By Faith Hope Consolo

The promise of rising temperatures and sunny weather is building momentum for shoppers preparing to find that perfect new wardrobe. Retail will thrive this season, as extravagant boutiques are opening not only along Manhattan’s sidewalks, but also on Long Island’s Miracle Mile. Join me on a tour of what is new and exciting this season.

On Magnificent Madison Avenue, luxe shoemaker Allen Edmonds has expanded and opened at the northeast corner of 55th Street. Spanish bridal designer Pronovias debuted its flagship showroom at 52nd Street, just steps away from the diamonds at Cartier. Brazilian jewelry designer Jack Vartanian is opening in the Mark Hotel, number 996. In June, shoppers will excitedly welcome a monolithic flagship from Anne Fontaine, at number 677, by 61st Street.

On Fabulous Fifth Avenue, Balenciaga’s store-within-a-store is now at Bergdorf Goodman, adjacent to Prada’s shop-in-shop on the third floor.

Near Teeming Times Square, in the New York Times building, 40th Street and Eighth Avenue, Muji, sought-after retailer hailing from Japan, will be unveiling a new outpost.

In Radiant Rockefeller Center, Allen Edmonds has joined the lineup of luxury shops, which includes J.Crew, Movado, Sharper Image and Tumi.

In Sumptuous Soho, 7 For All Mankind will host its fashionable denim at 394 West Broadway. Jewels by Belenky Brothers will sparkle at 91 Grand, relocated from 151 Wooster. 514 Broadway is being prepped to host Marciano, the upscale denim line by Guess Jeans. Sweden’s Dunderdon has relocated to a new, larger shop at 25 Howard Street. Icelandic concept store Kisan, Inc. will have a first US location at 125 Greene Street, purveying carefully selected goods, ranging from children’s toys to household items.

In Trendy Tribeca, Hawaii-based boutique Aloha Rag brings its designer fashion apparel to 505 Greenwich Street.

In Unbeatable Noho, a highly stylized John Varvatos boutique has been unveiled in the former CBGB spot, 315 Bowery.

In the Exciting East Village, Den concept boutique, 11th Street off First Avenue, now features the esteemed Robert Geller collection. To the delight of many downtown sweet-toothed shoppers, the famed Chocolate Bar has found a new home, 127 East 7th Street.

In the Marvelous Meatpacking District, 9th Avenue at 13th Street will be transformed into yet another opulent entry by Ralph Lauren.

What’s a retail overview without some trend-tracking from Manhattan’s gilded streets? As we know, pop-up stores have long been en vogue. This season, retailers are introducing the concept to a new level: genetic testing for the wealthy. In Soho, situated among the designer clothing is Navigenics, at 76 Greene Street. The store hosts DNANYC, marketing genetic testing kits as well as hosting panel discussions for would-be parents. This is the latest in entertainment retail and I predict many more to follow.

Although it’s not officially summer, Long Island presents a veritable playground of luxury, making our City of Shopaholics yearn to travel east. Not quite as far east as the Hamptons is one of the most inviting locations for a sophisticated shopping excursion: Americana Manhasset, Long Island’s Miracle Mile. This prestigious open-air destination features over 45 upscale stores and restaurants spread out over 220,000 square feet. Well-heeled shoppers from around the country love the trends and designers that are made along the Miracle Mile.

The Americana Manhasset reflects the best of not only Madison Avenue and Rodeo Drive but also Paris and Milan, in its roster of retailers. Home to Prada, Chanel, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Dior, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Donna Karan, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Louis Vuitton, the Miracle Mile has attracted discerning buyers since 1956. Other retail entries include Coach, St. John and Brooks Brothers, and even a Payard Patisserie.

The haute complex has undergone many renovations and expansions in fifty years, and is lauded for its customer service-oriented attitude and beautiful atmosphere. Well-heeled shoppers view it as a suburban alternative to going on a retail expedition on Madison or Fifth Avenues. In addition, the owners of the complex have undertaken plenty of philanthropic endeavors, proving that luxury is an apt outlet for giving back to the community.

New entries to the already prominent directory include Juicy Couture, which will be nestled between Theory and Plumm. Michael Kors is set to unveil a substantial expansion. Newly open in the complex is Hirshleifer’s Shoe Salon, London Jewelers Watch Salon and Frette. Hermes and Lulu Couture have also taken a bow.  To the delight of designer divas, this season brings a bevy of trendsetting new entries to the retail landscape. As the weather starts to swelter, you’ll find haute fashion on every corner, from the City to the Shore.

Happy Summer and Happy Shopping!

Faith Hope Consolo
Chairman, The Retail Group

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

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