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Donna Karan has reinvented the ultimate preppy essential, the Fair Isle sweater. Hers is asymmetrical, lopsided, and though it looks like the work of a tipsy knitter it’s actually hand-knit in Uruguay of wool, mohair, and nylon. Fair Isle has never looked so fresh ($328).
DKNY/655 Madison Avenue, at 60th Street/212-223-3569
Bang & Olufsen, the Danish manufacturer of haute audio equipment, is intent on moving out of the home and onto the street. To that end, the company has devised earphones that weigh only eight grams yet deliver sound quality comparable to a B&O mega-loudspeaker. They’re ergonomically designed and work like old-fashioned eyeglasses, which means each aluminum-and-rubber earphone can easily be adjusted to fit the contours and curves of any ear ($160).
BANG & OLUFSEN/952 Madison Avenue, at 75th Street, 212-879-6161; and 927 Broadway, near 21st Street, 212-388-9792
More Than the Greatest …
Once merely “pickers,” Greg Wooten and Patrick Parrish are now the ebullient owners of Mondo Cane. The name of the store is taken from Jacopetti’s 1962 “shockumentary” and their stock from estate sales, antiques shows, flea markets, and thrifts. Since modernism is their passion, the pair carry a broad sweep of furniture, lighting, ceramics, glassware, and objets that reflects the modernist movement from 1880 to 1980. Most of the expected names are here (George Nelson, Charles Eames, Eliel Saarinen, and Edward Wormley), along with lacquered tables by James Mont (the infamous decorator to the mob) and oddball stuff such as magnetic industrial lamps and scientific models of brains. (From $125 for a ceramic vase to $3,200 for a Vladimir Kagan glass table to $9,500 for a fifties sectional sofa.)
Photograph by Carina Salvi.
MONDO CANE/143 West 22nd Street/646-486-7616
Saved by the Bell
The streets of New York are alive with trikes and Razor scooters; if one hasn’t knocked you over yet, the other surely will. Now there’s help for kids, their insurance-coverage-panicked parents, and pedestrians. Pylones, a French company, has come out with stainless-steel bells that ring sharp and clear, and they fit not only on bikes but on the bars of scooters too ($20).
E.A.T. GIFTS/1062 Madison Avenue, near 80th Street/212-861-2544
Ceramist Marek Cecula’s fascination with ritual and ceremony is not relegated to abstract ideas; he translates his preoccupation into functional objects. One such is the Kum-Kum Tea Set he’s created with Polish architect Daga Kopala: It’s minimalistic, yet witty, with roots in both the Bauhaus and traditional Japanese decorative arts. Though the set’s handmade (of high-fired porcelain), Cecula boasts “it bears no sign of the hand” ($200; teapot plus four cups).
GLOBAL TABLE/107 Sullivan Street/212-431-5839
MXYPLYZYK/125 Greenwich Avenue/212-989-4300
Check out New York Shops, our comprehensive guide to the city’s best stores, including a year’s worth of “Best Bets.” On sale at newsstands now. To order a copy, call 800-496-7833 ($4.99 plus $2 shipping and handling).
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