December '08
We pay attention to retail
By Franklin Melendez

Marni, New York, Miami
At Marni, more is always more, as in mountains of bangles, belts, wooly hosiery and sculptural platforms, all topped with art-and-crafts accessories that may or may not bear an uncanny resemblance to macaroni. And now you can stock up on the bounty at two new flagships. The Soho outpost at 159 Mercer has expanded to accommodate the label’s increasing offerings, including a full range of accessories and a men's line. With an ergonomic design and stainless steel touches, the boutique is a space-pod straight out of Woody Allen’s Sleeper. Talk about Orgasmatron! Hop on a plane and you can make the second location before sundown. Nestled in the city’s bustling Design District, Marni Miami proves there’s more to the Sunshine State than oranges, lawn bowling and hanging chads. Of course, the space (3930 NE 2nd Ave) can’t resist a playful nod to the city's Art Deco past, with a glazed-glass facade that give the unsuspecting passerby a peek of spring's buttery, slouchy bags and those delicious polished stone and plastic necklaces.
We might not cross oceans for love, but we’d do it for shopping. Without the little issue of geography, we’d browse the racks at Maria Luisa, then hop and skip to b Store for these nobby-heel shoes, along the way stopping in Copenhagen for a breeze through Paristexas. Well, it turns out fantasies do come true, at least on the web (yes, in that way, too, but that's not what we're talking about). The new e-shop brings together twenty European boutiques with a single checkout and worldwide shipping. The brainchild of b Store founder José Neves, Farfetch promises, he says, “something unique, a website where one can browse la crème de la crème. But it also offers more than the usual suspects, with up-and-coming design talent and quirky, little-known labels.” The mix includes Feathers, Beyond the Valley and Heartless in London; Maria Luisa, Gaspard Yurkievich and Mode de Vue in Paris; and Henrik Vibskov and Paristexas in Copenhagen. Might this be a new vision of international harmony? World peace through vanguard fashion?

  Jeremy Scott, Schott
You might think, given his collaboration this spring with leather-goods house Schott, that Jeremy Scott is going butch. After all, once the outerwear of choice for the most rugged of Übermensch, Schott is famous for its Perfecto biker jacket—the zippered and cropped style now favored by Aggy. Marlon Brando filled his to brim in the The Wild One, James Dean donned his with sullen sublimity in East of Eden and Sid Vicious lovingly defiled his. But Jeremy Scott gives the manly legacy a swishy twist, reinventing the jacket in Keith Harring man-love pictograms and, our favorite, a rococo tea print of treasure trolls in pastoral repose… Granted, "Nothing comes between me and my Kokosolakis" lacks a certain ring, but that's not stopping queen of draping Sophia Kokosolaki from launching a six-piece jeans collection ($300 - $1000), made from high-end Japanese denim. Look for graphic stitching and lots of pleating... Atelier, New York's high temple of conceptual menswear, has unveiled a new place of worship. Come all ye faithful to 304 Hudson in Tribeca, where you'll find salvation in Carol Christian Poell, Damir Doma and Julius, to name just a few. Somewhere between a gallery and a mausoleum, the space provides an ample and austere setting for the store’s curatorial offerings. Shop with abandon, but remember Morrissey’s wise words: Wearing black on the outside doesn’t mean it’s how you feel on the inside... Recession, be damned! Is it so wrong for cult jeweler and former Westwood/McLaren collaborator Tom Binns, who incorporates everything from gold leaf to beach glass in his punk creations, to want to test the U.S. market? Plans are in the works to unveil his first New York boutique, on Perry Street, reportedly as early as the first of the year. We won't hold our breath; we'll just hope that he'll be the first to break 2008’s unsightly streak of launch delays.
Stella McCartney, Tokyo, Paris
Stella McCartney may have never lost her groove, but she’s getting something back anyway: two new boutiques. Tucked away in the Aoyama district of Tokyo, her first Japanese flagship (pictured here) is a subdued affair with simple forms punctuated by unexpected cuteness. The space—which carries all of her various lines, including signature, fragrance, accessories, skincare and Adidas—also honors her staunch green ethic, echoing the serene Japanese countryside with all natural materials. Yet the icing on the cake is her first Paris shop, a milestone for any designer, but even more so for one once criticized for saying no to fur and leather. In the suitably regal Jardins du Palais Royal, the store breaks with some of McCartney’s typical restraint, with a dusty pink palette and lacquered accents, like the rose-tinted glasses she clearly sees the world through.

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