and Wacoal; plus Spanx shapewear (from $30), Carole Hochman and Oscar de la Renta robes and nightgowns (around $60), and bathing suits from Gottex and Miraclesuit ($99 to $180).
OUR FAVE: The Luna Luz resort wear—dresses and separates in 100-percent cotton that doesn’t wrinkle ($72 to $190). TRENDING UP: Lacy bras in sweet colors like pink, coral, and light blue. The Luna Luz line will debut ombre shades to coordinate with its solid lines.
PRICE TAGS: Lollipop cotton panties are three for $20 and Felina panties are $10 each. Splurge on a $60 bra from Le Mystère to a $180 Luna Luz dress.
PS: Mastectomy bras and prosthesis available.
Juliet Lingerie and Swimwear predicts pretty colors will be big for spring.
18 Parkway, Katonah
FOCUS: Wacoal bras, underwear, and exercise gear along with shapewear, pajamas, and robes.
VIBE: Cozy space with hot-pink and gold walls.
BACK STORY: “I’ve always loved lingerie and we have a store back in Hong Kong,” says Sanna Nimmo, one of the owners. “Since Katonah didn’t have a lingerie shop, we decided to open one here.”
THE STUFF: Bestsellers are the Wacoal and Chantelle bras, Hanky Panky and Commando panties. Special-occasion and wedding lingerie include garters and deep-plunge and backless bras. The shop also carries lines of men’s underwear as well as jewelry.
OUR FAVE: Commando-brand invisible panties (low-rise, $26).
TRENDING UP: “People are moving away from the plain T-shirt bra and into, sexier, lacier styles,” Nimmo says. “Wacoal’s two-tone red-and-black bra was such a big hit during the winter holidays.”
PRICE TAGS: Hosiery starts at $5, Wacoal bras at $28, Hanro nightgowns at $140. Veréna 100-percent cotton-and-lace gowns are $100, robes are $200. Store-brand camis are $35, and boy-shorts $20
YOU’LL LOVE: The entire section devoted to corsets, bustiers, and camisoles with built-in bras.
P.S. Expert bra-fitting service available.
10 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry
FOCUS: Undergarments, lingerie, shape-wear, and sleepwear for all ages.
VIBE: Shopping here feels like rummaging through somebody’s closet and dressers. Clothing hangs everywhere and lace peeks out of drawers no matter where you look. The shop is divided into different rooms; those closest to the front are for easy browsing; those in the back afford more privacy.
BACK STORY: “I was in retail for Clinique and Dana Buchman,” says owner Maria Sorentino. “Then I was home with my children for sixteen years. Shopping with my teenage daughters, I realized there was a lack of fitting services in the area. I thought I should open a place that does that and offers beautiful lingerie for all women.”
THE STUFF: Sorentino carries lines by Anita, Simone Perele, Mary Green, Fleurt, Calvin Klein, Chantelle, Cosabella, Bien Fee Pour Toi, Spanx, Sexy, and others.
OUR FAVE: A fun pair of Hanky Panky undies that say “I Do” in rhinestones ($18).
TRENDING UP: “Shapewear is taking old-fashioned panty girdles and making them prettier so younger girls feel comfortable wearing them,” Sorentino says. “Women realize that clothes will fit better when you wear them. You’re looking for the smoothest line possible.”
PRICE TAGS: From $18 for a Hanky Panky thong to $74 for a beautiful bra by Simone Perele.
YOU’LL LOVE: Lingerie shopping is sometimes embarrassing, but not if you decide to make it a party. Sorentino hosts ladies parties in the store—what more could a girl want? If the thought of bra shopping with a group is mortifying to you, Sorentino offers private appointments.
PS: Keep an eye out for trunk shows and fitting clinics.
INDIGO CHIC BOUTIQUE
221 E Hartsdale Ave, Hartsdale
FOCUS: Contemporary women’s apparel that’s more funky than formal.
VIBE: If the huge zebra-printed carpet doesn’t say it all, the club-volume music over the loudspeakers fills in the rest.
BACK STORY: After spending four years in Europe, owner Lynda Piscitelli and her daughter decided they wanted to try something different and open the kind of boutique they saw overseas. They have two other locations (in Cold Spring and New City), and booming business inspired them to try a third in our area.
THE STUFF: Fun, fashion-forward brands including Free People, Anne Faraday, Vintage Havana, Language, BCBG, Anlo, Generation, Bordeaux, Velvet, and Hudson. “We run the gamut from classic to trendy to sexy,” says Piscitelli. “We have customers who are fifteen years old and customers who are sixty.”
OUR FAVE: The shiny, studded, skull-emblazoned Ed Hardy bag (on sale for $150) that would look just perfect with a Twisted Heart hoodie ($187).
TRENDING UP: Ever think you’d be buying Members Only again? Well, the brand’s “liquid” leggings are being spotted on celebrity gams—and, now, perhaps yours ($88).
PRICE TAGS: From fun little bangle bracelets for $12 to boho-style Free People long-sleeve tees ($68) to items in the higher-end Halé Bob line for $250. Piscitelli prides herself on embracing a range of price points. “We have Cardi wraps for thirty-six dollars, or BCBG ones for one-hundred and sixty-six. I try to bring in items that fit everybody’s budget.”
YOU’LL LOVE: Shopping here with your significant other. “Husbands actually love shopping here,” says Piscitelli. “We have them sit and the wives model the clothes.”
PS: Planning a shopping trip to the city? Budget some extra time and leave from Hartsdale; Indigo Chic Boutique is just a few steps away from the Metro-North.
50 Livingstone Ave, Dobbs Ferry
FOCUS: Edgy, fashion-forward, high-end casual wear for women.
VIBE: Well, industrial. The clothing, which comes in palettes of gray, black, olive green, and other deeper colors, is displayed against a wall made of dark barn wood while rock music is piped in.
BACK STORY: Owner Barbara Jacobowitz managed and bought for another boutique before branching out on her own. “I gained a lot of experience working in the business for so long,” she says.
THE STUFF: T-shirts and casual tops from Velvet, Splendid, Generra, Junk Food, and Trunk ($22 and up); dresses and pants from Alice and Olivia, Rebecca Taylor, Clu, and Ella Moss ($88 and up); and lots of denim in many styles from Seven, Cheap Monday, Hudson, IT, Paige, Genetic, and Chip and Pepper ($59 and up).
OUR FAVE: Though we loved pawing through all of the denim, what really caught our eye was a faded, vintage-looking Pink Floyd T-shirt by Trunk in a psychedelic purple color ($48).
TRENDING UP: You can never go wrong with a nice spring dress ($48-$300), but Jacobowitz predicts that wide-leg trouser jeans will be big this year and recommends Raven as a brand that hits the trend out of the park (starts at $68).
PRICE TAGS: From soft cotton T-shirts (starting at $20) to comfy looking thermal tops ($45) to sleek black Alice and Olivia pants ($250).
YOU’LL LOVE: The fact that Jacobowitz offers private appointment shopping hours—although even without her personal one-on-one assistance, the staff doesn’t mind bringing style after style to the dressing room until you find the pair of jeans that finally make your backside look good.
PS: Industry is located in the recently renovated Chauncey Square, located immediately off the Lawrence Street exit on the Saw Mill Parkway (exit 16). If you want to spend all day in the Square, make a day of it by wearing your purchases to the brand-new Oasis Day Spa—or, if you’re in a rush, hit up the drive-through Starbucks on your out.
PARKER EAST N.Y.
85 Katonah Ave, Katonah
FOCUS: Women’s clothing and accessories. “We have a little bit of everything,” claims owner Katra Showah. “If someone wants something, we’ll find it or custom-make it.”
VIBE: A perfect addition to bustling Katonah Avenue, this high-ceilinged, 700-square-foot store is simple, elegant, and chock full of goodies, with merchandise displayed by color.
BACK STORY: The original Parker
East opened 10 years ago in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and Showah wanted to expand into New York. “I wanted to be close to my other location, and Katonah seemed like the perfect place.” She adds: “Since the store is named after my grandmother, we have one of her dresses from 1912 framed and hanging in the store.”
THE STUFF: Everything from casual sweats and jeans to black-tie attire along with jewelry, handbags, and scarves. The Zelda line has beautiful jackets with embroidery and other special touches in the $300 to $800 range; great jeans from Pure Color ($120- $220), fun tees and dresses from Velvet ($58-$200), and separates and dressy clothing from Canadian import Joseph Ribkoff ($48-$400).
OUR FAVE: We agree with the owner, whose personal favorite is a Zelda military jacket, black (of course) with pleats and great silver buttons ($680). “It’s very French and fabulous and I love it,” she says. The Tulani scarves ($68-$85) fly out of the store, as do the shrugs.
PRICE TAGS: You can find Spanx reversible knee-highs in black and brown for just $12 and tees, shrugs, and wraps and dresses from Michael Stars starting at $39. The Parker East line has “really cute accordion dresses” from $150 and “a fabulous, long red wool Zelda coat” goes for $975.
YOU’LL LOVE: Yummy Tummys shaping camisoles, which do away with a need for a bra and smooth over hips for a totally bulge-free look.
P.S. “We are a full-service store. You can walk in an hour before you need to be somewhere and walk out with a complete outfit.”
136 Fifth Ave, Pelham
FOCUS: This fresh new contemporary women’s boutique showcases a stylish collection of rich-looking clothing and accesories bearing surprisingly affordable price tags.
VIBE: A chocolate-brown, fuchsia, and hot-pink interior palette and zebra-patterned dressing area walls convey a warm, fun, and inviting feel—much like owner Tanya Scott herself.
BACK STORY: “My mother was my first fashion icon,” she says. “I would watch her transform in the morning to a fabulous person when she went off for work.” Scott studied women’s fashion at FIT and worked for Tommy Hilfiger and Hart Schaffner and Marx.
THE STUFF: Expect some of Scott’s own stylish designs, plenty of denim, and an assortment of LA and NYC boutique labels, like Vogue-featured Sharagano trousers and the Kas line of India-inspired cotton tunics ($130-$160), some with embellished flowers and beading.
OUR FAVE: The long, flowing, and romantic Mai Tai jersey dresses in jewel tone prints and solids ($90).
TRENDING UP: Dresses—and plenty of color. “The colors are bold but the silhouettes are free and easy,” says Scott.
PRICE TAGS: Most items run from $40 to $125.
TRU GRACE FASHION LOUNGE
419 Main St, Armonk
FOCUS: Women’s designer clothes, shoes, and accessories from LA, Italy, and France.
THE VIBE: Funky, very laid-back shop in a repurposed house, with concrete floors and a fabulous black chandelier hanging in the entrance. Pink and brown predominate, with merchandise hanging on steel racks, folded on tables and ottomans, and tucked into baskets.
BACK STORY: Owner Grace Diodati worked at Neiman Marcus as the men’s floor manager for eight years before opening the store. “The opportunity presented itself, so I jumped on it,” she says. “Clothing is my passion. This is my baby—the one and only.”
THE STUFF: There are things for trendy teens and their cool moms: jeans, tees, hoodies, and more from designers like Peter Som, Generra, Minden Chan, Dolce & Gabbana, Lia Kes, Rory Beca, and Majestic. Shoe designers include Giuseppe Zanotti, Devi Kroell, and Pucci; handbags and accessories designers include Beirn, Emily and Ashley, and Fragments.
OUR FAVE: The cropped Walter leather jacket is the store’s bestselling item, along with the Yigal Azrouel clothes and scarves.
PRICE TAGS: Find a good Jet tee ($50 plus) and a pair of Blank jeans ($68 plus) on the lower end; a sexy Rory Beca top ($228), Stitch’s jeans ($220 plus) and a Knitwit hoodie ($300 plus) in the mid-range; a CNC leather jacket ($1,300 plus) on the high end.
1808 Front St, Yorktown
FOCUS: Casual wear: tanks, tees, sweaters and jeans for teens, men, and women.
THE VIBE: Very airy and open; jeans are hung on meat hooks.
BACK STORY: Marissa Farda, a hairdresser at Oggi/Adam & Eve, Diane Vaccaro, with a marketing background, and her daughter Stefanie Vaccaro, who is in education, felt there was nothing “different” in the area. “We try to go a little out of the box,” Farda says.
THE STUFF: Lots of jeans ($80-$250): Pure Jeans (designer of True Religion), Red Engine, Anama (men’s jeans and shirts), and Junk Food tees, Shae sweaters, Be As You Are pajamas, and wide-cut dresses by Sworn Virgins.
OUR FAVE: The yellow belt with camouflage peace signs surrounded by colored stones and the Red Engine jeans available in low and high rises ($129-$159).
PRICE TAGS: The Sugar Lips tank tops come in a stretchy material (one size fits all) that doesn’t stretch out ($16); Miss Me jeans or slacks are moderately priced ($72), and the most expensive item in the store is the Pure Jeans overalls ($250).
YOU’LL LOVE: Pure Jeans are the store’s bestselling items. And the Sworn Virgin tops are flattering no matter your body type, Farda assures.
84 Main St, Tuckahoe
FOCUS: Great-fitting women’s clothing in classic styles and cuts.
VIBE: A relaxed, laid-back atmosphere.
BACK STORY: Owner Anne Buckley and manager Therese Hoarty had different careers—Buckley worked on Wall Street, Hoarty published trade magazines—but traveled together selling wares that raised funds for charity. They soon realized that their “traveling boutique” was a great way to promote a brick-and-mortar store, so they decided to open one.
THE STUFF: Flattering Velvet tanks, T-shirts, and dresses ($48-$160); hip and trendy cotton clothes by Johnny Was and Love & Liberty ($88-$188); and wardrobe-staple dresses by Weston Wear and Lily ($35-$145).
OUR FAVE: The handmade, won’t-see-it-everywhere floral earrings by Jill Jacobson ($56).
TRENDING UP: Peace signs are the new skulls, and you’ll find them here on necklaces and scarves ($15). Also, green is good, and greatlooking, too, with the Envirosax bags ($9).
PRICE TAGS: Trendy tanks ($16) to summery tops ($40-$78) to dresses that can be worn season after season ($150).
YOU’LL LOVE: The fact that the store carries a mix of known labels and one-of-a-kind items.
PS: Keep an eye open for special events like book signings, jewelry making and knitting classes, shopping nights for local schools, and, around the holidays, men’s shopping nights with gift advice from the pros.
18 Willet Ave, Ste 202, Port Chester
FOCUS: Contemporary landscape, abstract, figurative, and still-life works by both emerging and established artists from the local area and throughout the country.
VIBE: This SoHo loft-on-the-Sound-Shore is located on the second floor of a former manufacturing plant, an historic waterfront building that is also home to the Willett House steakhouse.
BACK STORY: When collector and former art broker Elizabeth Ann Dugan’s Rye home was extensively damaged—twice—by flooding in 2007, she decided to distract herself from her troubles by working to make her longtime dream of opening her own art gallery come true.
THE STUFF: In addition to permanently showing works from Dugan’s stable of artists, e.g. Maine artist Garry Mitchell and Santa Fe’s Jamie Kirkland, the gallery’s exhibits change every six to eight weeks. Featured this month are the watercolor figures of Rye artist Holly Neeker Rom ($500 to $6,000).
OUR FAVE: Holly Neeker Rom’s large (49” by 34”) framed abstract watercolor, entitled Mythic Nude ($6,000).
TRENDING UP: “Works on paper are coming back into vogue,” says Dugan. “I also see a big increase in photography.”
PRICE TAGS: Range from $500 to $8,000.
PS: Dugan offers personalized in-home consultations and delivery, placement, and hanging of artwork as well as regular gallery events.
EA Gallery brings SoHo to the Sound Shore.
TAPPAN Z GALLERY
51 Main St, Tarrytown
FOCUS: American fine arts and crafts that owner Ray Endreny discovers at fairs and shows not accessible to Westchester.
VIBE: When you walk into the shop and are greeted by Jay Seaman’s Dancing Ribbon—a taller-than-life, elongated metal man waving a banner as greeting—you know it’s not going to be your run-of-the-mill collection of abstracts and landscapes. Art fills up four rooms in the gallery, with metal display
cases for fine gifts and crafts.
BACK STORY: Endreny had been a manufacturer’s representative and the closest he ever got to art was dealing with home furnishings and housewares. “Starting an art gallery was a dream of mine,” he says, “and I didn’t feel fulfilled selling mass-produced stuff.”
THE STUFF: You can find artwork that would suit a variety of tastes, including paintings, photography, textile art, sculpture, ceramics, and jewelry. “Everything here is one-of-a-kind,” says Endreny. “If you want it, you better buy it.”
OUR FAVE: Amy Crawley’s smiling Milagros Spirit Icon, a folk-art idol we learned warned against illness and trouble ($175-$370).
PRICE TAGS: “The majority of the work can be had for less than five thousand dollars,” says Endreny. “The goal is to make it accessible to people, not hard to afford or ‘snooty,’ like Chelsea.”
YOU’LL LOVE: Courtney Gillen’s jewelry, made with Hawaiian sea glass and freshwater pearls—green is so in.
PS: Endreny’s favorite piece? “Whatever I just sold.”
IVELIS HOME & DESIGN
103 Main St, Dobbs Ferry
FOCUS: Home décor and gifts.
VIBE: The small shop feels like a funky living room bursting with colorful items. On one visit, we spotted a customer relaxing in front of the fireplace with a cup of tea and her dog at her feet.
BACK STORY: Owner Ivelis Reyes used to be half of the brains behind Heart & Soul fashion boutique in Yonkers before realizing she wanted to switch to home accessories. “I got the bug to do other things,” she says.
THE STUFF: You’ll find everything you’d need to outfit your bed and bath, including decorative pillows ($45), towels, robes, throws, journals ($14 to $16), and chandeliers, in addition to gift products from Lollia, Tokyomik Fragrances, Le Palais Des Thés, and more.
OUR FAVE: The ultra-squishy Zoobie three-in-one item for babies, which is a stuffed animal with Velcro latches that can transform it into a pillow, and a belly that holds a fold-up blanket. Everything you need for bedtime in one adorable package.
TRENDING UP: Colorful Missoni beach towels ($185).
PRICE TAGS: From charms at $11 from the Danish Pilgrim jewelry line to hip Missoni bath towels at $55.
YOU’LL LOVE: Reyes’s styling, so why not have her come and give pointers in your home? “I do special appointments,” she says. “I can go to someone’s home and pull out what they may not want any longer and add some new items. It’s all about reusing and refreshing the look. You take what you have and introduce accessories.”
PS: Shop here without feeling guilty—well, at least without feeling guilty about the state of the world. “I am very globally conscious,” says Reyes. “I pay attention to things like fair trade certification. There are items that I won’t carry, such as fur.”
84 Lexington Ave, Mount Kisco
FOCUS: A mix of industrial and organic, vintage and modern home décor, accessories, and art.
VIBE: Eclectic, gallery-type space in an antique renovated house just off the main shopping. Dining tables, desks, and accessories are displayed in home-like vignettes.
BACK STORY: Before opening Lot 84, Rossana Fiore, a former film scenic artist, owned the popular Vintage Home in Chappaqua. She hunts for vintage pieces at auctions, and gets merchandise from South America, Europe, America, and, increasingly, local artisans.
THE STUFF: Organic wood pieces (petrified wood cheeseboard and bookends, gnarly looking bowls), horn picture frames, mother-of-pearl servers, black quartz candle-holders, laser-cut vinyl rugs, cashmere blankets and pillows, and a range of art that changes seasonally.
OUR FAVE: A set of elegant ebony “vessels” handcrafted by artisans in Mozambique in a variety of shapes and sizes, beautiful alone or in groups ($36-$78), giant Kudu horns from Africa ($165), studded leather bracelets ($90-$98), tortoise shells to hang on a wall. Craft artisan Marsia Holzer makes lamps, tables, and sculptures from woods from Costa Rica and mixes them with steel—very cool.
TRENDING UP: “People are moving toward a cleaner, more spare look,” says Fiore, “with a touch of Lucite, some sculpture, and great artwork on the walls. Mixing modern with vintage pieces is also big and the greenest way to go!”
PRICE TAGS: The least expensive items are a natural horn cheese knife and a mother-of-pearl serving spoon (both $8), while picture frames, tabletop décor, and other gift items are about $75. The priciest (and coolest) item? A life-size, hand-wrapped, aluminum-wired horse sculpture by Marsia Holzer at $12,000.
YOU’LL LOVE: The blend of natural art (shells, horns, stone, and wood items) with paintings and photography.
PS: Can’t find the right coffee table? Order custom Lucite furnishings to your specifications.
Lot 84 offers an eclectic selection of home goods.
157 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck
FOCUS: Furniture, bedding, and decorative accessories.
VIBE: With its light-filled interior, high ceilings, exposed ductwork, and refurbished original wood floors, it feels as if you’ve wandered into a shelter mag-loft. But while the style is sophisticated chic (shabby and otherwise), the feel is eminently comfy and welcoming; you’ll want to browse awhile—maybe move in.
BACK STORY: Former graphic designer Danielle Iaboni left a corporate gig in financial marketing to pursue her passions. “I wanted to do what inspires me most.”
THE STUFF: A distinctive mélange of vintage or vintage-inspired finds, antiques, updated classics, modern accents, and pieces that Iaboni picks up on her travels through Portugal, Germany, and France. You’ll find bamboo trays ($125), and the Pine Cone Hill bedding collection, including the perennial favorite coral-and-green tulip pattern, and the ultimate shabby chic pillows ($39) and bolsters ($64) made from actual burlap sacks (perfect to spruce up a front porch or bay window), and hand-crafted iron beds from Wesley Allan ($850).
OUR FAVE: The splendid leather vanity/desks ($2,200 plus) and coffee tables ($1,900), handmade from recycled materials and imported from London.
TRENDING UP: “Everybody’s looking for a new take on the old classics,” says Iadoni.
PRICE TAGS: There’s something for everyone’s billfold, from eco-friendly drinking glasses made from repurposed wine and beer bottles ($5) to Barclay Butera Home upholstered settees and couches (up to $4,000); exclusive to the area, the collection is available in a choice of 500 fabrics.
PS: Iaboni offers in-store design consultations and at-home design services ($500 per room) by appointment. She’ll also transform your home or backyard to set the perfect scene for that special dinner party or big outdoor bash—or deck your halls for any holidays (prices vary).
The Arcade Building
644 Old Post Rd, Bedford
FOCUS: As the first green design boutique in Westchester, OOCK’s entire line is devoted to the ideal of sustainability with products such as organic bed linens, fabrics, and wall coverings created from recycled materials, cleaning products, and accessories.
VIBE: This tiny (250 square feet) boutique practices what it preaches: a natural sisal rug is on the floor, walls are decorated with sustainable art and soy panel samples, a leaning ladder displays organic linens; the scent of lemongrass candles is intoxicating.
BACK STORY: The name OOCK stands for Office of Carol Kurth, owner and architect, whose office adjoins the shop. Kurth believed there was a need in the marketplace for eco-friendly services and wanted to integrate responsible design into society by promoting health and wellness in the home.
THE STUFF: Textiles, home accessories (including fabulous wool and knit pillows in vibrant orange, green, or neutral colors), yummy-smelling soaps, candles, lotions, and cleaning products.
OUR FAVE: The Sorrento lemon ginger hand soap and lotion smell divine ($12 each). Ditto the Mandarin Ginger glass fragrance spheres containing a scented soy candle ($22).
TRENDING UP: “People are really interested in environmental responsibility,” Kurth says, “and are looking for certified woods and renewable species, like Lyptus—a fast-growing harvestable tree—for cabinetry. Bamboo is still a hot item and there is a lot of interest in photovoltaic roof panels, but cost is still a factor. Spa-like products that promote a sense of well-being and serenity, and architectural projects that support that—gyms, spa bathrooms, and yoga rooms—are increasingly popular.
PRICE TAGS: All over the map with eco-friendly surface wipes for $4.99 a pack to pillows and linens in the $100 range up to $500 plus and more for custom items like draperies made from eco-friendly fabrics.
YOU’LL LOVE: The store provides products that are not only sustainable, eco-friendly, and green, but also beautiful.
PS: Carol Kurth’s architectural company offers full-service design and consulting for consumers who want to decorate or furnish their homes/offices with eco-friendly designs.
OOCK says it’s easy to be “green.”
Just Dogs! Gourmet
134 E Main St, Mount Kisco
(914) 244-DOGS (3647)
FOCUS: All-natural dog treats, vitamins, grooming products, carrying cases, clothes.
VIBE: Cool, repurposed gas station space.
BACK STORY: Owners Adam and Emily Gilman wanted to open a business at which their kids, Frankie and Max, were welcome. The hitch was that Frankie and Max are dogs. We’re guessing they don’t lack for treats.
THE STUFF: Treats, treats, and more treats, e.g., apple pie bone, cheddar cheese pretzel, and chicken fingers—shaped like a human hand. Plus dog carriers, beds, silly costumes, breed-specific goods for more than 50 types of dogs.
OUR FAVE: The bandanas with funny sayings (“free lap dances”), the Kool Dogz ice-treat maker (fill the bucket with water, dog treats, and toys, freeze overnight and secure to stake in the ground; $30). And a furry airline-approved carrier by Pet Flys triples as a bed (remove handles) and car seat (loop handle over head rest; $300).
TRENDING UP: Dog gear, increasingly, is echoing human gear. Going camping? Bring along Fido’s very own tent and cot. Boating? Don’t forget the life jacket. Hiking? Raincoats and boots are a must!
PRICE TAGS: From 50 cents for a cookie to between $300 and $350 for a custom-made dog couch.
YOU’LL LOVE: The eco-friendly line of dog beds and toys, filled with recycled plastic bottles, which hold up better over time than poly-fill, covered with washable, organic cotton covers.
PS: Match your doggie furniture to your home décor with Just Dogs! line of furniture.
By Carol Caffin
7 For All Mankind
Jeans, jeans, and more jeans—high-end and ultra-hip—in every style, cut, and wash imaginable. Also sportswear, handbags, and other accessories.
FOCUS: Jeans, jeans, and more jeans—high-end and ultra-hip—in every style, cut, and wash imaginable. Though known for their denim, famous retailer also now offers sportswear, handbags, and accessories.
BACK STORY: The “premium denim” brand launched in Los Angeles in the fall of 2000 and within months garnered acclaim for its fashion-forward use of designs, fabrics, fits, and washes. It continues to expand and to appeal to the sophisticated but hip consumer. The 2,700-square-foot Westchester location—one of only two in the New York metro area—opened in October, 2008. “The Westchester area is a perfect location for our brand,” says Aaron Battista, 7 For All Mankind vice president of retail. “Shoppers here are very chic and extremely well versed in what is going on in the fashion world.”
THE STUFF: A mind-boggling selection of “Sevens,” as the jeans are known, for men, women, and kids in a variety of fits from super-wide to ultra-skinny. Add to that a seemingly endless spectrum of washes, from clean white to very dark (“Tunisia”) and every nuance in between and you’ve got lots of combos to play with. In addition to denim, you’ll find a great selection of slacks, tops, jackets, cardigans, bags, accessories, and more.
OUR FAVE: The ultra-ultra-skinny zipped Gwenevere jeans in the medium-blue “white” wash ($169). We’ve seen leggings that aren’t this tight, and can’t imagine what it takes to get these jeans on, let alone to walk in them. But we can dream, can’t we?
PRICE TAG: From $55.00 for short-sleeve crew-neck tees to $795 for leather Brunei totes.
YOU’LL LOVE: The on-site tailoring, refreshments, and personal shopping.
The Art of Shaving
Find everything needed to shave including shaving soaps, nourishing pre-shave oils and after-shave balms, an array of beautiful badger shaving brushes ($75 to $1,200), and an assortment of razors (straight, safety, manual, and power, $50 to $1,000)
FOCUS: Everything needed—including the products and the techniques—for a perfect (smooth, pampering, luxurious, indulgent) shave.
BACK STORY: Founded in 1996 by Myriam Zaoui, who had a background in the spa industry and a love of skincare and cosmetics, and her husband, Eric Malka, a businessman with an “entrepreneurial spirit” and sensitive skin, The Art of Shaving, now 33 stores strong, was borne of love and necessity. Myriam formulated a special pre-shave oil for Eric to protect his skin, it worked, and the two had an “a-ha” moment.
THE STUFF: This upscale shaving emporium is all about promoting “The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave” (i.e., prepare, lather, shave, moisturize) and all of its products and services are geared toward helping customers achieve the perfect shave with those elements. Everything—and we do mean everything—needed for a luxurious, pampering, nick-free shave is here, from shaving soaps to nourishing pre-shave oils and after-shave balms (scented and unscented/hypoallergenic, and for various skin types) to fragrances (sandalwood or lemon eau de toilette, $70) creams and oils to treat and prevent razor burn, ingrown hairs, and nicks and cuts to an array of beautiful badger shaving brushes ($55 +) to an assortment of razors (straight, safety, manual, and power, $50 to $1,000) and accessories (everything from styptic pens and alum blocks to shaving stands and straight-razor strops). A great assortment of shaving kits is also available.
OUR FAVE: The handcrafted nickel-plated engraved shaving set, which has heavy, laser-engraved handles to ensure balance and comfort, as well as a non-slip grip; a gorgeous silvertip badger shaving brush; and a luxury shaving stand. At $300, it’s an investment, but it’s the ultimate in pampering.
PRICE TAG: From $14 for a travel-size pre-shave oil to $1,000 for a sterling-silver “Swirl” razor.
YOU’LL LOVE: Not feeling foolish for wanting more than a run-of-the-mill Bic disposable shave—and being able to find everything you could possibly imagine with the help of a friendly, knowledgeable staff.
Exquisite men’s and women’s jewelry (bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, cufflinks) and timepieces designed with an artistic flair and meticulous attention to detail.
FOCUS: Exquisite men’s and women’s jewelry (bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, cufflinks) and timepieces designed with an artistic flair and meticulous attention to detail.
BACK STORY: David Yurman and his wife, Sybil, were artists (a sculptor and a painter, respectively) for two decades before establishing their company in 1979. As a painter, Sybil had a natural understanding and a passionate love for color in all of its nuances and David’s background in sculpture easily transferred to jewelry design. In 1983, David Yurman created his signature cable bracelet, which is still one of the designer’s most popular pieces.
THE STUFF: The 1,200-square-foot boutique features pieces from all of Yurman’s collections, including his signature Cable Collection (featuring a range of limited editions and special groupings in 18-karat gold and sterling silver with diamonds and dazzling gemstones), as well as his bridal collection, have been seen on celebs and A-listers like Sienna Miller, Kate Hudson, and Brad Pitt.
OUR FAVE: From the Chatelaine Collection, the 18-karat yellow gold linked “Y” necklace with drop-dead-gorgeous faceted whiskey quartz and citrine stones with pavé diamond quatrefoil detail ($8,900).
PRICE TAG: From $395 for the Classic David Yurman Cable Bracelet in sterling silver and 14-karat gold to $20,000 and up for the limited-edition couture pieces.
YOU’LL LOVE: The artistic designs. No David Yurman piece is ho-hum; inherent in all Yurman’s designs are evidence of his past life as a sculptor.
High-quality, finely crafted writing instruments, desk accessories, watches, jewelry, leather goods, eyewear, and fragrances.
FOCUS: High-quality, finely crafted writing instruments, desk accessories, watches, jewelry, leather goods, eyewear, and fragrances.
BACK STORY: For nearly a century, the Montblanc brand, with its distinctive white star, has been synonymous with beautiful writing instruments. The company’s classic fountain pen, the Meisterstück, was first produced in 1924, and represents the gold standard of timeless, classic design.
THE STUFF: Sure, it’s beautiful. But the merchandise here is more than just high-end eye candy. There’s a reason Montblanc’s pens are called “writing instruments.” From the classic Meisterstück fountain pen to desk accessories, fine leather and jewelry and the new Star Reissec watch collection—they are the results of traditional craftsmanship which confers a sense of eternity on their owners.
OUR FAVE: The Limited Writers’ Editions writing instruments, each one inspired by the writer whose namesake it bears—from Faulkner to Cervantes to Poe, Proust, and Kafka.
YOU’LL LOVE: Feeling like Shakespeare, even if you can’t write worth a lick. Remember: these are not pens, they’re writing instruments—no, really. Holding one in your hand and watching the ink glide smoothly across fresh parchment is an exercise in eloquence—and an experience in and of itself.
City Center, White Plains
Think of it as a Nordstrom “outlet.” Nordstrom Rack is the off-price division of the fashion retailer, offering merchandise from Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com at 50 to 60 percent off original Nordstrom prices. In addition, there’s a great selection of brand-name clothes, shoes, and accessories at impressive (30 to 75 percent off) savings.
FOCUS: Think of it as a Nordstrom “outlet.” Nordstrom Rack is the off-price division of the fashion retailer, offering merchandise from Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com at 50 to 60 percent off original Nordstrom prices. In addition, there’s a great selection of brand-name clothes, shoes, and accessories at impressive (30 to 75 percent off) savings.
BACK STORY: The first Nordstrom Rack opened in 1975 in the basement of the downtown Seattle Nordstrom store as a clearance department. The concept caught on and Nordstrom Rack has grown into its own division, with 50 locations in 18 states. The 35,000-square-foot White Plains location opened in September, 2008.
THE STUFF: A huge and varied selection of merchandise for men, women, and kids from leading retailers (more than 500 brands) like AK Anne Klein, DKNY, Calvin Klein, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Eileen Fisher, Kenneth Cole New York, Juicy Couture, Guess, and more.
OUR FAVE: The 25,000 pairs of shoes—how can we choose just one?—from names like Ugg, BCBG, Nine West, and more at ridiculous discounts.
PRICE TAG: $2 to $600
YOU’LL LOVE: The reasonably priced in-store alterations and tailoring, as well as gift boxes, which mean that your friends will know that you shop at Nordstrom, but not that you snagged such great steals.
High-end, high-quality footwear for men and women, plus fragrances and luxury accessories such as handbags, belts, wallets, and other small leather goods.
FOCUS: High-end, high-quality footwear for men and women, plus fragrances and luxury accessories such as handbags, belts, wallets, and other small leather goods, fill this lovely 3,460-square-foot space.
BACK STORY: Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo, known in the 1920s as the “Shoemaker to the Stars,” founded this family-owned company, now in its third generation, in 1927. The company’s core business was shoemaking, focusing on exquisite craftsmanship and made-to-measure production. In the decades since, the Salvatore Ferragamo name has become synonymous with luxury shoes, accessories, and apparel.
THE STUFF: Gorgeous shoes—from classic to trendy to ultra-hip—for women ( patent-leather spectator pumps in brown or chocolate with tonal grosgrain bow ($470), black patent-leather ballerina flats ($390)) and men (moccasins, lace-ups, buttery leather loafers, and exotic skins like python and crocodile, $495-$1800); belts (leather, velvet, reversible, $230-$320); wallets, credit-card cases, laptop cases ($115-$1,050); silk scarves ($245-$270); leather and shearling-trimmed car coats ($3,400); and cashmere and wool top coats ($3,570).
OUR FAVE: The soft and supple “Marisa” zip-top kidskin shoulder bag with nickel-plated bronze hardware, available in magnolia (cream) or black ($1,390)
PRICE TAG: $34 for perfume to $3,570 for a cashmere and wool coat
YOU’LL LOVE: The one-of-a-kind aroma of sumptuous, fine-quality leather.