June '07
We pay attention to retail

It seems that two culty boys-only stores aren't enough for Odin. Now comes a third store in New York, Den, and this time girls are welcome in the clubhouse. Launched in late May, the teeny shop (which really is about the size of a small den) carries only one label at a time, thus giving it the untainted props it deserves—and for only 6-8 weeks at that. The featured lines will alternate between men's and women's—except for the premiere label, Cheap Monday, which is obviously a two-fer. Up next is Tim Hamilton, who you may remember was nominated for a CFDA/Swarovski Award in menswear, followed by a repeat performance by Cheap Monday (this time accompanied by its higher-end sibling, Sunday Sun—a Den exclusive) and Karen Walker in the spring. Suddenly, sprawling multi-brand concept stores seem so, well, grown-up. Den, 328 E. 11 Street, 212-475-0079.

L.A. and A.P.C. finally lock letters with the arrival of the French label's new store at 619 N. Croft Avenue in West Hollywood, 323-297-0414 (rendering at left). Launching June 13, it'll have a minimal look similar to the New York shop—i.e. concrete and wood floors—and will carry all the same great threads... E-speaking of L.A., we're hearing advance details (pretails?) from the folks at Chanel about their massive new Beverly Hills flagship at 400 N. Rodeo Drive, set to launch in August. Apparently, the store—designed by Peter Marino (who also worked with Karl Lagerfeld on the Hong Kong flagship) and resembling a No.5 bottle—will devote nearly as much real estate to art and interior design as to the merch. We're told, for example, there will be a replica of "Wapiti," the Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne bronze sculpture of a deer that stood in the Paris apartment of Coco herself… Is there anything Milan Vukmirovic can't do? He's been the creative director of colette, designed Jil Sander and edits L'Officiel Hommes. Now we hear he's opening a massive concept store in one of the old Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach, set to launch later this year—just in time for Art Basel's cashed-up influx... Doh! We just came back from a family thingy in Chicago and totally forgot to check out Jake, the low-key but high-end chain of boutiques that just opened its third location at 565 Lincoln Avenue, North Shore, 847-501-5253. (In our defense, one must imbibe at weddings.) We can, however, still vouch for the little shop by virtue of the labels it stocks, such as Lutz & Patmos, Alexander McQueen, Alexandre Herchcovitch, Martin Margiela and Notify… If you have a Dream Box on YOOX, you might want to start beefing it up. Marking its seventh anniversary, the e-tailer will launch special Cannes-inspired sections of the site over seven days beginning June 12, culminating with the Yoox Awards on June 20, in which seven lucky shoppers will be given the entire contents of their Dream Box... And now, we'd like to give a shout-out to VagabondNYC.com, a scrappy online shop that, according to its owner Andrea Perini (and former assistant of Camilla Nickerson), specializes in "all the greatest vintage from yesterday and today." Right now, that would seem to be Azzedine Alaïa, Jil Sander, Olivier Theyskens and Lanvin, with an emphasis on the '80s. In terms of vintage, it's the real deal, but for those of you who need an endorsement, super-stylist Melanie Ward is a super-fan.
Don't you hate it when you ooze out of baggage claim all wrinkly and stanky after a red-eye flight, only to have the paparazzi snap away at your every unsightly faux pas? Stefano Pilati has you covered. This month, the Yves Saint Laurent designer debuts his Edition 24 line of unfussy, lower-priced, wrinkle-resistant pieces intended for travel par avion. (No word yet on its resistance to turbulent cabernet.) The collection—or "style passport," as Pilati cutely calls it—consists of two dozen essential looks, a grab-as-you-go mix of coats, dresses, skirts, swimsuits, pants and, in an ode to one of the house's iconic styles, safari jackets. It also comes with a line of luggage based around the Downtown it-tote. There's still no better way to fly than first class, we think, but we're thrilled at the idea of emerging from a plane looking a little less destroyed. At Yves Saint Laurent boutiques worldwide.

Here's another reason to take a bite out of Berlin: Strange Fruit. The succulently named new concept store is the latest addition to the burgeoning Gendarmenmarkt hood, completing the high-fashion trifecta started by The Corner and Quartier 206. Worth a visit for the interior architecture alone, the branch-like, bi-level boutique was designed by Gonzalez/Haase, the Berlin-Paris firm whose other clients include Acne Jeans, Cappellini and Self Service. Filling the pristine digs are the unerring picks of proprietress Daliah Roth, a roster that reads like a manifesto of progressive labels: Bernhard Willhelm, Cassette Playa, Hussein Chalayan, Anne Valérie Hash and Henrik Vibskov, among others—not a bad seed in the bunch. Strange Fruit, Markgrafenstrasse 33, Mitte, +49 30 69 59 72 83. –Suleman Anaya

Even at 77, Sonia Rykiel can really get fired up. Not only has the hell-haired rebel (who first made a name with her "démode" anti-fashion line) recently wrestled control of her namesake label from her former business partner and ex-husband, she's also opened her second Paris store, offsetting her Left Bank flagship and presaging her 40th anniversary next year. The new shop—steps from Jean Paul Gaultier and not far from the Louis Vuitton megastore—hints at the Groovy Seventies with its surfeit of mirrors and smooth lacquer finishes, as well as a Karma Body & Soul corner, where good-juju gym gear can be had. The complete Rykiel empire is here: the fragrances, the menswear, the Domino and Senso status bags. And for you knit wits, a wall of shelves displays her iconic sweaters, in all their clingy, cuffed and collared glory. Also in the pipeline are nub hubs, if you will, in Marseille and Antwerp, not to mention a facelift of the much-loved Saint Germain mainstay. Sonia Rykiel, 46 Avenue George V, +33 (0) 1 53 67 98 00.

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