Color us consumers (guilty as charged!) but we are relentless hunters of the most exciting, rewarding, jealousy-inducing shopping opportunities out there. From coast to coast and the world over, we'll hunt down rare vintage, hand-made relics, of-the-moment accessories, and anything else that falls within our awesome-radar. With optimistic brands snatching up prime retail space in an ongoing quest for expansion and conquest, there was a burst of hot new spots to shop, many of which lie in the convenient grids of major US cities, and thus our consumer tendencies have been revved up for a new year of fueling the economy with our very own wallets. Find out what our radar picked up on this year!
Isabel Marant, New York—French-designer Isabel Marant opened her very first US boutique in Soho this past April to a throng of loyal fans. The gorgeous space, decorated as a wooden cork room by French architect Nicolas Andre, highlights the accessories for which your draw will probably drop. We know ours did. 469 Broome Street (at Greene Street), New York; 212-219-2284.
All Saints, New York—Known as a punk-chic favorite among the most stylish cats in the UK, All Saints opened its first stand-alone New York boutique in May. They boast all of the brand's accoutrements from across the pond, including looms, ram skulls and singer sewing machines. Last week the brand celebrated the opening of a second location in the Meatpacking District. With two locations opening in a single year, there seems to be a sparkling future in All Saint's immediate distance. 512 Broadway (at Spring Street), New York City; 646-862-1832.
Vanessa Bruno, Los Angeles —Vanessa Bruno's first US location created tons of buzz before opening in July. The public was hungry for access to her signature Athé diffusion accessories collections. When they came into arm's length, feathers flew for the chance to own a piece. The 2,700 square-feet flagship is bursting at the seams with vintage furniture, french boudoir ambiance swirling through the inventory. Stop by for a chance to see a full-sized mural of model-actress Lou Doillon—the icing on your shopping cake. 8448 Melrose Ave (at Alfred Street), West Hollywood; 323-655-5300.
Pierre Hardy, New York—Shoe stalkers beware: Pierre Hardy opened it's doors just a few days ago, bringing chic architectural footwear to a cozy corner in West Village. Known for his clean aesthetic and sculptural designs, the Pierre Hardy boutique mirrors his minimalistic approach and includes a box-happy shoe display and simple gray tones throughout. 30 Jane Street (near 8th Avenue), New York; 646-449-0070.
Rac, Toronto —Created by Glenna Weddle and Faith Orfus, Rac boutique opened in August 2010, with a roster of emerging and international women's designers. Used as a creative forum, the space also houses accessories, specialty books and gifts in the heart of Toronto's lovely Yorkville neighborhood. 124 Cumberland Street (at Bellair Street), Toronto; 647-352-4433.
Acne, London—Acne's covet-able denim and classic, clean aesthetic is finally accessible to London's cool kids on Dover Street as of July. Their largest studio to date, Acne Studios includes four floors of Acne's Pop, Denim and Miniature collections, and a roof terrace to boot. Keep your eyes out for the next generation of UK it-kids shopping here. 13 Dover Street, London; +011 020 7629-9374.
Trillium, Chicago—Named after the trillium flower, former buyer and owner Erica Cook opened Trillium Chicago in the fall as Wicker Parks' latest chic addition. The boutique houses a mix of threads, including a well-curated mix of button-downs from Steven Alan, striped Joie tunics and buttery leather bags by J.W. Hume. 1744 West Division Street (at Hermitage Street), Chicago, IL; 773-698-8162.
Marc Jacobs, Milan—Marc Jacobs has become a retail kingpin and nearly household name with his massive range of products (cute $30 rainboots, or any item from his newly opened bookstore, for instance), so his new store in Milan is no reason to gasp. But 3,132 square-feet of temptation may just be. Aside from the obvious floor to cover whilst in shopping mode, you can lounge with your purchases later in the luxurious cafe/bar (designed by Stephan Jaklitsch), replete with neon signs for a cool, modern glow. Piazza del Carmine, 6, Milan; +011 02 7200-0329.