By Faith Hope Consolo

The word “luxury” is derived from the Latin “luxus,” or excess, and is defined as a life of ease and plenty, enjoyed by a privileged few. In Manhattan, luxury permeates every neighborhood, as legendary stores now line the Avenues.

Fabulous Fifth is due to host a designer that redefines luxury — Gucci. The ink has only just dried on one of the most talked about deals of 2006, bringing the coveted label to an expansive 50,000 square foot, four-level store on the northeast corner of 56th Street and Fifth Avenue. Gucci’s grand opening will undoubtedly be a highlight of 2007.

Magnificent Madison now boasts the Mulberry flagship at 605 Madison Avenue. Chopard will have a mega-shop at 709 Madison Avenue. French designer Louis Feraud is taking over the former Stephane Kelian shop at 717 Madison Avenue. Caffeine-yearning Manhattanites will delight in the news that Nespresso Boutique Bar has opened at 761 Madison Avenue, purveying the full product range. Baby Cottons will bring its signature onesies and hats to 1236 Madison Avenue. Asprey luxury jewelry, ready-to-wear and accessories will finally have a new permanent home at 855 Madison Avenue between 70th and 71st Streets.

On the Upper East Side, J. McLaughlin offers a polished prepster look for women and men at Lexington Avenue at 72nd Street. The Park Ave. Corner Shop that specializes in antique books has come to 75th Street and Park Avenue.

In Chelsea, high-end Parsian candle purveyor Diptyque will have a showroom and US headquarters at 11 East 26th Street. Two Manhattan retail stores are also in the works for 2007.

In Soho, Lumas, a German-based art photography gallery, just leased space at 77 Wooster Street. Ugg Australia’s very first freestanding boutique has swung open its doors at 79 Mercer Street, showcasing the full lifestyle brand. Italian Zinco, 85 Mercer Street, sells fine cashmere by weight. The Scoop empire is growing, set to span the entire block between Broadway and Mercer Street at 473-475 Broadway. Salviati is a new store at 422 West Broadway packed with beautiful hand-blown Murano glass pieces. The North Face introduced a second retail center at 139 Wooster Street. UK designer Karen Millen will come to 112 Prince Street. Hailing from Greece, Korres Natural Products for the skin and hair comes to 150 Spring Street. Japanese fashion firm Evisu plans a flagship at 92 Greene Street between Prince and Spring Streets. British menswear designer Oliver Spencer set up his first shop at 750 Greenwich Street. Calypso Christiane Celle Enfant now has a concept store for baby at 407 Broome Street. French children’s fashion-house Bonpoint is next to Ralph Lauren at 392 Bleecker Street. Bellora fine linens is at 156 Wooster Street. LA based Curve has opened at 83 Mercer Street with edgy labels. Solstice Sunglass Store has a new flagship at 107 Spring Street. LensCrafters Optique is coming soon to 390 West Broadway. Max Azria will delight at 409 West Broadway, with another installation of Bliss set for 578 Broadway.

In addition to Lumas, I am happy to share some additional information about the art galleries setting a trend in Soho. Mimi Ferzt Gallery, Russian art, moved to 81 Greene Street. Pomegranate Gallery has come to 133 Greene Street and focuses on Iraqi artists.

In Greenwich Village, Antony Todd, floral, event and interior designer, has opened a showroom at 44 East 11th Street, with home accessories, contemporary furniture and antiques.

In the Meatpacking District, Yohji Yamamoto will come to One Gansevoort Street. West Coast designer Trina Turk has opened an eponymous shop, designed by Jonathan Adler to have a working fireplace, at 67 Gansevoort.

Like fine wine and decadent cheese, luxury fashion goes hand in hand with delectable food because even fashion divas, no matter how dedicated, need to stop and eat!

In Midtown, Manfredi timepieces and exquisite jewelry is to be perfectly positioned at 470 Park Avenue. Good news for Park Avenue Oenophiles — world renowned wine store Sherry-Lehmann will move to three floors at 505 Park Avenue, after being a Madison Avenue staple for 72 years. BO Concepts took a store on East 57th Street between Second and Third Avenue, next to Maurice Villency. Buccellati’s renovated palace on 57th Street will purvey ornate Italian aesthetic jewelry with a modern fl air. To round out this Midtown influx of design megastores, Paris-based fashion house Christian LaCroix will move into 36 East 57th Street, former home to Oxxford Clothes — which is now at 717 Fifth Avenue. L’Artisan Parfumeur is bringing its divine scents to yet another new emporium at 222 Columbus Avenue.

Sub Chrono, high-tech modern Swiss watches, opened its first New York location at 580 Fifth Avenue and 46th Street. Of course, I am also intrigued by the first Manhattan Palm Store at 74 West 50th Street in Rockefeller Center.

New Yorkers tend to eat out quite frequently and have cultivated broad appetites and fickle palates — restaurateurs are rising to the challenge. With all the haute spots for fine fare, there is an endless array of dining options gracing the scene. So get your gourmet groove on and settle into one of the spanking new eateries.

Gordon Ramsay at the London NYC Hotel is yet another spectacular player at 151 West 54th Street. Bear in mind that the restaurant books two months out, but the delectable food is worth the effort. Picholine, 35 West 64th Street, has renovated both the space and the menu, to wide acclaim. Japanese barbecue chain Gyu-Kaku has opened at 805 Third Avenue. William Degal expects to open Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse at 44 West 56th Street, formerly occupied by Juniper Suite. European brasserie Metro Marche has joined the Port Authority at 625 Eighth Avenue. Brasserie 52 at 772 Ninth Avenue boasts traditional French fare. Kobe Club by Jeffrey Chodorow and Carlie Walk opened with beef dishes complemented by samurai swords hung from the ceiling 68 West 58th Street.

Varietal Restaurant and Wine Bar showcases the inventive menu of Ed Witt.

Sushi Sasabune New York is serving fresh fish catches at 401 East 73rd Street.

BRGR by chef Chris Russel of Moomba and Sage will serve carefully crafted burgers in the David Rockwell designed space at 287 Seventh Avenue. At 24 East 12th Street, Jonathan Morr has opened Stand, with a menu of gourmet burgers. Garrett Popcorn Shops is a Chicago chain open at One Penn Plaza.

Dennis Foy, 313 Church Street between Lispenard and Walker Streets, serves French-inspired contemporary American Food, and is named for the restaurant’s chef and owner who once owned Mondrian and EQ restaurants.

The owners of Public have opened a wine bar named The Monday Room at 210 Elizabeth Street, with 60 wine varieties.

Chef Daniel Angerer — formerly of Medi, Barrio, Steak Frites and Fresh — opened his own restaurant Klee Brasserie at 200 Ninth Avenue serving contemporary American cuisine.

John DeLucie’s Ye Waverly Inn is set to re-open in the West Village with decadent American fare at 16 Bank Street. A second Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man strikes again — in a smaller space but with the same decadent menu at 141 Second Avenue.

Barbone by Chef John Baron of Babbo, Lupa, Otto and Po opened an eclectic regional Italian spot at 186 Avenue B.

Lower East Side newcomer Cronkite Pizzeria and Wine Bar, 133 Norfolk Street between Rivington and Suffolk, has 25 varieties of brick oven pizzas and 75 wine options.

Good News! Park Avenue Café will remain at the southeast corner of East 63rd Street, much to the delight of its steadfast posh patrons.

As lavish shops and sought-after restaurants open, we’re also seeing an influx of new and exciting hotel amenities. Plasma screen televisions, luxurious bath products and celebrity designed/themed suites are all commonplace if not expected. So make a day — or a weekend — of it in Manhattan: hit the newest shops, dine with celebrities, and rest your head on a gilded pillow.

Faith Hope Consolo
Chairman, Retail Leasing & Sales Division
Prudential Douglas Elliman

Tel: 212-418-2020 / Fax: 212-418-2005