New York City is known for its fabulous food, shopping, and endless things to do. Within the five boroughs, there are hundreds of exceptional vintage specialty and boutique shops to explore. Here are NYC’s top ten unique shops and boutiques.
With locations in SoHo and Williamsburg, Amarcord Vintage Fashion brings classic vintage pieces back to life by choosing currently trending items from its storage showroom to put in the stores. This ensures that whatever a customer walks out of the store with will be a classic item that fits into modern context. Amarcord Vintage Fashion boasts upscale clothing pieces from Alexander McQueen, Dior, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Versace. Its magnificent display looks nothing like a typical vintage store and is pleasant to stroll thorough if you cannot bring yourself to purchase a pricey item.
Story, located in Chelsea, is a shop that changes its inventory every four to eight weeks so that each cycle focuses on a new theme, trend, or issue. Story’s concept is to take the “point of view of a magazine, change like a gallery, and sell things like a store.” This idea makes for one of the most fun shopping experiences out there. This store is the perfect place to find a holiday or birthday gift. When stopping by, plan to spend least an hour to stroll through and look at each room.
The Vintage Twin, located in SoHo, is disguised as another ordinary upscale store in the area. In reality, it is a pop-up vintage shop run by a set of twins with a meaningful message. Twins Morgan and Samantha Elias search for vintage ‘treasures’ that have been thrown or given away. The handpicked items are professionally cleaned and reworked to create one-of-a-kind items to be sold in the store or online. This chic company is unique because 10% of its proceeds go to charity, it lessens the demand for mass-produced goods, and no two people can walk out with the same item.
Narnia Vintage, located in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, is an apartment-turned-vintage store that sells clothing, textiles, and jewelry. Highly stylized individuals choose the pieces, and the store’s space is very charming, as it is filled with antique light fixtures and plants. This surprisingly affordable store is filled with pieces from Norma Kamali and Issey Miyake. Behind the two large rooms that make up the shop, there is an enchanting backyard and a basement where customers can meet with designers.
Bird began the boutique movement in Brooklyn in 1999 and has been featured in major press forums from New York Magazine to The New York Times since its opening. Bird has three locations, all of which are in Brooklyn. Bird maintained strict sustainability standards while building, which led to LEED-CI Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The shops carry menswear and women’s wear clothing and accessories from famous designers such as Alex Mill and Acne Studios. The spacious store is a rare find among NYC boutiques and has a sleek, cool feeling despite the exposed brick walls.
Warm is a shop run by a couple who aim to bring their customers’ attention to uncommon designers. Warm is for the urban hippies who long for a warm, comforting place to go when the cold winter comes along. The year-round selection of swimsuits and beach clothing will make you feel like you are on a tropical beach even when there is a blizzard outside. The clothes, accessories, home décor, and children’s clothing will give you a ‘French girl in Southern California’ look.
Legacy is an eccentric boutique and vintage thrift store located in SoHo. The store boasts owner Rita Brookoff’s own designs, as well as new pieces from other designers and hand-picked vintage items. Previously known for being a strictly vintage shop, Legacy now reflects Brookoff’s belief that in order to have a more unique creation or outfit, you must blend the old with the new. This idea can be found in the clothing and accessories offered, as well as the design and décor of the store.
Space Ninety 8, located in Brooklyn, is a trendy, well-kept secret spin-off of Urban Outfitters. It is a unique shop where you can browse through hand-picked vintage pieces, lounge around on comfy couches, check some records, or eat upstairs at the restaurant and rooftop bar. The five-story shared space is the perfect Sunday afternoon activity and can only be found in Williamsburg. Space Ninety 8 will leave you feeling inspired and looking stylish.