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Fall Preview: Shopping

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Downtown

Spike Jonze wannabes are holding their collective breath for the September 18 opening of the Marc Jacobs men's mart. With pillow-thick cashmere sweaters and orthopedic-chic shoes, the light-filled store at 403 Bleecker Street (no phone yet) will be the first big-name designer shop in the West Village. But Jacobs groupies know that he picked this spot in retail no-man's-land so he could be close to his favorite bistro, Paris Commune. If there's room on your credit card, zip in for a smoke and a steak.

Once the place to pick up a hunting rifle, quintessentially British luxury-sporting-goods company Holland & Holland has, under Chanel's tutelage, graduated from gun purveyor and shooting-suit-maker to downtown fashion force. Blazers in fall fabrics like tweed and leather, animal-print sheer blouses, suede stoles, and shearling car coats will play off the leather and wood fixtures at the second store, which opens at 139 Spring Street (no phone yet) in November.

After closing his men's shop on the Upper West Side in 1993, Tommy Hilfiger went on to master the mall market; now he's ready to storm SoHo. He scored a 12,000-square-foot space at 372 West Broadway (no phone yet), which will house his sportswear, jeans, junior, and accessories lines.

A 2,500-square-foot space for two products? Don't turn up your nose. The two products are Helmut Lang's eponymous perfumes, and we predict that underfed Lang-clad bodies will lap up his perfume with the same zealousness reserved for snapping up his suits, jeans, and underpinnings. A scent-blending station, a surprise apothecary product, and Jenny Holzer's art will fill the remaining space. The Helmut Lang Perfumery (81 Greene Street; 212-334-3921) opens in late September.

Stüssy is sprucing up its look by moving into Nick Dine-designed digs a few blocks from the original (and now closed) Prince Street location (140 Wooster Street; 212-995-8787). Stüssy's youthful threads and Clarks-meets-Adidas shoes will share selling space with Japanese bag company Porter, Tokyo's version of LeSportsac. The limited-edition nylon bags will be sold from a store called Head Porter (212-995-8108) on the second floor.

Calvin Klein prodigy John Varvatos will get his own store in mid-October around the corner from his former boss's accessories store (149 Mercer Street; 212-965-0700). Varvatos will fill his airy space with his sharp men's collection, pieces of which include tweed and herringbone overcoats (he served time at Polo, too) and wide-leg denim pants.

J. Lindeberg, the Swedish retailer that pushed pink pants for men long before H&M brought them to the masses, is opening a U.S. flagship at 126 Spring Street (212-625-9403). The bi-level space, equipped with marigold Formica fixtures, will house the forward-thinking men's fashion collection (this season it's all about fringe) as well as not-too-slick-for-the-links golf gear for both sexes. A women's line will be introduced next fall.

Twenty-eight years after opening its Madison Avenue boutique, Bottega Veneta will bring its top-notch luxe clothing and leather goods south to 114 Wooster Street in October (no phone yet). Embellished silk dresses, crocodile blazers, and canvas logo bags will be displayed on fixtures that hang from fixtures on bleached maple walls.

Chanel by the C train? What would Coco think? The terminally chic Chanel will channel its uptown threads into a downtown Peter Marino-designed space (139 Spring Street; no phone yet) in late November.

With a cluster of Coach stores in the 57th Street vicinity moving gazillions of handbags each weekend, it was only a matter of time before the leather-goods company realized customers downtown might bite the bag bait as well. Hence the SoHo Coach store, which opens in mid-October at 445 West Broadway (no phone yet).

Emporio Armani, the middle sister in Giorgio's empire, will open a third boutique in late November in the former Ad Hoc Softwares space (436 West Broadway; no phone yet). Expect polyurethane-clad cast-iron columns illuminated from within (so funky! so SoHo!) and affordable-by-Armani-standards suits and sportswear.

The clean, modern designs of Hugo Boss will find a New York home (in advance of next spring's flagship opening on Fifth Avenue) on October 1 at 132 Greene Street (no phone yet). Women won't want to miss the ultratailored blazers and coats in colors like punch and chocolate; yellow and violet are the chosen hues of the accessories collection. Men should check out the classic trenches with modern details like credit-card pockets.

Hogan, the sneaker-sporting sister of J.P. Tod's, will finally get twinkle-toe treatment when its first U.S. store opens in September (134 Spring Street; 1-888-60hogan). Chic solid-color sneaks for the whole family will be displayed alongside a just-launched collection of women's handbags in richly hued leathers and suedes.

The sassy young adults (read: all New York City teenagers) who flock to Olive & Bette's for handkerchief skirts and studded T-shirts will be able to save themselves the trip uptown when Olive & Bette's opens its third and largest shop at 158 Spring Street (no phone yet) in November.

More sophisticated tastes and budgets should head onward to Onward Soho (172 Mercer Street; 212-274-1255). Housed in the former Holly Solomon Gallery, Onward Soho stocks the same women's-wear designers that the company represents in its showroom: Peplum, Chuck Roaste, Matt Murphy, Trina Altman, and Laura Cardillo. Onward will arrive this fall.

A statue of Harry Potter will greet teens and tykes when they stumble into the first-ever Scholastic Store in mid-October (557 Broadway, at Prince Street; no phone yet). The plaster Potter will point visitors toward the store's most exciting product display (can Harry point to himself?). Other goodies in the 5,500-square-foot space include a twelve-foot-tall Clifford the Big Red Dog, a puppet theater, and a Magic School Bus science center.

If an eyeful of Sigerson Morrison's mint-green-lined shoes sends your heart racing but the thought of squeezing into the duo's tiny Mott Street shop puts you in an elbow-throwing mood, your problem is solved. In mid-October, Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison are moving their elegant shoe collection around the corner (28 Prince Street; 212-219-3893) into a 3,000-square-foot space co-designed by London-based industrial designer, and brother of Miranda, Jasper Morrison.

Rest your heels and your shopping bags at Selima Salaun's latest Lunettes et Chocolat (25 Prince Street; 212-334-8484), where you can simultaneously indulge your eye vanity and your chocolate cravings (candies and cappuccino courtesy of Maribel Liberman, of fashion-party-catering fame). Antique jewelry cases will house the Selima Optique glasses collection and more than 2,000 vintage frames.

If you have loads of cash and great taste, you won't have a hard time putting both to use at Steven Alan and Aurora Lopez's upscale (but downtown in spirit) jewelry boutique, Borealis (229 Elizabeth Street; 917-237-0152). Baubles from Beth Orduña (worn-in gold cuffs), Francesca Amfitheatrof (elastic gold necklaces), Ileana Makri (white gold and diamonds on leather cords), and Jade Jagger (leather cuffs inlaid with gems) will be displayed in flat files in the intimate space, which opens this week.

When sisters Sally and Jennifer Wang needed more room for their restructured T-shirts and lacy slip skirts than their tiny Mott Street store allowed, they cajoled their landlord into renting them a space twice the size at the same price a few blocks down (166 Elizabeth Street; 212-941-6134). Wang will open September 15 with the namesake collection as well as designs by Alice Roi and Ulla Johnson. Drew Bearman, who used to work for orfi, will co-design the Wang menswear collection, which will make its debut this fall.

Kim Koenig was so obsessed with North African furniture and textiles that she quit her day job at the not-so-African Takashimaya to move to Morocco; she ended up a furniture importer. Back on this side of the world, she'll sell the wares she gathered in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey at Sheherazade (121 Orchard Street; no phone yet), her Lower East Side store named after the heroine in the Arabian Nights.

Midtown

Opulent baubles at Christian Dior's new jewelry shop (17 East 57th Street) are perfect toppers for the ostrich skirt and chinchilla wrap you procured from the Dior boutique next door. Victoire de Castellane's sparkling knuckle-dusters and dangly pendants look more like pirate's booty than Grandma's pearls. Architect Peter Marino's rock-crystal light fixtures are positively minimalist in comparison.

Since the design of the new Louis Vuitton flagship (703 Fifth Avenue, at 55th Street) is more closely guarded than a state secret, you'll have to check out the two-story space for yourself when it opens in December. Otherwise, you might miss what's sure to be as over-the-top luxe as the goods themselves: immaculately cut silk trenches, gleaming crocodile loafers, and enough logoed luggage for a dozen private jets. And you wouldn't want that, would you?

Kenneth Cole (610 Fifth Avenue, at 49th Street) continues his bid to join the ranks of Donna, Calvin, and Ralph with a 17,000-square-foot Rockefeller Center store that's a one-stop shop, housing everything from sturdy sandals and cozy sweaters to a café and personal shopping service. Tumi (30 Rockefeller Plaza) also muscles in on Today-show territory with an airy new flagship, featuring streamlined totes and cases you'd be proud to claim at the baggage carousel.

Despite sluggish sales and founder Joseph Mimran's recent pink slip, Club Monaco (699 Fifth Avenue, at 55th Street) is still setting up shop next to Takashimaya and Louis Vuitton. The mammoth flagship will house two cherrywood floors' worth of slim slacks and nubby sweaters. Wares are still affordable and chic, but the boldface names behind the scenes (splashy ads by Richard Avedon, exposed stone and soaring windows from architect Deborah Burke) show this club's taking its new 'hood to heart.

H&M (34th Street and Herald Square) has already outgrown its perennially mobbed Fifth Avenue space. Now it's muscling in on Macy's territory with its new Herald Square digs. Expect more so-cheap-you-could-buy-ten-of-them sweaters, and dressing-room lines so long you could knit a hoodie or two yourself.

In December, the skin-care gurus at Shiseido will unveil qiora (535 Madison Avenue, at 55th Street), a store-cum-spa that will offer beauty junkies a mind-boggling selection of cleansers and shadows as well as meticulous facials and foot massages. Though the name is nowhere to be seen, glossy white floors and acrylic-and-steel fixtures might as well have shiseido -- or 5s, the company's sister downtown brand -- stamped all over them.

Uptown

Park Avenue princesses won't have to teeter quite so far in those spindly heels now that Celine (667 Madison Avenue, at 62nd Street) has moved from 57th Street farther up the East Side. The new flagship has cornered the market on excess in a way unseen since Dynasty went off the air. Sable-and-gold-brocade jackets and Swarovski-beaded shirts compete with checkerboard-patterned sycamore walls and soaring 23-foot ceilings. Alexis Carrington would be so proud.

Though Carolina Herrera (954 Madison Avenue, at 75th Street) opened its doors this June, the splashy official opening (scads of dreamy gowns and whippet-thin socialites) isn't until later this month. The grand spiral staircase, luxurious bridal salon, and octagonal jewel-box VIP area should make most party attendees feel like aristocrats as they cluck over sexy suits and sweeping overcoats.

The original purveyor of style with a Parisian pedigree, Hermès (691 Madison Avenue, at 61st Street) is unveiling a 20,000-plus-square-foot space modeled after its store on the Rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré. Scalloped silk scarves and tooled-leather saddles look modern juxtaposed with soaring glass skylights and mosaic tiling. There's also a top-floor aerie for artisans to display their works. They'll have to compete for attention with the four-ply cashmere sweaters, plush toggle coats, and Birkin bags that have long made Hermès the destination ne plus ultra for the caviar class.

Eres's (625 Madison Avenue, at 59th Street) sleek swimsuit-and-lingerie boutiques are almost as numerous on the Right Bank as American accents. The Über-modern blond-wood-and-glass outpost opening this September will offer more of the teeny triangle tops and low-slung bottoms that are modest only by Riviera standards.


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