30 Howard St., at Crosby St.; 212-925-2345
Designed by Dutch artist Germaine Kruip and Jil Sander creative director Raf Simons, this sleek 6,300-square-foot flagship opened in July. Mirrored cubes and panels lining the staircases rotate continuously, creating shifting views from one moment to the next, while white blinds in front of the windows continually open and close, reflecting light.
250 Hudson St., nr. Broome St.; 212-627-7222
Goth-inspired designer Rick Owens opened his first New York store last month, a sparsely-adorned, white-on-white space featuring a wall installation that disperses alluring clouds of fog. His upcoming London location (opening later this month) opts for shock value over gadgetry, displaying a wax reproduction of his own severed head on a plate.
Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream
456 W. Broadway, nr. Houston St.; 212-777-2225
Pharrell Williams's opulent boutique mimics the high-end glitz of his apparel. A glowing, LED-lit staircase leads from the ice-cream-parlor-themed first floor up to the second, which is decked out in a Pop Art version of outer space. The floor is tiled to look like the surface of the moon, and the wallpaper is covered in stars. A 52-inch TV is visible from the sidewalk outside, looping images of the most recent collection.
575 Broadway, nr. Prince St.; 212-334-8888
When this Rem Koolhaas-designed Prada "epicenter" opened in 2001 it was heralded as an experiment in retail design: A gleaming zebrawood staircase and ramp served as an auditorium space for events, the overhead "hanging city" of aluminum-mesh cages displayed clothing on motorized tracks, and savvy touchscreens pinpointed every item in stock. After battling gawking crowds and malfunctioning equipment, the staff eventually gave up on handheld devices in favor of the old-fashioned search-and-retrieve method. But the tricked-out dressing rooms are still a draw, which transform from translucent to transparent in an instant using Priva-Lite Glass technology.
Comme des Garcons
520 W. 22nd St., nr. Tenth Ave.; 212-604-9200
Though it's been around for nearly a decade, the entryway to this futuristic Chelsea mainstay remains a design standout. The textured, aluminum-paneled tunnel was fabricated by a shipbuilder in England and leads into a maze of pods divided by reflective enameled white walls.