Our Pop-Up Institute for Craft & Ingenuity opens in just a few hours—get a behind-the-scenes look here—but on those rare occasions when we're not inclined to make something ourselves, we turn our discerning eye to a handful of respectable purveyors of well-curated accoutrements. And while it's easy enough to find beautiful things on the Internet these days, the old-fashioned brick-and-mortar can offer a rather more immersive browsing experience.
This summer has seen the debut of a few new design-centric stores from established retailers here in the Lower Manhattan, offering an impressive selection of gift items for residents and visitors alike. Here are our pics/picks:
We've had our eye on Shinola since they soft-launched earlier this year, so we were pleased to hear that they were planning to set up shop in NYC in addition to their main operation in Detroit. The Tribeca storefront is on the ground floor of a building that also houses offices and a showroom for Steven Alan, which is also owned by mogul-behind-the-curtain Tom Kartsotis. Following the very successful opening of their flagship store in Motor City, the NYC outpost quietly opened about a month ago, featuring a selection of the Made-in-Detroit wristwatches, bicycles, leather goods and more, as well as a few items from likeminded store Hickoree's.
The small leather goods are exclusive to the store
Designed by Rockwell Group, the understated retail space features a small café in the front and a full store in back; the furniture, fixtures and details collectively "harken back to America's manufacturing legacy." The bespoke pieces, such as the multipurpose shelving and bleachers that line opposite walls, nicely complement the reclaimed and vintage pieces, from the brass library lamps to the bronze world map, which originally bedecked "the lobby of an oil company located at Rockefeller Center."
The custom stamping machine is tucked in the back cornerThe custom stamping machine is tucked in the back corner Slugs. Guess I can't get a wallet monogrammed with "Pizza"...
Just a couple cobbled blocks away, the fellas behind Best Made Co. have set up shop on White St., where one can check out their instantly-iconic axes in person. The narrow entranceway is neatly lined with the handpainted tools; a larger, lofted office space in back was open during a recent sample sale but is usually closed to the public (though you can take a peek on weekends).
McNally Jackson is easily one of our favorite local independent booksellers, so I was excited to stumble upon a new-ish spinoff simply called McNally Jackson Store. Billed as "Goods for the Study," it's a close approximation of a Japanese stationery store, a cozy shop lined with various vintage desks, each one a dense mise-en-scène devoid of laptop or smartphone.
The beautiful writing implements are generally as pricey as they look, but the McNally Jackson Store is well worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood.