February 9, 2012
The Philadelphia region has welcomed a spate of brand new trend-defining stores of late, spreading fashion and function from Rittenhouse Square all the way to King of Prussia.
Winter is a great time to get your local shop on, as shops are starting to stock exciting new spring merchandise, and cozy sweaters and scarves are available at discount prices. Plus: did you hear that Lucky Magazine just named Philly one of the country’s 25 top shopping cities?
Check out some of Philadelphia’s newest places to shop, below:
• Busybee Homestore: A Philly company long known for real estate staging has staged a real shop of its own in a massive South Street storefront. The company’s retail division sells new and gently used furnishings and great hostess gifts, all within shouting distance of its design services, should a customer need quick advice.
• Chairloom: Main Line mom turned design maven Molly Andrews and business partner Tracy Jenkins offer fresh re-imaginings of old seating — settees reupholstered in modern florals, antique armchairs swathed in luxe velvet, midcentury sofas reworked in brilliant geometric prints — at her by-appointment-only showroom.
• Earth: Seamlessly blending green design and green itself, this Chestnut Hill newbie offers perfect little terrariums, soft taupe seating, bath-time aromatherapy and gardening tools and plants, all brought to you by Doug Reinke, the proprietor of beyond-successful Host furniture stores.
• Hipster Home: Bright Buddha bowls, Gus Modern’s square armchairs and Blu Dot’s electric-hued furnishings reside in the most recent location of Dave Friday and Lindsay Herman’s contemporary décor and gift shop.
• Linen: The best of modern bedding, classic-modern beds, high-end bath linens and a well-edited array of children’s clothes fill Doug Reinke’s third Chestnut Hill shop (Host and Earth are also his).
• Deconstructed Living: Vintage school maps, shipping pallets made into coffee tables and potting tables reworked as display pieces are among the finds at Audra Fine’s clean design-meets-rustic Main Line furniture and accessories shop.
Continue reading, below.
• Morihata: Beneath a factory-turned-loft building, shopkeeps Yuka and Kaz Morihata display wares that epitomize impeccable Japanese accessories and tools. The boutique’s signature stock has quickly become extra-soft Yoshii towels (woven cotton on one side, terry on the other), but shoppers can’t get enough of their tin-plated wasabi graters, cast-iron bottle openers, wooden tea canisters and other instant home essentials.
• RevivalSmith: Vintage specialist, blogger and Etsy alum Lise Gaule deftly gathers the vintage-and-older pieces in her small Manayunk co-op. Chairs here are upholstered in old feedbags and ticking. Birdcages adorn windows one week, rescued school lockers the next, maybe traditional straw hats after that.
• Barbour: This shop’s repertoire consists of traditional wax jackets, tweed caps, check shirts and crewneck “jumpers” that embody the sporting life across the pond.
• Briar Vintage: Some of the mint-condition pieces—trousers, blazers, boots, bowties, belts, top hats and other curiosities reclaimed from men’s wardrobes in the 1800s through the 1960s—in this tiny enclave are obviously American. But the look and feel of this Old City experience seem straight out of Sherlock Holmes, Boardwalk Empire or Mad Men.
• Jack Wills: This self-proclaimed “fabulously British” brand exemplifies collegiate style with its tweedy blazers, toggle-close gilets, shawl-neck sweaters and crested rugby shirts.
• Papilio: This all-things-that-need-to-fit-right shop—the third to open in the U.S. and the first to open in a city—offers excellent hosiery and swimwear, with personalized service to match.
• Wolford Boutique: Surely Austrian engineering goes into the design of this most iconic of leg-, under- and shape-wear brands. Fashionistas swear Wolford’s opaque tights last and last, and onlookers observe that their undergarments make everything atop them look just a bit better.
The Movement Movement
• Athleta: Nike’s signature earthy-chick brand has joined competitors Lululemon and City Sports along Center City’s Rittenhouse Row. The retailer offers styles that work in and beyond the gym, trail, slopes and studio; boasts an excellent selection of sports bras; offers in-store Tae Bo, Zumba and fitness classes; and organizes a running club.
• Swim ‘N’ Sport: This 58-year-old specialty swim shop made its long-awaited debut in King of Prussia, offering fit-centric suits, bikinis and cover-ups. The shop’s go-to repertoire of designers include Calvin Klein, Gottex, Body Glove and Trina Turk.
• Trove General: American and European heritage brands are the focus at this ruggedly handsome Main Line shop of Charlotte Bonner, Molly Bonner and Foster Zeh, as stylishly outdoorsy as their shop’s wares. The boutique has singlehandedly revived the local popularity of Pendleton, Woolrich, Filson, Bill’s Khakis, Dubarry and other tried-and-true labels, making suburban shoppers realize it’s cool to go old school.
More To Love
• Free People: Philadelphia-based retail giant Urban Outfitters brings its hippie aesthetic back to town (albeit to tony Walnut Street) with its most free-spirited clothing and accessories brand. The company’s others include Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Terrain, BHLDN.
• Laila Rowe: This off-price women’s accessories shop became an instant hit along the burgeoning Chestnut Street corridor, offering steals and deals on chunky beaded bracelets, statement cocktail rings, ribbon necklaces, stylish sunhats, umbrellas, rain boots, handbags and easy adornments.
• Nicole Rae Styer: This longtime Philly clothing designer has scored an eponymous shop along South Philly’s East Passyunk Avenue. Styer’s signature look is to update standard tanks, minis and tees with funky vintage trimmings, neon lace and more fun flourishes that are ruffly, feathery and such.