The bulk of Lower Manhattan’s retail wonderland is located on Broadway, where mega labels like Topshop draw customers with enticing window displays and fast, cheap fashion. But just one block east is Crosby Street, a hip thoroughfare that’s home to many independent designers and forward-thinking boutiques. Compared with Broadway, this section of Soho is low key, easy to navigate and rather refined (qualities that, naturally, are reflected in the price tags.)
Though less trafficked than Broadway, the six-block stretch of Crosby, which runs from Bleecker at its northern end to Howard at its southern, is certainly glamorous. Many of its stores sell rare and limited-edition items; at others, designers work on premises. Below is a block-by-block guide to some of the strip’s highlights.
Crosby at Bleecker
Anchoring the street’s northern end is Kith, a high-end sneaker store that has redefined sneakers as wearable art, thanks to owner Ronnie Fieg’s curatorial eye and his obsession with footwear. Aside from a wide selection of new and retro Nikes and Jordans, the store carries international brands like Filling Pieces and Onitsuka Tiger, as well as its own “athleisure” apparel. Across the street, there’s a smaller collection for women.
Carhartt WIP opened its first stateside store on Crosby Street in 2011; shoppers jonesing for updated, premium versions of ’90s workwear can find their fix here. Next door, the perfumerie MiN (short for “minute”) carries bespoke scents, soap, candles and bath products for men and women. Many are imported, but it’s MiN’s exclusive fragrance line that has made the shop famous. Farther south, German eyewear brand Mykita is housed inside a glass-front shop, which serves as a kind of vitrine for its wares: light, flexible, stainless-steel frames, assembled by hand. Nearby, Jill Platner also displays a penchant for the handmade, offering sculptures and jewelry that feature hammered metal, leather and brass elements. Platner’s store, open at this location since 1998, is both retail space and art gallery.
The entrance to 97 Crosby Street resembles that of a private residence; walk through to a boutique run by Tess Giberson, whose sharp, monochromatic looks have endeared her to the City’s cool girls. Speaking of which, next door you’ll find Rachel Comey, the home of the popular designer of vintage-inspired threads. (The label became sought-after once David Bowie wore one of Comey’s pinstripe shirts on The Late Show with David Letterman.) Made in New York, her collection uses custom textiles, prints and materials, and is well constructed though still feminine in its appeal. Meanwhile, design fans will find what they’re looking for a little farther south: the MoMA Design Store, a retail branch of the Museum of Modern Art that specializes in home furnishings, books and utilitarian objects; and Mud Australia, a minimalist line of handmade porcelain tableware.
Totokaelo is the most exclusive boutique on this block. The five-story fashion emporium is stocked with highly desirable local and international brands, including Issey Miyake, Anntian and Black Crane. Enviably, the store also has the makings of an ideal NYC loft—open layout, large skylight, brass fixtures, a curated selection of plants and vintage furniture. Next door at Broken English are plenty of sparkly things for those who love delicate jewelry. Owner Laura Freedman’s shop houses an assortment of baubles inspired by the elaborate trinkets worn by her mother, a former Las Vegas showgirl. Find opal pendants, gold stacking rings adorned with gems and turquoise, and other eye-catching pieces Freedman gathered while on various trips around the globe.
Saturdays NYC carries gear for the local surfer—no, really, that happens—or for the gent who prefers to dress like one. Shoppers will find an assortment of tanks, T-shirts, pants, shorts and swimwear that lean toward modern and slim styles. The shop also features an espresso bar that serves Saturdays’ own blend of La Colombe coffee. The art of denim, meanwhile, has been perfected by Jean Shop. The store features shelves stocked with men’s and women’s jeans in a number of washes, colors and fits. Jean Shop can also customize the look, taking selvedge denim and distressing it or washing it according to your wishes.
This block owes its lavish feel to brands like high-end indie furniture store BDDW, whose handcrafted furniture has a rustic American heirloom feel. Expect tanned leather seats, coffee tables crafted from single pieces of wood or marble, and upholstered armchairs with dark wood details—along with hefty prices.
Tom Dixon, meanwhile, specializes in modern fixtures. The four-floor space carries lighting with copper, mirror and gold finishes, and along with an exquisite collection of furniture. The British designer is self-taught and rose to fame in the late ’80s, working for Italian furniture brand Cappellini.
The cool kids of the block, however, are without a doubt Reformation and Opening Ceremony. Opening Ceremony debuted on Howard Street in 2002 and has since expanded to locations worldwide; it’s still a destination for trendy cult-favorites like Kenzo, Maison Margiela and Vivienne Tam. You can also find many collaborations at this four-story flagship, which features men’s and women’s adjoining stores. Reformation, founded by fashion designer Yael Aflalo and her partner, Chi Bui, supplies trendy pieces of sustainable clothing to fashion-conscious young women. The Soho flagship offers vintage pieces that have been re-crafted and repurposed, as well as garments made from eco-friendly fabrics.
Maiyet makes clothing in a similarly socially responsible way. The luxury label sells high-end pieces produced by craftspeople from Kenya and Mongolia, among other countries, and shares its profits with the creators of the pieces. Find high-end luxury designer clothing crafted from fair cashmere and silk, as well as leather accessories.
Last, for the hipster-leaning shopper, American Two Shot sells funky accessories, quirky knick-knacks and tongue-in-cheek birthday cards. They carry clothing too, with pieces from the likes of Timo Weiland and Rachel Antonoff, as well as lots of vintage gear. Café Integral, an on-site coffee bar, keeps shoppers fueled throughout the day.