When it comes to New York shopping, we were certain that we knew pretty much everything. So, we're a tad embarrassed to confess that this cutting-edge Nolita boutique completely took us by surprise during a weekend jaunt down Elizabeth Street. The name: Babel Fair, a little NYC shop that packs a mondo punch with hard-to-find clothing, accessories, and treasures that speed up our heart-rate to dangerous levels. The boutique was founded in October by Erica Kiang, a world traveler (hence the reference to the infamous Tower of Babel), who spends a good chunk of her year exploring foreign fashion in far-flung locales. The result is a carefully curated shop of wonders stocked with a laundry list of designers that aren't carried anywhere else in the city. Look for zipper-detailed frocks from Spain's El Delgado Buil and loud print scarves from Brazilian brand Alessa, plus Japanese denim, Argentinean leather, French chocolate, and custom-made acrylic nails from Hong Kong. Plus, the interior is pretty worldly, too—we're loving the crate-like tables, screaming yellow boxes, and the upside-down mural of artsy, iconic buildings. If you haven't checked it out, we urge you to do so—you'll walk out feeling like your style passport got a whole lot more stamps.
Ms. Kiang was nice enough to give us the inside scoop on her five favorite items available in the store right now:
1. El Delgado Buil Leather Scarf with Zip Pockets ($249): "Keep your hands free with this best-selling leather scarf by Spanish line El Delgado Buil---a chic combination of a scarf and a wallet!"
2. El Delgado Buil Chiffon Striped Skirt ($299): "This flirty chiffon skirt is subtly sexy with transparent stripes that reveal a glimpse of boy shorts underneath."
3. Striped Romper by Danish brand Gestuz ($159): "Gestuz hit the nail on the head with this edgy romper that has a slinky Blade Runner feel."
4. "R75" Binary Code Watch by Japan's Tokyo Flash ($249): "We still can't read the R75 binary code watch, yet it's our favorite accessory. Go figure."
5. Morrine Comte Marant Ruffle Vest ($249), & Bow-Tie Necklace ($49) : "This vest and necklace feel like a cool version of Gossip Girl . How could that be a bad thing?"
Like always, we've managed to pull some strings! The Babel Fair team has agreed to give y'all 25% off in-store purchases until August 4! After a week's worth of discounted shopping at this Nolita gem, we're sure that this boutique will become one of your fast-favorites, too. Don't forget to say Refinery29 at checkout!
Babel Fair; 260 Elizabeth Street (between East Houston and Prince streets); 646-360-3685