For fashion with a twist, stroll the streets of SoHo, NoHo, and NoLita, where you’ll find such whimsical clothing shops as Kirna Zabete, which features the work of home-grown designers and one-of-a-kind threads and accessories, from graffiti silk twill dresses to Flapper-style fringe scarves. Or pop in to the adorable and avant-garde CoCo & Delilah, where a chandelier presides over artful displays of fanciful dresses and chunky accessories by a long list of innovative young designers.
New York’s popular gal-pal television show Sex and the City could just as easily have been called Shoes and the City, since the streets of New York are packed with sassy shoe shops, many of which sell styles that you won’t find anywhere else. Check out the 1960s-inspired sandals and stilettos by local designers Sigerson and Morrison in their eponymous SoHo shop. And don’t miss the sleek boutiques of New York couturiers who have since hit the big time, where you can often find one-off pieces from their collections.
The spiky-haired, tattooed fashionista Betsey Johnson debuted her playful dresses and heels in her SoHo shop, and that’s still the best spot to check out her latest offerings. Brooklyn-born Kenneth Cole, one of the leading designers to bring AIDS “awearness” to the fashion community, also has eye-catching downtown digs. His collection reveals an urban sensibility that pays homage to New York, including thick-soled shoes that can withstand the city’s rugged streets, and weird and wonderful accessories inspired by skyscrapers.
Betsey Johnson 138 Wooster Street, SoHo;
CoCo & Delilah 115 Saint Marks Place, East Village;
Kenneth Cole 597 Broadway, SoHo;
Kirna Zabete 96 Greene Street, SoHo;
Sigerson Morrison 28 Prince Street, SoHo;