The art of accessorizing is made easy by designer staples that never go out of style
Coco Chanel once famously instructed, “When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.” The queen of fashion’s oft-quoted advice is well worth heeding, but only under the assumption that the accessories are worth putting on to begin with. For that, look to this batch of designers, whose New York flagships have all of your arms, heads, and feet covered – and beautifully so.
Burberry’s signature red, tan, and black plaid may just well be fashion’s most ubiquitous print, and since designer Christopher Bailey joined the British brand in 2001 and gave its buttoned-up image a cool, vintage makeover, it’s only gotten more so. Trenches and raincoats are still the brand’s signature pieces, but on the first floor of its Midtown East flagship, accessories abound for those looking to add just a touch of the classic pattern to their wardrobe. Hardwood displays and brass accents showcase everything from coin pouches to old-school sunglasses to tote bags touting the label’s timeless style. (57th St. nr. Fifth Ave.)
No bag is more coveted than Hermès’s Birkin bag, a leather masterpiece of craftsman created in honor of English actress Jane Birkin. Although this won’t be found on the shelves of the French brand’s four-story home in the Upper East Side (waiting lists are notoriously years-long), myriad of the luxury brand’s other accessories fill the wood-paneled store’s glass cases: cuff links, calfskin-covered notebooks, lacquered bangles bearing the brand’s equestrian logo, and, of course, colorfully patterned scarves made from the finest grade of silk. Packaged to take home in the brand’s shelf-worthy orange boxes bound with a ribbon, the goods lend themselves almost too well to self-gifting. (Madison Ave. at 62nd St.)
Despite being only a year over 50, Marc Jacobs has built a fashion empire around his name – one that is avant-garde but wearable, eye-catching yet flattering, and if nothing else, playful. And while some may find his latest boundary-pushing collections better to regard than to wear, his bags and shoes offer more universal appeal. Fittingly seated on the border between Soho and Nolita where addresses take turns belonging to high fashion houses and independent boutiques, the Marc Jacobs store’s racks of leather sneakers, chunky watches, graphic sunglasses, simple satchels, and statement bags are beloved by trend-setting fashionistas and tried-and-true classicists alike. (Mercer St. nr. Houston St.)
In one of Soho’s landmark buildings formerly home to the downtown outpost of the Guggenheim museum, Prada’s 23,000-square-foot space designed by starchitect Rem Koolhaas is as forward thinking as the goods it houses with a zerbrawood wave artfully cascading between the store’s two floors. Intermingling with Miuccia Prada’s latest ware, masterfully crafted bags (the inimitable line of black nylon staples, for one), colorful footwear including driving loafers and stout-heeled pumps, and retro sunglasses abound. Subtlety has never been one of the house’s foundational pillars, but form and function are: the artful accessories are known for being as comfortable as they are confident. (Broadway nr. Prince St.)