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On the Flip-Flop Side
Forget stiletto-heeled sandals -- flip-flops are the shoes of the moment, and August Moon wants little ones to be as fashionably shod as their moms. The Arizona company's thongs are handwoven in Indonesia of vegetable fiber; they have rubber soles and come in lots of summery brights. They also come small enough to fit 3-year-olds and large enough for adults ($12).
E.A.T. GIFTS/1062 Madison Avenue, near 80th Street/212-861-2544
It may look like a nutty Rube Goldberg contraption, but Sven Schimmer's Butterfly may take care of many a wash-day hassle. Stash dirty clothing in the ample laundry basket; hang clean wash -- the kind that should never see the inside of a hot dryer -- on the racks. The basket is easy to assemble, and the two galvanized-steel wings fold flat when not in use ($59.99).
FELDMANS IV/1190 Madison Avenue, at 87th Street/212-289-2026
Most likely, those kitchens you've lusted after in the shelter magazines were all from Boffi. Since its founding in 1934, the family-owned Milan company has been known for kitchens that are technologically advanced and obsessively organized. Until now, the to-die-for units were only available through decorators, but the company has just completed a loft-size duplex outpost on Greene Street that's open to all. Though this is not the spot to pick up an over-the-counter cabinet (everything here is custom), you and one of the in-house designers could put together a kitchen to rival those in the magazines. Somewhat more accessible (though still pricey) are bathroom fixtures, like Claudio Silvestrin's Adda, a ceramic washbasin enameled in glossy white. Silvestrin, an Italian-born, London-trained minimalist, employs rigidly simple geometric forms, yet his sinks and tubs are surprisingly romantic ($839).
BOFFI SOHO/31 and 1/2 Greene Street/212-431-8282
Fendi may be the name for handbags, but Fiskars is it for garden tools. The Finnish company has devised a gear for its pruner and lopper, which means trimming tasks may no longer be so onerous. The implements are made of Nyglass and ultrahard stainless steel with replaceable blades of Xylan-coated steel to lessen friction and resist rust ($35 each).
THE MOMA DESIGN STORE/ 44 West 53rd Street/212-767-1050
Anything from Moss, a mecca for innovative design with an intellectual slant, has got to be different: These backpacks from Equipaje don't disappoint. Though inspired by supermarket bags, they're sturdier (made from plastic-coated polyester) and a whole lot snazzier. And unlike those others, they have three little rubber snaps to keep goodies from falling out ($45; in orange, blue, black, and yellow, too).
MOSS/146 Greene Street/212-226-2190
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