New York is forever a hub for some of the hottest shopping in the world. From large department stores to hole-in-the-wall boutiques that cater to “heads” only to those that meet in the middle, there are worlds within each space, making the exploration for new shops something to look forward to.
The blend of brands and personalities each store maintains not only sets boutiques apart, but drives the energy of the customers to continue to support them. With that said, there are a lot of good clothing store options in New York City and navigating them can be overwhelming. So, with the help of American Express Platinum, we’ve rounded up the 10 best stores to get your started.
The curation of the store is refreshing and exciting for the city. When the doors opened, it was located on Crosby Street. The light wood finishes, natural lighting, and the very specific buying brings a different and softer but elevated mood to shopping. It is currently in a temporary space on Bowery in an old bank, an old home to famed photographer Jay Maisel while its Crosby space is being renovated. It focuses on brands that are truly admired by fashion lovers. It has a solid Margiela, Acne, and Dries Van Noten buy that is worth checking out. Totokaelo also holds events every now and then that gets fashion insiders and loyal customers out supporting. One of the most memorable soirees it hosted was when up-and-coming British designer Wales Bonner had an installation on the main floor, and there was also a performance by Serpentwithfeet.
Idol Brooklyn is a small menswear boutique located in Williamsburg full of heavy hitting brands including Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, Undercover, and Visvim. The store is located on a street that would not at all suggest that a place like Idol would be there, which is why it is looked at as such a gem in Brooklyn. Seeing the owners of the shop and having that personal conversation about the store and about the clothes adds to the neighborhood-y feel of the shop, which is always special.
Nepenthes has such a cult following, especially with its in-house brand, Needles, becoming one of the most sought-after lines in this new fashion track pant crazed era we’re in. The store is located in Hell’s Kitchen, an area with no other competing stores, but it’s worth the trip. Be sure to check out its selection of Engineered Garments, Suicoke, and, of course, Needles.
Mannahatta is on Orchard Street, which is a destination for shopping, good eats, and low-key but chic hangouts for skaters, editors, stylists, and downtown kids. The Lower East Side is old and charming, so Mannahatta setting up shop there makes total sense. It stocks handcrafted, quality pieces that last forever. It’s a small space filled with plenty of Japanese and American treasures—brands like Kapital and Needles. The staff is highly educated about the products and leaves you feeling solid about what you’ve purchased. The coziness of the store lends itself to taking the time to appreciate the work and quality of each piece.
Opening Ceremony is the place to go in SoHo. The layout makes you feel like it’s Bergdorf’s cool daughter. The store focuses on up-and-coming brands that are doing really innovative and exciting things that may ruffle a few feathers while setting the trends and inspiring today’s youth culture. The store carries both men’s and women’s merch; the men’s side has three floors while the women’s side has four. It carries everything from Dries Van Noten to Martine Rose to Converse and Nike. With the curation level being high at all times, something from Opening Ceremony always enhances your outfit and keeps you going back for more.
Kinfolk is Williamsburg’s hangout and shop for the cool kids who enjoy a brand that can provide you with a solid fit and a place to where it. Kinfolk is not only a store, but a lifestyle brand. It has bars/cafes just a few steps away from the store. When walking in the store you sense a warm welcoming. The interior feels like you’re in someone’s nicely furnished loft, who has a love for military memorabilia and classic Americana merch, but doesn’t live in the past and matches that with modern furniture and timeless fashion. Be sure to check out its in-house line under the same name. The quality and price point will not disappoint. It also carries Stone Island, Dickies, and Wacko Maria.
Noah is every fashion person’s streetwear secret. Brendon Babenzien, the brand’s creative director who is also Supreme’s former creative director, has taken his learnings from Supreme and created a mature version for those who still love streetwear. He’s also added an element of prep and history to the line, making his customer understand that growing up is not only bound to happen but important and something that should be appreciated. At Noah, you’re among skaters, tourists who love street culture, and customers who like mixing luxury fashion with streetwear.
This Broome Street store is in the center of some of the hottest shopping in the world. Tommorrowland stands apart from the rest because of its unique products and superb interior. It focuses on fine tailoring and knitwear. The mix between Japanese and English culture is what makes the clothes far from what is usually purchased in NYC. It’s a great place to buy something you know will last, look good, and will not be something the majority have their hands on.
Henrick is a Danish designer who has been in a lane of his own for years. He’s not chasing mainstream success, but truly wants to make clothes that can also be considered art. You can tell he has a level of comfort with himself, because you can see it in the clothes. The store feels like you have just walked into a little Danish gallery/gift shop filled with garments and accessories created by artists. Besides Henrick, you can find JW Anderson, Facetasm, and Mykita.
IF is located right on Grand Street in SoHo, and the clientele is very much one that eats, sleeps, and breathes clothes. The store, which is quite large and all wood, carries brands like Yohji, Rick Owens, and By Walid. The price point is high, the clothes are worth it, and the items will only add another archival piece to your collection.
Highsnobiety has partnered with American Express Platinum on a series of must-read city guides covering fashion and sneaker stores, music venues, art galleries, restaurants, and more. Click here to discover the very best Berlin, London, and New York City have to offer.