Although the crowded Broadway retail corridor has earned SoHo a “Manhattan’s Shopping Mall” reputation, there are still myriad charming and unique boutique stores to be found in this picturesque neighborhood — some homegrown, others with a heavy international influence. Here are a few of our favorites right now.
400 West Broadway near Spring Street
A colorful selection of ballet flats at Repetto Paris (Image: Wikimedia)
Well-known among dancers worldwide, Repetto was founded in Paris 60 years ago when Rose Repetto set out to provide her choreographer son with better ballet shoes. The company soon became the official supplier of numerous French ballet companies, and in 1956, the Repetto ballet-inspired flat — created specifically for Brigitte Bardot — gained international acclaim in Roger Vadim’s film “And God Created Woman.” Today, Repetto has grown into an esteemed luxury lifestyle brand offering a wide selection of apparel, handbags, and of course, their coveted ballet flat. The first U.S. store opened in SoHo in 2015, bringing a bit more Parisian chic to a block already populated by Ladurée and Bonpoint.
476 Broome St. between Wooster and Greene streets
2015 was a good year for SoHo shoppers as the neighborhood welcomed another international favorite, Japan’s Tomorrowland. A modern showplace housed inside a historic Broome Street building, Tomorrowland offers men’s and women’s apparel and accessories boasting unexpected combinations of materials with a Japanese sensibility and devotion to craftsmanship. The inviting store is sunlit and paved with striped carpeting that urges you through the well-placed seating areas and racks of clothing from its in-house collections and revered tastemakers, such as Dries van Noten and James Perse.
79 Grand St. between Wooster and Greene streets
Gentle Monster’s Absente sunglasses (Image: Chun Yip So /Flickr)
Korean sunglasses purveyor Gentle Monster delivers a New York City flagship store that feels more art gallery than shades store, which is oh-so-appropriate for its artsy SoHo environs. Designed by Rafael de Cárdenas/Architecture at Large, the space features rows of gorgeous eyewear, both classic and avant-garde, flanking a central fountain that leads to an in-store art gallery. Need more reason to visit? Gentle Monster’s most recent collaboration is with Academy Award-winner Tilda Swinton.
93 Crosby St. between Spring and Prince streets
MZ Wallace’s SoHo flagship store (Image: Courtesy of MZ Wallace)
Founded by native New Yorkers Monica Zwirner and Lucy Wallace Eustice, MZ Wallace offers handbags and accessories ideally suited to busy city life. Their bags are lightweight, feature easy-to-clean, long-lasting materials, and include pockets and dividers in just the right spots. Set on cobblestoned Crosby Street, their charming SoHo boutique beautifully displays creations for travel, fitness, and everyday use. For spring, we’re mad for the Nikki Tote in glazed linen and the camo Jim Bag might be just the inspiration we need for 6 a.m. boot camp.
477 Broome St. between Wooster and Greene Streets
Across the street from Tomorrowland, you’ll find Kirna Zabête, the neon-lit vision of founder Beth Buccini who personally selects each item sold within her boutique’s four walls. The goal here is to inspire shoppers in a welcoming environment filled with a meticulously edited selection of apparel from designers both up-and-coming and well-known. With goods from irreverent Golden Goose to revered Saint Laurent placed under neon signs beaming “So glad you’re here” and “It is OK for me to have everything I want,” how could shoppers not be inspired?