Attention County Shoppers: What's New In Store (Part 1)
Thirty-one more reasons to indulge in a little retail therapy: the county's top new shops (plus 222 tried-and-true best shopping bets). Prepare to max out the MasterCard.
31 Great New Shops
And 222 Tried-and-True Stores
Shopping is a sport. And, in our minds, counts as an aerobic activity—all that running around, trying on, lifting, and carrying makes it quite the work out. Then there’s the way your heart races when you snag the absolutely perfect purchase. (As for what it does when those bills come rolling in? Let’s not go there.) But if there were ever an Olympic medal in extreme shopping, we fearless shopping athletes would, without a doubt, get the gold. Here, our 31 new ways to keep fit, get the endorphins pumping, and flex those all-important shopping muscles.
By Laurie Yarnell and Marisa LaScala
Featuring Photography by John Fortunato
Men’s & Women’s Clothing
1967 Palmer Ave., Larchmont
With its Spanish terracotta floor and rich, dark wood fixtures, this cozy space looks like a private club’s pro shop. Here, you’ll find the ambience and high-end goodies the country-club set requires to pursue its athletic pastimes—plus a Kevlar glass-bottom kayak ($4,750).
Opened in October, this offshoot of Daniel Pennachio’s eponymous men’s and women’s clothing shop specializes in sportswear for both sexes, plus accessories and shoes by such upscale designers as Vecci, Paul & Shark Yachting, Le Tigre, and Bogner. It also offers custom alterations.
For women, there’s lots of preppy pink and green, including a Le Tigre turquoise- and-hot-pink striped polo tennis dress ($76) and Henry Brown quilted tennis bags in black, turquoise, or pink ($135). If a clam bake’s on your social calendar, you’ll want to snap up a Love Life denim-colored sundress sporting a kitschy red lobster pattern ($105). Men’s offerings include designs by Joseph Abboud and Tommy Bahama, among others.
At the checkout counter, don’t forget to pick up a Cosabella Tako thong low rider (available in orange, olive, pink, turquoise, and red, $20 each) for you or your significant other—’cause there’s nothing worse than sweating with a panty line.
5 Boniface Cir., Scarsdale
Attention ultra-trendy fashionistas ages 18 to 35 (okay, it’s Westchester, so make that sophisticated 10-year-olds to size 2, 55-year-olds): you’re gonna love LF. Pack the plastic and head over to the California-based retailer’s first East Coast location. (Other stores have since opened in SoHo, Southampton, and Westport.)
This one-year-old shop brings a hip LA fashion sensibility to the ground floor of the stately Harwood Building in Scarsdale. Search for the coolest and hippest must-haves displayed on old wooden farm tables, battered travel cases, stools, and benches. Piles of jeans and tees rest on a vintage child’s school desk. Colorful Pucci-inspired rubber rain boots perch atop a beat-up old ladder; its rungs are lined with a glittering array of beaded flats and scarves. Baskets hold pastel-colored camisoles. Pooped gal pals (or moms) can relax in velour chairs while their size 0 (and up) shoppers disappear into dressing rooms behind patchwork curtains made from distressed jeans.
On a recent visit, we spotted a miniskirt constructed of old jeans and men’s silk ties adorned with silver charms, by Carmar of California ($160), and original handbags, scarves, and tops from Heather Shrake of CBS’s Wickedly Perfect fame. Or snag sizzling-hot European designs by Paul’s Boutique, Burn ’n’ Violet, and Flamingo Therapy. (Teri Hatcher wore a Flamingo tee a few months ago on Desperate Housewives; her character also sported Carmar corduroys, which are sold here, too.)
If you like what you see (or read about) but are pressed for time, call ahead and store manager Trish O’Connor will handpick styles in your size and arrange special shopping appointments.
Destination Maternity Superstore and edamame spa
5 Maple Ave., White Plains
(914) 948-1279; www.destinationmaternity.com
Maternity clothing has certainly changed since one of us, shall we say the more “mature” one, last shopped for it (that “bun in the oven” is now in college). Forget polyester slacks, Peter Pan collars, and “Baby on Board” tees; we’re talking high fashion here. On a recent visit, we had to keep reminding ourselves that the store’s stylish clothing was actually for pregnant women, and, thus, not for us. (We’re still thinking about the coral-colored paisley silk-fringed poncho by Mimi [$88]; one size fits all, right?)
This one-stop shop more than lives up to its name. Even high-end department stores don’t hand out complimentary OJ, bottled water, and saltines. And there’s a kiddie area and an adjacent grownup spot in the middle of the store, each sporting its own plasma TV.
Among the store’s offerings are designs by Motherworks (the shop’s parent company and the world’s largest designer and retailer of maternity apparel), A Pea in the Pod, Mimi Maternity, and the moderately priced Motherhood Maternity. Pastel-colored vertical banners hang from the ceiling, organizing the store’s merchandise into such sections as mind (books, magazines, DVDs, and other material on pregnancy); body (lotions, creams, and vitamins); spirit (apparel and accessories geared for exercise); nursing (apparel, lingerie, sleepwear, pumps, pads, creams, etc.); and gifts (photo albums, diaper bags, calendars, journals, and infant tees and hats by babygags).
Destination has a studio offering complimentary classes in pre- and post-natal yoga, breastfeeding, Pilates, and breathing and meditation. The pièce de résistance? The Edamame Spa, a 700-square-foot, Zen-like retreat that offers an extensive menu of luxury treatments developed exclusively for pregnant women. And for those past the morning-sickness stage, Destination’s location, between The Cheesecake Factory and Morton’s The Steakhouse, offers unbeatable opportunities for post-shopping indulging.
177 S. Central Ave., Hartsdale
For that least desirable shopping excursion of the year—buying the summer swimsuit—head straight to Great Shapes, a small chain which has a few other branches on Long Island.
For some, a sign temporarily displayed on the outside window said it all: “We have Juicy.” But the 5,200-square-foot store, done up in French Riviera style, actually carries 80 brands of swimwear up to size 24: Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Lisa Curran, Roxanne, La Perla, Tommy Bahama, D&G, Calvin Klein, and more. Select an ensemble, or choose from the impressive selection of separates.
After browsing tankinis, scout out the lavish lingerie, with red-hot lines like Cosabella (a favorite of newlywed Jessica Simpson), Bali, Wacoal, Chantelle, Goddess, Hanky Panky, La Perla, Nick and Nora, and Prima Donna. And, as a bonus, most items (both swimwear and intimate apparel) are offered at a 20 percent discount—now that’s a reason to stop procrastinating.
1912 Palmer Ave., Larchmont
Even though she is model-sized, Ellie Dimondstein, Bella Fiora’s owner, swears she knows how hard it is for most of us to shop for figure-baring lingerie and swimwear. So she’s created a friendly, feminine shopping oasis here on Palmer, a few doors down from Chatsworth and across from Ann Taylor.
Bella Fiora is as fresh and sweet-looking as its name, with pink painted walls, hardwood floors, whitewashed wood fixtures, and a sparkling hand-blown Venetian glass chandelier. Shoppers browse to the strains of soothing light jazz among bunches of wildflowers in crystal vases tied with pink ribbons, and pink-and-white baskets sporting slippers and lingerie. The air is lightly perfumed with a “country apple” candle scent.
The boutique’s dressing area is especially sumptuous, with plush carpeting, taupe-colored raw-silk curtains, and mock vintage lingerie prints. Dimonstein handpicks her selections on her travels abroad to Paris and Italy, and at the New York fashion shows. For sleepwear, you’ll find comfy terry robes, cotton PJs, slinky lace-trimmed nightgowns, and, for resort wear, flowing pants and skirt cover-ups by Debbie Katz, Jets, and Karla Coletto. Swimsuits, arranged by fit, include bikinis and one-pieces by Karla Coletto, Lisa Curran, Delfina, and Bix, among others. Two-piece suits can be purchased by piece, convenient if you’re one size on the top and another on the bottom. Other new items for spring are the Kai bath and body line of essential oils (from $28-$40) and a selection of exquisite lace or embroidered evening tops ($170-$250).
25 Pkwy., Katonah
Shopping at jeweler Larry Seegers’s Jems is an education. Without hesitation, he’ll take you back to his workbench, shine an ultraviolet light on a tray of items, and explain the difference between phosphorescence and fluorescence. He’ll tell you how many people were needed to make the colored-glass goblets displayed in a corner of the shop (about three). He’ll even show you pieces of glass works-in-progress to explain how stripes are formed inside colored marbles. You don’t merely browse here; you learn.
Seegers recently moved his business out of his South Salem home and into the ground floor of an 1890s building in Katonah’s historic district. The shop is airy and sophisticated, with refinished wooden floors, lush Tibetan rugs, cherry-wood display cases, and walls whose colors change according to the season (this month they’re green silk chartreuse).
It’s safe to come with your family in tow. Park your kids on the Italian Anichini footed dog bed where Seegers leaves a pair of wireless headphones that are tuned in to a flat-paneled television, currently playing Ice Age. “Our record?” he says. “A 13-year-old sat there for a full hour without making a sound.”
Jems carries wares from more than 55 artists. There are sweet-smelling organic bath products from Deep Steep (go for the Bath Tea, a tea bag-like item filled with herbs for a scented bath), hand-stitched heavy-leather boxes and frames, glassware by Mary-Melinda Wellsandt in human silhouettes, vibrant jewelry by Marya Dabrowski (loved the pieces made with colorful mixed tourmaline), Lorenzo Villoresi scented candles, pewter salt-and-pepper mills, and bowls made from holly wood that feel lighter than air.
7 Cedar St., Dobbs Ferry
Nibori International is a boutique with one global mindset, but two outstanding reasons to visit: exquisite jewelry and fine fabrics. Rivertown resident Hemo Docu used to supply silky scarves and glittery gems to her shop in Florence only, but decided that Westchester was ready for a new Dobbs Ferry destination. An offer of a steaming cup of spiced chai and a comfy furniture arrangement give the impression that you’re relaxing in a friend’s living room, albeit one stocked with exotic jewels and textiles.
The glittering designs hail from all over the world: precision-cut diamonds from Africa, lavish rubies from Sri Lanka, and various precious stones from Mozambique, Burma, and India, with pieces made with modestly priced aquamarine and topaz all the way up to antique ensembles purported to have been owned by the Indian royal family (now that’s something you won’t find at Nordstrom).
Fabrics include flowing silks, diaphanous organzas, Japanese-influenced scarves, hand-embroidered pashminas, and soft cashmere shawls. The shop’s colorful, patterned fabrics, which come from tailors and mills in Europe, Africa, and Asia, can be customized for window treatments, tapestries, upholstery, rugs, and bedding ($18/yard to $120/yard).
If you’re feeling lost among the sea of colored textiles, don’t despair. Nibori’s interior-designers have worked their wonders in studio apartments, international hotels, and for such notable personalities as Benedetto Amaria, the Italian ambassador to India; Sir Ugyen Wangchuk, the Maharaja of Butan; and Sourav Ganguly, captain of the Indian cricket team. They can do the same for you.
2 Depot Pl., Bedford Hills
In keeping with its “good-things-come-in-small-packages” philosophy, the owners of Rendezvous often have their five-month-old white Havanese puppy, Dee (short for Diamond), on hand to greet customers. Opened last May, this shop showcases distinctive traditional and contemporary jewelry, with an emphasis on new, up-and-coming talent.
The space is as elegant as its offerings, with a marble floor, Oriental rugs, brocade draperies, and track light fixtures. In the rear of the store is a TV and a comfy cream-colored leather couch, perfect for pacifying restless shopping companions of all ages.
Expect cubic zirconia, good costume pieces, bridge items (like the M Gold line of 18K gold vermeil designed by Simone Gold), silver and semi-precious designs, fine jewelry, name-brand watches, and handmade time pieces. Look for Roman-Greco designs by Seiden Gang, as well as pieces by Susie Q (a rising star and personal favorite of Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer); and Dana & David, a New Jersey newcomer; plus engagement rings by Cornelius Hollander. Particularly noteworthy and displayed in an antique cherry breakfront is the Watchcraft line of fine timepieces handcrafted by Eduardo Miliens; only 1,000 numbered pieces are made of each design.
640 Central Ave., Scarsdale
Opened last May, Valery’s is indeed a hidden gem. The shop’s nondescript exterior belies the luxurious interior, which looks like the lobby of a fine hotel.
The store carries middle- and high-end jewelry, mostly original designs but with some imports from Italy and Israel, in 14K and 18K gold, platinum, and sterling silver, plus a large collection of estate jewelry, engagement rings, wedding bands, watches, and fine gifts. The shop’s specialty? Creating customized pieces. “If we don’t have it, we’ll make it,” assures co-owner Ralph Aminov.
Desires By Mikolay
55 King St., Chappaqua
Desires By Mikolay occupies a building that at one time housed a spa, and, while the treatment rooms and facial scrubs are long gone, the sense of pampering relaxation remains. There’s soothing New Age music, sweet fragrances of scented candles, and a staff quick to offer wine, tea, sparkling water, and fresh-baked scones. At the center of the 900-square-foot space is a stunning custom-designed chandelier.
In addition to owner and master-jeweler Scott Mikolay’s own works, you’ll find jewelry by talented designers Sarah Perlis, Scott Colee, Karen Bizer, Ann Biderman, Marya Dabrowski, Ivana Williams, and Mauri Pioppo. The store also creates custom designs.
While there’s a large selection of glittery white diamonds, it’s the colorful pieces that really shine. Mikolay has the Westchester exclusive on beautiful, Italian-made Calgaro jewelry, featuring what looks like strands of colored silk but are actually paper-thin silver. Calgaro’s hot colors for the new spring line? Banana and aqua, just released in mid-March. And don’t despair if you think Desire’s jewelry is out of range; gift items begin at $25.
[Kids’ clothing, Furniture & Accessories]
125 Westchester Ave., White Plains
What could Amanda of Armonk and Susan from Scarsdale possibly have in common with Helen Hunt of Hollywood? Come the middle of this month, a serious thing for babystyle, when this store-of-choice for hip young celeb moms opens its eighth retail shop and its first East Coast location, in The Westchester.
Out in La La Land, the sweetly chic retailer has attracted a cult-like following among the red-carpet regulars. Britney Spears was spotted at its Santa Monica outpost in January, and such Hollywood mommies as Debra Messing, Kate Hudson, and Chynna Phillips are babystyle fans.
The idea for the store came about when babystyle founder and CEO Laurie McCartney of Southern California, a Harvard Biz-School grad and former Disney strategic planner, was pregnant with her first baby; after searching in vain for the one store that could help her find all the maternity and baby essentials she needed, she spent her pregnancy working on a business plan. Three weeks after her son’s birth in 1999, babystyle was launched online; catalogs and stores followed soon after.
The shop carries everything for pregnant moms, babies, and children in a bright, 2,800-square-foot space. The store’s extensive selection of merchandise includes its exclusive line of babystyle-brand products.
[toys & books]
450 Central Ave. (The Scarsdale
Park Mall), Scarsdale
When visiting the new Scholastic Store, located in the same Central Avenue shopping center that houses Gymboree and Cool Cuts for Kids, the first thing we heard sounded like a typical kid-in-a-toy-shop whine: “Mommy, buy this for me!” And we witnessed one pint-sized customer having a major meltdown at the checkout counter as we were (fortunately) on our way out. But that’s where the similarity between a mere toy store and this 5,000-plus-square-foot, state-of-the-art “interactive and experiential retail environment” ends.
If you have a gifted child (have you ever met a Westchester parent who doesn’t), or just one that’s so bored he’s threatening to expire, take him here. Opened last December, this second store (the flagship is in SoHo) launched by Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, really does live up to its promise to “bring learning to life.” Or, equally important to make learning fun. Customers try DVDs and videos and test toys, books, and games.
The centerpiece of the store is a 500-square-foot see-through glass greenhouse where craft workshops (there’s an on-site Klutz Book Factory), organized activities, private birthday parties, and even drop-in playdates are hosted.
Choose from among 3,000-plus books, toys, games, and CD-ROMS in various curricula. A cozy, corner book section offers child-sized tables and chairs, and shelves are stocked with a slew of educational workbooks and materials for test prep—everything a stressed-out parent may need.
Raising a future doctor? Pick up a Disney Planet anatomically correct human torso model kit with an instructional CD for $79.95. Is your daughter into geography? An interactive globe should please her—and set you back $129.95. What you won’t find: swords, PlayStation games, or action figures. (FYI: The store sponsors frequent special events such as author readings, character visits, and story-times at no charge; check the event calendar online at www.scholastic.com or by calling the event hotline at 914-725-7201.)
Home & Garden
[Antique & Vintage
Housewares & Gifts]
Brother & Annie’s Vintage Housewares & Gifts
234 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck
This kitschy shoebox of a store (316 cozy square feet located diagonally across from the Mamaroneck Movie Theater) is like an episode of Happy Days come to life. You can’t help but smile. Vintage aprons are strung along a clothesline over the register area and triangles of vintage embroidered linen napkins line shelves like Grand Opening flags at a used car lot. The background music is authentic, too, supplied by Ol’ Blue Eyes and Jack Jones, the ’50s lounge crooner who is a personal favorite of owner Joan Meehan.
Clad in a late ’50s floral apron, Meehan, a former Tommy Hilfiger exec who named the shop for her grandparents, welcomes customers back to the ’40s, ’50s, and mid-’60s with the everyday items with which boomers grew up. Featuring a vinyl aqua-and-green checked tile floor and vintage 1943 floral wallpaper with a calamine lotion-pink field, the shop is filled with retro and vintage treasures, as well as one-of-a kind flea market and garage-sale finds. There are Formica tables, old toasters, Fire King dishes, and barkcloth bedspreads and pillows.
[Furnishings & Accents]
A Perfect Presence
81 Pondfield Rd., Bronxville
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