Where is the Best Luxury Shopping in New York?

the best luxury shopping in New York City

Whether for Fashion Week, the holidays or a summer vacation, you may be heading to New York City soon. And you may, at some point, be in the mood to shop. So where is the best luxury shopping in New York? Here are our insider tips on the top 5 luxury shopping districts in Manhattan that we think you’ll love. And the specific stores you should check out if you go. Consider it your trusted guide to luxury shopping in Manhattan.

Insider tips on luxury shopping in Manhattan

There are thousands of great ways to spend time in New York. For many, though, at the top of the to-do list is luxury shopping in Manhattan.

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If that’s your objective, here are our insider tips on the best luxury shopping districts and stores that you really need to visit on your next trip to Manhattan.

insider tips on luxury shopping in Manhattan

The best luxury shopping in New York

The biggest challenge of shopping in New York is that there are so many choices, so many people on foot, and so little time. The FOMO can get so intense that it ruins your mood and the fun of being here.

So our first tip is to have a plan, and to pace yourself. Pick a neighborhood and a category (apparel, fragrance, home goods) and make that your focus for at least half a day. You’ll be happier and more productive than if you try to buzz all over town doing everything.

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Depending on your personal style and income level, you’ll be naturally drawn to certain shopping districts in the city. Overall, if you’re looking for luxury, women’s apparel and accessories, whimsy, cutting-edge retail formats and exquisite service, then this list is for you. There are 5 shopping districts that you’re going to love, and we’ve highlighted some of our favorite shops in each one.

insider tips on luxury shopping in Manhattan

Once you’ve done these, you’ll want to visit the Lower East Side, the Meatpacking District, the Oculus, NoLita, Chelsea, and the West Village.  There’s even new luxury shopping cropping up at the South Street Seaport. But those are for another day (and another post).

Here’s our guide to simplified luxury shopping Manhattan – these 5 destinations are where you should start.

1. SoHo

Shopping is SoHo is all about the cool creative specialty stores in the neighborhood. Many were born here, which makes it even more fun to see their original stores. 

Best luxury shopping in New York: Greene Street in SoHo, New York City.

You should have these on your list, and you can make the rounds in a couple of seriously therapeutic hours.

For apparel and accessories, head to the Mothership: the original outpost of Opening Ceremony. 35 Howard Street is dedicated to women’s wear, and 33 Howard Street caters to men. Then visit cool-girl stores Totokaelo, (famous for its shoe wall); The Webster and Anine Bing on Greene Street; Kirna Zabete; and “thoughtful womenswear” boutique Anthom. Hit the RealReal retail store for luxury resale. We also love Reformation on Howard Street.  Dover Street Market is slightly outside of SoHo, and worth a trip if you have time. It’s owned by Comme des Garçons and each location is curated by Rei Kawakubo.

For housewares and home goods, Roman & Williams Guild is a gorgeous retail space. Other home shops that get strong reviews are Matter and BDDW. And definitely do not miss the wonderful downtown outpost of the MoMA Design Store on Crosby Street.

insider tips on luxury shopping in Manhattan

If you visit during New York Fashion Week or the holidays, there will be pop-up stores to explore, as well. Many brands, like Mansur Gavriel start with a pop-up and if it works, then open a permanent location. In the past, Valentino has done launches from a SoHo pop-up. Bring an adventurous spirit, and you’ll definitely find something wonderful shopping in SoHo. And if you need a pick-me-up, the charming and chic Crosby Street Hotel is a perfect place for a cocktail or a cup of tea.

2. Midtown East

Midtown East shopping features all of the iconic department stores that you’ve seen in film and in luxury brand advertisements. If you’re looking for the electric thrill of New York, and a traditional luxury experience, this is your place.

Saks Fifth Avenue has renovated its flagship store extensively in the past couple of years. So if you haven’t been there recently, you need to go and see it. In addition to a new restaurant and rooftop bar, there’s a new beauty floor. And the Vault, a new fine jewelry destination.

Insider tips on luxury shopping in Manhattan: the terrace at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. Photo Credit: The New York Times.

Bergdorf Goodman is a must-stop for any Manhattan shopping itinerary. The “luxury row” on East 57th Street has flagship locations for Louis Vuitton, Dior, FENDI and Chanel. A block away you’ll find the Gucci and Prada flagships. And a bit further south is Valentino’s magnificent store.

If you’re looking for fine jewelry, you’ll find Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, Bulgari and Tiffany’s all within a couple of blocks of each other.

Insider tips on luxury shopping in Manhattan: the Bvlgari flagship store on Fifth Avenue.

3. Midtown West

Ten years ago, there wasn’t much to say about luxury retail on the western end of Midtown. But all that has changed. And now, it’s becoming a luxury shopping district of its own, albeit one that feels a bit less like shops you’d find “only in New York.” We’re including it in our guide to luxury shopping in Manhattan because if you want to ease your way in, you could start here.

Nordstrom’s is coming to town, so if you’re here on or after October 24, 2019, check out their first foray into New York. It’s a seven-story, 320,000-square-foot store on West 57th Street. Restaurants at retail are a huge Thing right now, and Nordstrom’s is no shirker in that regard. There will be six options for food and drink, including offerings from two Seattle-based chefs, Ethan Stowell and James Beard Award-winning Tom Douglas.

The best luxury shopping in New York City: the new Nordstrom’s in Midtown West. Photo Courtesy Nordstrom’s.

If the weather is foul, or you’re going to an event at Lincoln Center, or you just want something a little less challenging, The Shops at Columbus Circle are actually quite fun, especially after dark.

The best luxury shopping in New York: the Shops at Columbus Circle, Upper West Side. Photo Credit: Alex Lopez.

There’s a two-story magnificent Williams-Sonoma, as well as a number of smaller national retail chain stores. There’s also Diptyque, Jo Malone and Wolford. The food options are plentiful, and there’s a wonderful bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel if you find yourself in need of refreshment.

4. Upper East Side

Strolling along Madison Avenue and window shopping (or actually shopping!) between 57th and 89th Streets is one of the great joys of a visit to Manhattan. It’s the most refined, most European, and probably the most expensive of all of the shopping districts in the city.

You’ll find glamorous stores like Hermes, Barneys New York, Asprey, Goyard, and Alexander McQueen. Shoe lovers should make a pilgrimage to Gianvito Rossi at 963 Madison.

The best luxury shopping in New York: Madison Avenue Upper East Side.

Hot brand Bottega Veneta has its Maison at 740 Madison. Celine’s new Manhattan flagship at 650 Madison is definitely worth a stop, too.

One of the unique specialty stores on the Upper East Side is Fivestory. It occupies a historic townhouse on East 69th Street and offers a selection of luxury apparel, jewelry, beauty, and accessories. The Row’s New York flagship is also located in a gorgeous townhouse not far away, on East 71st Street.

5. Hudson Yards

No guide to luxury shopping in Manhattan would be complete without a mention of Hudson Yards.

Hudson Yards is the new kid on the block, and it’s worth a trip for luxury lovers. Some people compare it to the kind of luxury shopping experience you’d find in Dubai – whether that’s a good or a bad thing is entirely up to you.

New York City’s first Neiman Marcus store spans three floors at Hudson Yards. There’s a spa, pop-up flower shop, a great restaurant, market hall, and a private room for jewelry shopping.

Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards, New York. Photo Credit: Dandelion Chandelier.

Other luxury brands in the shopping galleries of Hudson Yards include Chanel, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Kenzo, and Dior. For fine jewelry, check out Watches of Switzerland, Van Cleef & Arpels and Piaget.

And for truly interesting new brands and ways to style them, we’re loving Forty Five Ten, a specialty store founded in Dallas that has opened its first outpost in New York.

the top luxury shopping districts in Manhattan

That’s it! Our picks for the top 5 luxury shopping districts in Manhattan. Where will you start your New York retail adventures? 

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.

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