East Village Vogue
Sartorially speaking, the East Village is best known for its vintage shops. But you will also find a number of stores selling high-fashion new clothing for women and men, most of it from independent designers. Some favorite boutiques are below.
140 Second Avenue (between St. Mark’s Place and East Ninth Streets)
Lingerie and women’s swimwear make up the core of this shop’s selection, though it has branched out to sell loungewear and a smattering of apparel and jewelry as well. Within the white, bright store brightly colored intimates and bathing suits provide the primary pops of color, though you will also find plenty of neutral-hued options. Brands range from the well known (Natori, Mara Hoffman, Stella McCartney) to cognoscenti favorites (DSTM, Lonely).
One East First Street (at Bowery)
The Bowery might have seemed an unlikely spot for Blue & Cream to establish a presence in New York City, given that its other two stores are in East Hampton. But clearly East Village residents appreciate the women’s and men’s clothing, footwear, and accessories from the likes of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Bella Dahl, Elizabeth and James, and Zimmerman as much as Hamptonites do. At first glance you might think the selection is largely upscale streetwear, but women will also find dresses both flirty and sophisticated, while men can peruse a selection of sharply tailored blazers and jackets.
334 East Ninth Street (between First and Second Avenues)
The block of East Ninth Street between First and Second Avenues is home to several shops beloved of fashionistas, of which Cloak & Dagger is one. Selling women’s apparel and accessories, the boutique has a retro-influenced sensibility, as evidenced by recent arrivals such as flare-legged dotted pants by Faithfull the Brand, herringbone miniskirts by Capulet, and Samantha Pleet dresses with a unicorn print and a Peter Pan collar.
337 East Ninth Street (between First and Second Avenues)
Just across the street from Cloak & Dagger, Duo NYC favors simple, minimally structured, all but unadorned womenswear and footwear from brands such as Los Angeles-based Lacausa, which prides itself on its ethical manufacturing. The shop also sells home decor items and vintage apparel that hew to the same aesthetic—artisanal white stoneware vases made in Brooklyn by Nedda, for instance, and 1970s denim from Levi’s.
324 East Ninth Street (between First and Second Avenues)
Elliot Mann is best known for boho-chic handbags: think fringe, tassels, beads, pom-poms, crochet work, and vintage fabrics. Many of the bags are completely handcrafted, making each one of a kind. If you stop by to pick up a bag, however, you might also leave with an equally vibrant dress, sweater, or belt.
315 East Ninth Street (between First and Second Avenues)
Before opening her eponymous boutique in 2001, Huminska was a milliner whose hats were among Barneys’ best-sellers. She then began to create custom and ready-to-wear women’s apparel. Her petite shop sells only her own creations, all of which are made here in the city with fabrics she selected herself. The majority of these limited-edition items are dresses, designed to flatter a variety of body types, though each collection includes a few tops and pants as well.
315 Bowery (between East First and East Second Streets)
Menswear designer John Varvatos has long had a rock-and-roll sensibility, as evidenced in his stovepipe trousers, laid-back blazers, slouchy sweaters, and suede shirt jackets. So it is appropriate that he opened a shop on the site that formerly housed legendary rock club CBGB’s. What’s more, in addition to the complete John Varvatos product range—from fragrances to silk ties with a miniature skull motif, from understated notch-collar dress shirts to parkas with a satiny finish—the Bowery emporium also sells new and vintage vinyl records.
355 East Fourth Street (between Avenues C and D)
German-born Jutta Neumann has been designing, handcrafting, and selling leather bags and accessories in her East Village studio/shop since 1994. Her messenger bags, totes, backpacks, belts, wallets, and wristbands for women and men transcend trends, which is lucky as they are designed to last for years, if not decades. If you love a particular style but not the colors it comes in, you can order a custom version in the leather of your choice.
312 East Ninth Street (between First and Second Avenues)
Each of the six Meg boutiques (five in New York and one in Toronto) features a small collection of highly wearable, locally made womenswear designed primarily by founder Meg Kinney, complemented by shoes and accessories from small, women-owned companies. The clothing is created for women of varying figure types and busy lifestyles. Dresses with figure-flattering dolman sleeves are made of nonwrinkling, low-maintenance jersey; machine-washable jackets are tailored just enough to look both professional during the day and sultry in the evening. You can also make an appointment with one of Meg’s specially trained stylists for a complimentary hour-long one-on-one shopping and styling session.