it is -- already Spring. It seems as though only yesterday I wrote
the Faith Report for Winter. The year started off with enthusiasm
and confidence. Across the country, the cliché, "things
are better", proved time and time again to be true and not only
at home, but around the world.
As we head into the wonderful, warm days of summer, economic reports
all seem to be sending the same message: improving profits and strong
growth. It is believed that the luxury market as a whole could outperform
other market indexes, as the economy overcomes its final inertia
and really starts to roll. This is a season of hope and confidence.
In fact, consumer confidence has been the strongest since
New York is the capital of the World, no doubt about it. All through
the first part of this year, we've watched as the excitement and
the energy has grown. The retail real estate market reflects this,
as the Luxury Walk of Fifth Avenue becomes increasingly more Luxurious,
the Golden Mile has acquired a high sheen and all over town the
by-words are chic and exciting -- in practically every neighborhood.
So far, this year is keeping its promise:
fabulous Fifth Avenue: At the corners of the four jewels, Fifth
and 57th, Louis Vuitton has opened its largest store in the world
-- five floors of Luxury on the Northeast corner. The exterior is
contemporary; the interior, Old-World elegance. DeBeers is scheduled
to open in the old Vuitton space, the Southeast corner of 55th and
Fifth. FAO Schwarz has closed, but will re-open soon, to be with
us another seventy years, at least. There is a new Erno Laszlo Spa
now at Bergdorf Goodman. Alice Temperley, of London and Soho, New
York City, now has a boutique at Henri Bendel. The Ermenegildo Zegna
flagship will open soon, incorporating their division, Agnona, between
52nd and 53rd Streets.
Sephora is returning to the Rockefeller Center area -- 48th Street,
replacing Benetton, next to American Girl Place, south of Saks Fifth
On the Golden Mile: Damiani, famous for its Diamonds, is on Madison
Avenue -- 800, replacing Manrico. Alain Mikli has left Lauren country
and in now at 986 Madison, replacing Jennifer Tyler. Jan Krugier
Gallery is at 980 Madison Avenue. Francesca Romano's new flagship,
957. Fresh has returned to Madison, 922, formerly Neuhaus Chocolatier,
who is moving to another location on the Avenue. Léron Linens
has moved from the corner of 65th to 806 Madison, between 67th and
68th Streets. Melonie de France opened in the L'Etoile space, next
to La Goulue. Within Reach will open its fourth store at 62nd and
Madison next month. Molton Brown is arriving from Britain and opening
two stores, one at 515 Madison; the other, 1098 Third. Bric's leathergoods
is replacing Qiora at Madison and 54th Street. L'Occitane is expanding
yet again -- 510 Madison, between 52nd and 53rd. Andrew's Ties USA
is at 400 and rumor has it that Louis Vuitton may open shop close
to Gucci at the Westbury...
On 57th Street: Dior Homme has opened on East 57th Street. H. Herzfeld
is moving from Madison Avenue to 118 East 57th, previously Gorevic.
Gioia, moving from Park Avenue will be two doors away on the same
block. At 4 West 57th, the Bank of America now has a two-level banking
salon replacing Laura Biagiotti.
On the Upper East Side: There will be a new Ferrari Showroom on
Park Avenue and 55th Street, across the street from the recently
renovated Mercedes Benz. Searle is expanding on Third Avenue. Alexia
Crawford's flagship is at 1031 Third and Select Comfort, fine furniture,
is at 1030, across the road. Bliss Spa is now owned by Starwood
and will be opening in the W Hotel, at 540 Lexington, across from
the Waldorf. Another Bliss will be in the W on Times Square and
others in Ws around the world. W Hotels - the Store is at the Northeast
corner of 49th Street The superhip Ws are now making hotel merchandise
available to guests and shoppers in stores worldwide as well. Peter
Elliot Blue will open soon on Lexington, the Southeast corner of
Other new shops on Lexington Avenue are preppy fashions, C.K. Bradley,
at 74th Street; Che Che New York, 1034 and 74th; Pieper & Kojen,
jewelry, 1023 Lexington and 73rd; and Jackie Rogers, also at 73rd.
On the West Side: Barneys Co-Op will dazzle when it opens on Broadway,
between 75th and 76th Streets, at 2139. Bloch International is at
304 Columbus and 74th Street. Blair Delmonico will join the Shops
at Columbus Circle. British Lush, the first U.S. Shop, is at 1293
Broadway, Herald Square. Way over West is Qui, furniture, 601 West
In what is euphemistically known as Clinton: Lyd, from London,
is at 405 West 44th Street. Meis & Design, 319 West 47th Street,
and Han Feng, 174 Eleventh Avenue.
On the Flatiron: Target may aim for 23rd Street, joining Home Depot,
also on 23rd, just around the corner from Ladies' Mile.
In the Meatpacking District: Arriving from Los Angeles, Poleci,
store and showroom, 414 West 14th street, joining Stella and Carlos...
In the Hotel Gansevoort, Henry Beguelin, handbags from Milan.
In Soho: There's Flora, 732 Thompson, between Spring and Broome.
Mankind, men's boutique, 8 Greene Street. White Furniture, 353 Broadway,
near Franklin. Clarins is scheduled to arrive later. Adidas, 610
Broadway and Crosby. Saigoniste, 186 1/2 Spring Street. Italian
scooters from Aprilia USA, 155 Sixth Avenue. G-Star Raw arriving
soon, 63 Prince at Lafayette, replacing Roots.
Nolita: Mogu -- pillows and mushy furniture, 258 Elizabeth Street.
Travel-inspired clothes by Troy, 257 Elizabeth. Parisian handbags
by Jack Gomme, 252 Elizabeth and Lyell fashions, 173 Elizabeth.
The West Village: American Apparel, 373 Sixth Avenue, near Waverly
Place. Dernier Cri -- 869 Washington Street. Jacques Torres, chocolatier,
at 350 Hudson Street. Christian Louboutin's second store, 59 Hudson.
Stacey Haase's signature apparel and home furnishings to open at
a not determined address in September. Pellat-Finet sweaters on
Christopher Street. Viv Pickle handbags, 238 West 10th Street. Intermix,
365 Bleecker, corner of Charles, high-end apparel.
And in the East Village: From Britain, Eskandar, 35 East 10th, just
In the Financial District: Jean Louis David, Broadway and Vesey
Street, for hair.
What could be a better examples of New York's World Capital status
than the hundreds of different varieties of places to stay for those
thousands of people who come to our fair city every day, every week,
every year, for business, for pleasure, just out of curiosity. There
were nearly 71,000 hotel rooms available in the city last year,
with more to come.
Two of the new offer the ultimate in elegance and splendor: The
Ritz-Carlton, 50 Central Park South, in the former St. Moritz, has
a spa by La Prairie and a dining room by Gabriel Kreuther.
The Mandarin Oriental, in the Time Warner Center, looks across
the magnificent Manhattan skyline with floor-to-ceiling opulence.
The Asiate restaurant captures the elements of European and oriental
The spa supplies a high-performance fitness center and a complete
"journey of the senses".
New luxury boutique hotels were added this year, with others on
the way. Maritime, built on the site of the old Maritime Union Headquarters
at 36 West 16th Street, has been described as an "ocean voyage
from Japan, by way of Palm Springs". The rooms resemble ship's
cabins with Asian overtones.
The windows are five-foot portholes and the hotel's ocean-liner
size restaurant, Matsuri, is considered one of the best in the city,
giving Nobu a run for its money.
Also of Asian persuasion, with a little more Zen, is The Alex,
205 East 45th Street. With hand-laid terrazzo floors, bamboo accents
and the Riingo Restaurant by Marcus Samuelson, it has been said
that one can become almost too relaxed at The Alex.
There is the "profile preference" list that records guests'
partialities in food, soaps, music, etc., so that these will be
provided on each stay, without having to ask.
Just opened in the historic Gansevoort Historic District (the Meatpacking
District) is the Hotel Gansevoort, 13th Street and Ninth Avenue.
Although the interior is minimalist in design, the extravagant use
of fabric and leather gives the rooms a rich and sumptuous feeling.
Bay windows with seating areas provide panoramic views of the Hudson.
The restaurant is tri-level and again, Japanese, Ono, from the famous
In Soho, Benjamin Soleimani, developer of Hotel 41 on 41st Street,
will build The Bond Street Hotel, 10-12 Bond Street and Lafayette.
Mr. Soleimani says that there will be high ceilings, French windows,
and terraces looking out on Lafayette. It will be for fashion designers
and artistic people...
These are only a few examples of what hotel life in New York is
like. Much more fun than being put up by friends or relatives on
the sofa in the other room.
Have a lovely Summer!