In the Spring of 2001, this report was still
discussing the Millenium - the newness of it; how hard it was to get
used to the 21st Century. The economy was moderating - no longer the
boom of the year before - but, in light of the Federal Reserve continuing
to lower rates, a returning expansion was certainly in the future.
Little did we know
Now, three months into 2002, the Millenium seems old. It's as though
all the elements of our day-to-day world had been put in a box and
shaken and then, dumped out. They managed to return to their same
positions, but everything is different.
It's been a little over six months since September 11th: During
that time, we have remembered how good it is to be an American and
how much can be lost in a matter of a few heartbeats.
We have a whole generation who had never known the tension and
fear of being at war. Now, they know.
New York City, the Capital of the World, has a big hole in its
side. It took the blow, stumbled, paused, caught its breath, and
continued. Our country did the same.
The national economy took a dive. However, thanks to the American
consumer, who never stopped consuming, it rallied. Now the new spin
is that there never was a recession in the first place.
In New York, it will be tougher. Over 100,000 jobs were lost, largely
in the securities and related financial services and many of the
companies have shifted jobs to neighboring states. It is believed,
though, that employers will return to the city, if they are offered
tax incentives, among other things, to do so. American Express has
already declared that it intends to come back, occupying the same
building downtown as it did before the disaster.
National unemployment slid from 5.6 to 5.5 per cent in February,
adding 66,000 jobs outside the farm sector. Retailers and manufacturersreport
improvement and the housing market is strong -- even luxury housing
is getting better -- according to The New York Times.
The city's transportation network is being rebuilt and the transportation
infrastructure is returning more quickly than expected, which is
a plus.Campaigns to bring back tourism to the city are proving successful.
As the clean-up finishes, and re-building begins, and the after
shocks from the nonexistent recession gradually wane, employment
will rise, business will continue to grow, we will achieve what
has been called the "new normal" and go on from there.
Upper Fifth Avenue, Luxury Walk, continues its reclamation
of glamour: after five years, the restoration of the Cartier
landmark flagship at 52nd Street was completed. The gala reopening
of the store presented a magnificence that is the perfect setting
for the Cartier treasures - a true jewel box.
Chicissmo is replacing Geoffrey Beene in the
Sherry Netherland Hotel, 781 Fifth Avenue. Wempe Jewelers
has expanded its glory at 700 Fifth, taking over the Tundra location
next door. Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse are following in the footsteps
of Bugs Bunny and departing 711 Fifth. It's so-long Disney, hello
Dunhill - Alfred, that is. Salvatore
Ferragamo is also expanding, to the northeast corner
of 52nd Street. Blanc de Chine is planning
a flagship to 673, northeast corner of 53rd Street.
The old Bugs Bunny haunt on the corner of 57th and Fifth has been
purchased by Louis Vuitton. Across the Avenue,
at 4 West 57th Street, Smythson of Bond St.,
the British stationer, has opened. The Liz Claiborne
flagship store at 650 is under renovation. Cole Haan
has taken over the Custom Shop at 620.
Pokemon Center has arrived at Rockefeller
Center, facing the Plaza.
Fabulous Fifty-seventh Street, between Fifth and
Madison is still one of the most expensive stretches of retail space
in the world. On Fifty-seventh, between Madison and Park, Brioni
for women is replacing Dana Buchman at the Four Seasons Hotel, joining
Brioni for men on the other side of the Hotel
The desire for a retail location on Madison Avenue's Golden
Mile hasn't diminished, in fact, it's probably increased,
causing the Avenue to glow even more brightly, if possible, and
grow even longer: there is another L'Occitane
at 1288, between 91st and 92nd. The Body Shop
is now at 1145 Madison, at 85th Street. On the corner is a brand
new Coach. A block south, Petite Bateau
is at 1094. Le Sportsac opened a boutique at
1063, between 80th and 81st Streets. Fauchon
is at 1000. Sergio Rossi, at 835, expanded
into the Maraola space next door. Lilli Blue
is at 955. At 944, Morganthal Frederics has
doubled its space. Jennifer Tyler Cashmere
is now at 77th Street. At 850, there's a new two-level A Pea
in the Pod. Ralph Lauren Home
will be on the northwest corner of 71st Street, replacing Equipment.
Searle is took Kenzo's place at 805. The Japanese
tea shop, Itoen Kai, is where the Right Bank
Restaurant used to be, next to the original MacKenzie Childs, 69th
Street. Gucci will be between Cartier and Chloe,
at the Westbury, 69th- 70th Streets. Akris
has opened right across the Avenue, next to Prada. Rucoline
is at 794, on the northwest corner of 67th Street.
Brequet took over the former Charles Jourdan
location, 777. Fred Leighton, at the northeast
corner of 66th Street, expanded to the next store. Jean-Paul
Gaultier is at 759, between 65th and 66th Streets.
Ilias LaLaounis has moved to 739. Giuseppe
Zanotti opened its first U.S. boutique here, at 804,
taking over from Peter Fox. Manfredi is now
at 702. Chanel will have a brand new store
for jewelry, accessories, and shoes in the very near future on the
northeast corner of 64th Street. Charles Jourdan,
has opened on the other side of FAO Schwarz. The northwest corner
of 59th Street is now the home of DiModolo
jewelers. Swarovski is opened its first store
at 625. First Class Alviero Martini is at 609.
Eredi Pisano is at 520. There is another Robert
Marc at 488 and a J. Crew for
men is opening at 347 right across from Brooks Brothers and just
steps away from Ann Taylor, opening this summer.
That's just for starters
Farther downtown and much closer to the destruction area, Super-chic
Soho's retail took a beating. The tourist and out-of-town
customer all but disappeared; sales really went down. There has
been talk of Soho's losing its cachet. But the list of new tenants
in the area certainly give lie to that:
On Spring Street: Puma opened the beginning
of the year. MAC reopened at 113. Charles
Jourdan is at 155; Medina Milano
is at 151. Rucoline replaced Varda
at 149 and Varda moved to 147. Burberry
is now at 133. The Museum of Modern Art Design Store
opened at 81 and Robert Danes is just off Spring,
on Wooster. Faconnable is on the northeast
corner of Spring and Mercer. Salvatore Ferragamo
is on the corner of Greene and Spring Streets. Also on Greene, are
Anya Hindmarch; Obzee, 125; Mont Blanc,
118; Hunting World, 116; Armani Casa,
97; La Perla, 93; and Agnes B.
will be at 103. Helmut Lang opened his third
store, in the former Wildenstein Gallery -- 142.
Red Flower is on Prince Street, as is Swiss
Army Brands. Cartier is at 141 Prince Street. Lancel
is the next store. Shiseido 5S is moving to
116; Francois Nars is taking their old place
at 98. Ermenegildo Zegna is taking the old
John Fluevog/Stussy location at 104.
Arche is now at 123 Wooster Street; BCBG
Max Azria is new to 120. Barneys Co-op Store
will take over the old Prada Sport location, 116 Wooster. Marthe
and Francois Girbaud bought a single level building
Marni is opening on Mercer Street. The Marc
Jacobs store at 163 Mercer, is now Marc. Nautica/Earl
Jeans is on Mercer, at 160. Kors is at 159 and Maximus
Spa Salon is at 15.
A fine jewelry boutique, Mizuki, has opened
on Broome. There is a new Polo concept store
Fiorucci returned to New York between Houston
and Bleecker on Broadway. Crate & Barrel
will have a duplex store at 611 Broadway. Prada
opened its spectacular, not-to-be-believed store on Broadway at
Prince Street. Hennes & Mauritz is now
at 558 Broadway. Fossil is at 541. Bloomie's
plans to be at 504, the present the home of Canal Jeans.
On West Broadway, there is Biche de Bere,
482. Tag Heuer has also taken a shop on West
Broadway. Bodyhints lingerie is at 462. Robert
March has opened at 436. Cerrutti Jeans
is opening at 421 West Broadway. Anne Klein
opened its first flagship store at 417 West Broadway, formerly Rene
Lazard. Buffalo Chips will open at 355.
Otto Tootsie Plohound has a new store on Lafayette,
What I have covered here are the three major areas of the city
devoted to supplying luxury - the special things in life that aren't
supposed to be essential for our well-being. Things we can do without.
By what is listed above, one can see that perhaps people can do
without, but they would really rather not. The wonderful, beautiful
things provided on the Luxury Walk, Golden Mile,
and in Super-Chic Soho are part of what makes
life worth living -- they too are necessary. We are alive, our City
is alive, Luxury lives.