November '07
We pay attention to retail

Barneys New York, Simon Doonan, Stella McCartney, Goyard
Barneys New York is going green in a big—and ever-cheeky—way for the holidays. "The green movement can be earnest and preachy," Simon Doonan tells us. "We wanted to bring a bit of nelly humor to the whole thing." So the creative director whipped up green-themed holiday windows, from Rudolph the Recycling Reindeer to the Twelve Green Days of Christmas ("three solar panels, two tons of tofu and a Prius in a pear tree"). Meanwhile, that other Barneys mascot, Julie Gilhart, wrangled a bevy of green-leaning labels—Marc Jacobs, Edun, Fendi—to make donations to environmental charities or create eco-minded one-offs, like this Goyard grocery bag ($310) made of 100% recyclable canvas. Stella McCartney, perhaps the most eco-mindful of all, came up with an entire collection of organic, naturally-dyed pieces exclusively for Barneys. But whichever way you put your greenbacks to green use this year, Simon says don't miss Santa's Fair-Trade Sweatshop display: "It's filled with environmental elves!" (Also check out this "video babble" between Simon and Julie.)

  Secret Society
We don't know the reason for the phenomenon, but mini-indie stores—or mindies (another word squish from your friends at Hint)—are popping up all over the place. In Seoul, said to be the most wired city in the world, Daily Projects (1-24 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, +82 2 3444 8132) keeps web-doped kids busy with not one, but two shops, carrying a fondly familiar array of the international edgy-wedgy set, with a focus on American prepsters Patrik Ervell, Band of Outsiders and Kendi. Up in frosty Oslo, Norway, Secret Society (seen here) is keeping 'em warm with scads of not-too-street streetwear brands and second (or third) lines from Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe, Raf Simons, Rick Owens and Martin Margiela. Think selling high-concept threads in Portland, Oregon—with its roving packs of smacked-out homeless youth—is a joke? It's not...and it is. We're talking about Stand Up Comedy, a surprising little boutique pushing Henrik Vibskov, Wood Wood and Slow and Steady Wins the Race, as well as graphic totes by Dutch students of Werkplaats Typografie. Down the coast, New High (M)art rotates a roster of local and int'l talent, one at a time, in its shack of a shop in L.A.'s Chinatown, starting with Brian Lichtenberg, designer and whiz of the found object.
Ann Demeulemeester
As if Ann Demeulemeester didn't lead a charmed enough life as it is—living in Antwerp's only Le Corbusier structure and gal-palling with punk poet Patti Smith—she goes and opens a store in Seoul, South Korea, that not only has an enchanted garden, but is one. As in, the outside walls are completely covered in potted succulents—that's right, living plants. (We're told they're of the perennial variety, in case you're wondering). But while the heat-regulating, oxygen-supplying, green-gone exterior—designed by Korean architect Minsuk Cho—is all but ready for lawn furniture, the interior continues in the raw, bare-bulbed, artist-workshop vein that Demeulemeester first envisioned in 1999 with her hometown flagship. Kangnam-Gu, Sinsa-Dong 650-14, +822 3442 2570.
Yoshiko Creation Birds' feet, peacock feathers and movable butterfly wings are just some of the flights of fancy that make up the jewelry and accessories design of Kajitani Yoshiko for Yoshiko Creation. In this designer homage (click here to watch), Polish illustrator Przemek Sobocki captures the avant-garde spirit—in the Schiaparelli sense—and nostalgic sensibility of the Tokyo native who left for Paris in 1996, soon graduating from Studio Berçot. Yoshiko describes her art (and it really is) as pop couture, straddling the line between louche and luxury—imbued with so much authenticity, she says, that "even if my work is copied, it cannot be disgraced." Her line debuted at Colette and can now be found all over the world, including Joyce in Hong Kong, Wood Wood in Denmark and, in Paris, L'Eclaireur and the swanky Ritz Hotel.
Y-3, Yohji Yamamoto, Adidas
With the sneaker-inspired stiletto further proof that the sportocalypse is afoot, it's really only a matter of time before we all succumb to the tracksuit. Good thing Y-3 has just opened its first freestanding store in Miami (150 NE 40th St.) to save us from a depressing fate of mallrat velour abomination. In addition to a private room upstairs for art and dinner fetes, the bi-level space—located in the Design District, not just any retail strip—features a super roomy, slightly industrial shopping floor where Yohji Yamamoto's zillion-piece fall/winter collection for Adidas dots luminescent cubes and shelving. Combining wit and function, the master of juxtaposition slices delicate knit capes with thundering zippers, clips yoga tops with jazzy suspenders and slashes his whole dark-cloud aesthetic with jubilant jersey colors. But why does balmy Miami get the trampy thigh-high galoshes? No fair! —Liz Armstrong


In a bid to become the leading men's shopping guide in the States, Complex magazine has gone beyond offering just tips on paper with actual prods for sale at Complex Platinum Club (1079 6th Avenue). The privileged few will find, tucked away in the back of Training Camp sneaker shop, a frosted-glass door that leads up to Complex's first retail space, carrying a selection of gear for him, hand-picked from the likes of Visvim, Fred Perry, Clae, ALife, Penfield, Modern Amusement and WeSC, as well as grooming goops from Baxter and cameras from Leica (apparently the only place to find them outside of the camera world). Shoppers of the browsing-only sort can preview sample pieces yet to be produced. Sound intriguing? Want to go? You can, if you're one of 8,000 VIPs, tastemakers and slebs sent a Platinum Card (which is black?)—although, really, we have a feeling a fat wallet may be the only entrée you need. —Cator Sparks

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