September 2, 2014

SF Gal in NYC Style Series: East Village Locals

Though I am staying in the very fist of the corporate America infrastructure that destroys domestic jobs and creates cheap barely wearable frocks (there’s a Forever21 across the street from me here in times square) I will not let that stop me on  my quest for locally produced and distributed goods, and so I chose to check out NYMADE lovelies in the East Village today. A special thanks to Abby Bellare for pointing me in this direction!  Here are the boutiques on my list, and I can’t wait to show you what I come up with :0. Cheerio! (like goodbye for now, not like the cereal)

Best independent shops: East Village

By Erin Wylie

Lovesong 422
You’ll be hard-pressed to find anything over $100 in this cheerful little women’s boutique, whose credo is that “every woman should embrace the inner child within that still yearns to play dress up.” That might explain the cheap, chic youthful garb, and rainbow of fun underwear and accessories. Standouts are the vintage dresses ($50–$60), which mingle with new finds like a checked dress by Insight with multicolored buttons ($76).
441 E 9th St between Avenue A and First Ave (212-533-5498;

Guys who want to look like extras on the set of
The Grapes of Wrath should head to Stock, where Americana-flavored vintage is buyer Melissa Howard’s passion. The well-worn wood and wrought-iron interior is mirrored in the merchandise: faded denim, soft-beyond-compare rugby shirts, knit ties ($45-$65) and work boots by the dozen (starting at $165). 143 E 13th St between Fourth and Third Aves (212-505-2505)

Trash and Vaudeville
Before St. Marks Place became synonymous with cheap, sunglasses and offensive T-shirts, it was the epicenter of NYC punk. T & V is real-deal—they outfitted Debbie Harry, the Ramones and many CBGB attendees—and, although it’s now filled with more tourists than anyone would like, the service remains amiable and attentive. Browse row upon row of Dr. Martens, skinny jeans by Tripp NYC (a steal at $52), studded collars, bondage pants, Manic Panic hair dye and plenty of other things that would make your mom mad.
4 St. Marks Pl between Second and Third Aves (212-982-3590)

Sure, it’s expensive, but it’s the only place in the East Village that sells avant-garde men’s designers like Robert Geller and Coming Soon. The look is natty with a hipster twist, so pair your beat-up denim with an overdyed short sleeve oxford ($195) by cult-favorite Band of Outsiders and top it off with a Rag and Bone vest ($369). The shop also offers a well-curated selection of grooming products (lines like Malin + Goetz) and accessories (streamlined Commes des Garçons wallets).
328 E 11th St between First and Second Aves (212-475-0666,

East Village Florist
A whitewashed exterior, hand-painted sign and oodles of cacti and succulents make this florist shop look like something uprooted from Marfa, Texas. But it doesn’t only tread in Wild West territory: Whether you need an apologetic arrangement of exotic blossoms, a wedding bouquet of calla lilies or just a blooming cactus to spruce up your windowsill, EVF’s got something for you.
247 E 10th St at First Ave (212-387-8305,

Barbara Feinman Millinery
Since 1998, Barbara Feinman has been designing hats for plebes (men, women, bridezillas) and Hollywood royalty alike in her old-timey boutique. Handmade and tailored for the wearer, Feinman is determined to find precisely the right hat for you, be it a custom job or off the wall. For spring, ladies should check out the ready-to-wear Flowerpot raffia cloche ($165), which evokes Audrey Hepburn, and gents should slip on the op-art–inspired Tropical Sting Brim ($160), a surprisingly smooth blend of your grandpa and Pete Doherty.
66 E 7th St between First and Second Aves (212-358-7092,

Opened late last year by sisters Wendy and LaRae Kangas (the “duo”), this narrow space boasts a mix of well-edited vintage and up-and-coming indie designers—with an emphasis on labels produced in the U.S., like Keller. A tightly edited selection of vintage shoes (woven leather flats and Roper boots), bags (a stunning snakeskin box bag on sale for $50) and other accessories ($35 sunglasses, circa the ‘80s with laces woven through the side) make this shop a big draw.
337 E 9th St between First and Second Aves (212-777-7044,

Cry Wolf
Justify spending cash on worldwide streetwear collections (from cutting-edge foreign brands like Greyhound and Acme) by forgoing the expensive plane ticket. Husband-and-wife owners Abirir Ward and Nina Wolf switch up the collections here every season, rotating in labels from all fashionable corners of the earth.
111 St. Marks Pl between Ave A and First Ave (212-995-9653)

Obscura Antiques & Oddities
This tiny curiosity cabinet of a shop acts as a museum, preserving cast-off objects and ephemera for future generations. Chockablock with industrial furniture, taxidermied mammals and vintage photographs, one’s eyes never know where to rest. The prices (and owners) are very friendly, and the place is the perfect destination if you’re in the market for, say, a striking dried starfish or a vintage bowler hat ($75).
280 E 10th St between Ave A and First Ave (212-505-9251,

Photo by Caz Photography; bracelet thrifted in Brooklyn

This article was originally published on Modelina Michelle With List by Erin Wylie of Time Out New York