By Faith Hope Consolo

The word “luxury” is derived from the Latin “luxus,” or excess, and means 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.

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 flair. 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.

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.

Let luxury be at the center of your shopping list this winter – with so many new shops joining our standard favorites, you’ll have plenty to choose from. Bundle up and take a tour of the gilded Avenues!

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

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