NYC Shop Crawl: The Bowery

NYC Shop Crawl: The Bowery

by Sharon Feiereisen

There was a time when Patricia Field was conveniently located on West Broadway -- in skipping distance from D&G, Agent Provocateur, L’Occitane, and Opening Ceremony – back then the only thing you could get in the Bowery were lighting fixtures and wholesale restaurant supplies. When Patricia Field closed her University Place boutique and migrated from her Soho outpost to the Bowery, the area was no place for a fashionista. Pre- Freemans, Avalon buildings, The Box, Bowery Hotel, and Gemma, it was a dirty trek you had to endure to shop at Pat Field's.

Luckily, like Keith McNally in the restaurant world, Patricia Field is a pioneer and where she goes, others follow. Today, the Bowery is bustling with not only restaurants, bars and fancy new rentals and condos, but also amazing shopping.

Patricia Field
302 Bowery, 212.966.4066
First on my list is, of course, Patricia Field. While most know Field as the lady behind the Sex and the City wardrobe, her shop does not stock too many big-name brands à la Manolo Blahnik. Rather, you’ll find a mix of sequin fanny-packs, oversized rings, provocative tees, and fluorescent lingerie. The boutique is definitely targeted to a niche clientele looking to make bold fashion statements -- think ‘Tranny Power’ emblazoned t-shirt. 

John Varvatos 
315 Bowery, 212.358.0315
It’s all about mixing fashion and music at the Bowery John Varvatos store, which opened a little over a month ago in the old CBGB space and carries sportswear, as well as business attire for men. Varvatos, whose Bowery store opened amidst some mild protest among the punk-rock, CBGB-loving community, kept many of the staples of the grungy East Village club including the walls, which remain virtually unchanged.  Besides clothing, shoes and accessories, shoppers will find a pinball machine, vintage audio equipment, old vinyl records, and an in-store performances space where life performances by
up-and-coming artists are staged.

330 Bowery, 646.827.7567
Even people who are frugal about fashion tend to splurge on jeans. They’re a staple in most everyone’s wardrobe and while I’m actually partial to Rock & Republic and Old Navy, Rogan, a specialty denim label, is a close runner-up. Rogan, which opened early this month in Manhattan’s landmark Bouwerie Lane Theatre, boasts a 20-foot ceiling in a minimalist, black, reflective space with clothes hanging from white racks. This is the second Manhattan outpost for eco-friendly, avant-garde designer Rogan Gregory who, on a side-note, is the latest GO International Target designer, with an affordable line hitting
Barneys and Target stores mid-May.

Blue & Cream
1 E. 1st St., 212.533.3088
The chic Hampton offshoot boutique, housed in one of the Bowery’s newest condo buildings, in a high-ceiling space complete with metal fixtures, low-slung tables and rotating artwork on the wall, carries clothing and accessories from the likes of Izzy Gold, Lauren Moffat, Charlotte Ronson, Alexander Wang, and Rag and Bone denim.

28 Bond St., 212.260.7536
The too cool for school crowd flock to the Bowery OAK outpost for up-and-coming and big name designer dudes for both sexes. Think Helmut Lang, Opening Ceremony, and the store’s own denim label – don’t forget to bring a fat wallet, because hipster-chic does not come chic at this minimalist, white-wall boutique where men and women’s clothing are separated by a large black sculptural piece of art.

New Museum of Contemporary Art Store
235 Bowery, 212.343.0460
The recently reopened seven-story New Museum of Contemporary Art has a lobby shop located behind a metal mesh divider. The shop is fairly small and has the typical museum-finds including a nice selection of coffee-table books, posters, issues of Visionaire (multi-format Art and Fashion magazine), CDs, DVDs, hand-screened tees, ceramics, jewelry, and more.

Whole Foods
95  E. Houston St., 212.420.1320
Of course, at some point during your Bowery shopping crawl, you’ll need to recharge with some calories. I have a weakness for the French bakeries Ceci-Cela (55 Spring St., 212.274.9179) and Balthazar Bakery (80 Spring St., 212.965.1785), but if you’re not up for the walk from the Bowery to Soho, the Whole Foods located in the Bowery Avalon building has everything from an impressive selection of Belgian beers to sweet and sour tofu. Not to be outdone by the fashion hot spots in its midst, you can show your love for Mother Earth by picking-up one of Whole Foods eco-friendly grocery totes, some
of which are pretty cute -- remember the fashion frenzy when Whole
Foods sold the limited edition Anya Hindmarch ‘I’m not a plastic bag’
grocery bag?


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