Hudson Square is the new Meat Packing, well according to Rick Owens that is. The quirky LA rock god designer has opened a huge new space at 250 Hudson (currently no man's land but that won't last long) where you can find his slick leather goth rock chick pieces and plenty of amusing men's acruments (loved the toadskin wallet & cock ring combo Hintmag) not to mention it just being an awesome space with the unusual Owens touches of sinister fog glass wall and marble sculptures of which there are more to come - maybe another over-sized wax effigy of himself - like the Paris store? Catch him talking about his new venture on ">Style.com ("I love fog.") and expect his Paris show to relocate to NYC this fall. Pic credit: Racked
And just opened on adjacent Greenwich is hip unisex streetwear haven Aloha Rag - the second outpost from Japanese owner Tatsugo Yoda after 17 years running his first store in Hawaii. "I thought it was about time to come to New York with our mix of Japanese, British and US streetwear labels. It's a cultivated group of new, up and coming or relatively underground and collectable labels such as Hysteric Glamour, Foundation Addict, Commuun, Kenji Ikeda, 3.1 Philip Lim, Surface 2 Air, Henrik Vibskov and Passarella Death Squad. We are launching our own label called Garment House Media too. The idea behind the store was to fashion it as a gallery space with white walls, bright paintings, alcove cupboards and a generally clean, sparse feel, allowing the clothing to stand out. We think the journey from Hawaii via Japan and London is right for NYC right now."
Meanwhile hip menswear boutique Atelier is relocating soon to this stretch of Greenwich and Dries van Noten is rumoured to be circling the area for his first US store.
Moving up town (but not much) towards Meatpacking, check out the newly extended Maison Martin Margiela store on Greenwich and Jane St - actually they've added a whole new store next door to house womenswear and menswear in separate spaces. We loved the new egg-box wall decorated jewellery gallery and walk in closet style spaces - all clad in purist Margiela white of course.
A block down Brit menswear designer Oliver Spencer has introduced a capsule womenswear collection to his flagship on Greenwich and West 4th. Meanwhile just around the corner on Gansevoort Street, print specialist designer Trina Turk has just launched a homewares range, so her ethnographic paisley and baroque designs are now across cushions, throws and soft furnishings.
Elsewhere in the Union Square / Flatiron area, we love the new Free People store at 79 Fifth Ave. It's about time parent company Urban Outfitters made the most of its hippy dippy eco-friendly FP brand - the time is now guys! Loving the cute travelleresque just-back-from-India decor complete with patchwork fabric swatches wall hangings and button installation. And the antique wooden cabinet cash wrap is to die for! This is one store environment you just click instantly with the brand - live the life - be free people!
And there's a brand new True Religion store just opened opposite ABC Carpet & Home on Broadway. What with Forever 21, Diesel and American Eagle on Union Square and Rugby just around the corner on University Place this is NYU denim dorm heaven.
Hip Scandi brand Tretorn is a welcome addition to the bottom of Spring and West Broadway. This is healthy outdoor living with a shot of quirky Euro "I do fun sporting activities such as kayaking and tennis and rock climbing" attitude. The Swedish sports lifestyle clothing and footwear brand is back in demand due to its preppy roots and feels just right for NYC hipsters who need to not take their North Pole or Patagonia dressing so seriously. Loving the yellow and blue colouring, blocks of wood branding, perspex wall boxes full of tennis balls and swing tennis game in the middle of the store. And with a backyard barbie to launch the store last month this is ticking all the right boxes for cool healthy summer living in the city.
Talking of hip dudes Brit menswear designer Andrew Buckler has opened a new SoHo store at 93 Grand between Mercer and Greene and brings more of his eccentric undertones and melded American rogue meets bad boy Brit designs to the area. We loved his Meatpacking store hidden away down the dimly lit stairway on Hudson (complete with impromptu piano and antler head displays) and with this long overdue new location it's time for Buckler to unleash his particularly appealing brand of hard-edged whimsy to jaded SoHo trendies.
Meanwhile Madewell has finally hit Manhattan! After a holiday pop-up store that was circulated among the fashion industry, the J Crew owned brand has opened a New York flagship and 7th US store on Broadway and Broome. The 3000 sq ft, two storey store features the brand's covetable walk-in-wardrobe style store decor complete with denim bar and editor's picks weekly looks. CEO Millard "Mickey" Drexler said: "It's about great style, design and attitude - New Yorkers just get it." We get it and it's one of the best retail brand launches to come out of the US recently - a great mix of hipster denim clad collegiate girl meets effortless laid back fashionista. Pick up the Madewell 1937 monthly newsletter in-store to see in-store direct marketing to hipsters.
And lastly I feel I have to mention Kira Plastinina. Because she's 16 and Russian and daddy is a billionaire and her new store(s) in New York (there will be plenty more!) are the dawning of a new global teen shopping era. Believe the hype. The new Russian designer has launched her own brand while still at school and is quickly carving out a fan base who love her plastic fantastic pink lifestyle brand that's a cross between Fiorucci meets Benetton. Read her first interview in New York Magazine for more insight on her fashion career journey from ponies to t-shirts. The first store to bow in SoHo is on that busy stretch between Houston and Prince and is a girly haven. Teens around the world will want to be fashion designers just like her and just like Paris Hilton before her. Oh actually Paris and Kira are BFFs - they met at Kira's first fashion show recently in Moscow!