By Faith Hope Consolo
Manhattan’s preeminent shopping scene presents well-heeled divas with an ever-expanding array of options. Brilliant bijou boutiques, a la Place Vendome, Paris, continue to open alongside magnificent retail royalty, a la
Via Montenapoleone, Milan, bringing extravagance and élan, a la Bond Street, London, to every neighborhood.
Magnificent Madison Avenue boasts some of the most celebrated European designers, and is now welcoming a host of glistening jewelry boutiques.
In recent months, Manhattan has redefined the term “über-luxury,” with fabulous Fifth Avenue’s Four Jewels spearheading the movement. Bulgari’s newly renovated palace glistens on one corner, Van Cleef & Arpels continues to amaze with decadent window displays, Louis Vuitton’s larger-than-life mega-store towers on another corner, and the quintessential Tiffany & Company completes the picture. A fifth jewel is set to debut: Fortunoff will unveil a two-level jewelry haven next to Van Cleef on 57th Street.
Retailers have also raised the bar with monolithic, multi-level stores. Gucci is opening a 40,000-square-foot, four-level emporium on the 56th street corner of Fifth Avenue. Directly across the street, Giorgio Armani has taken 48,000 square feet in the former Hugo Boss store. In a nod to the European shopping method, Armani’s New York location will be fashioned after his new Milan Flagship. We are eagerly awaiting an even more glorious Ermenegildo Zegna flagship, currently under construction.
Stores are being unveiled to fanfare never before seen in the United States. Following the model set by Tom Ford, designers are introducing European-inspired attributes to their New York strongholds. A day on Fifth and Madison Avenues will be an adventure, replete with butler service and breathtaking design.
On Fifth Avenue, Gant unveils its world flagship at 645 Fifth Avenue, and Roberto Cavalli’s Just Cavalli boutique is at 665 Fifth Avenue. Within the style vortex of 57th Street, Christian Lacroix will take a bow and Miu Miu will open in the space formerly occupied by Jil Sander, now at a 1042 Madison duplex.
Magnificent Madison Avenue boasts some of the most celebrated European designers, and is now welcoming a host of glistening jewelry boutiques. The ultimate destination for diamonds, Graff, will have a four-level shop at 63rd Street and Madison, in the former home of Givenchy. Extraordinary diamonds are also purveyed by Leviev, whose first U.S. location will be at 698 Madison Avenue. Kwiat will finally grace number 725, the former home of Chopard, who moved to more expansive space on the southeast corner of 63rd Street at 709 Madison. Antique jeweler extraordinaire, Kentshire, is at 62nd Street. Asprey of London opened at 855 Madison Avenue, as Pomellato debuted at 741 Madison Avenue. Mauboussin, the oldest Parisian luxury jeweler’s new US flagship will be at 714 Madison Avenue. Di Modolo will move up the block to 703 Madison Avenue. The Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry store is open at number 683. Stephen Russell is preparing to unveil his 962 Madison Avenue boutique.
The Financial District, home to the world’s wealthiest firms and most generous holiday bonus checks, is enjoying an influx of luxury, meaning that money will now be spent within blocks of where it is made. Tiffany & Company’s long awaited outpost opened at 37 Wall Street, joining Hermès, Thomas Pink, Canali, the soon-to-open Brioni, and luxe luggage by Tumi.
The City of Shopaholics becomes more fashionable moment by moment, rivaling the most renowned streets in Europe. It’s no wonder citizens of the world make regular jaunts to New York for an unparalleled cosmopolitan retail experience.