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Where is the Best luxury Shopping Right Now in NYC?

the best luxury shopping in New York

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 City (NYC) right now? As long-time residents of Gotham, we can report that the city is roaring back to life after a fallow period due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some beloved favorites are gone – but already newcomers are popping up with glittering new retail spaces. 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 right now.

Insider tips on where to go luxury shopping in Manhattan and NYC right now

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. We’re covering the old and the new – the trusted favorites and the promising newbies.

insider tips on luxury shopping in Manhattan

Guide to 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 randomly buzz all over town.

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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 5, you’ll want to visit the Lower East Side; the Meatpacking District; the Oculus and the rest of the Financial District; NoLita; Chelsea; and the West Village.  There’s even luxury shopping at the South Street Seaport. But those are for another day (and another post).

Here’s our guide with tips to simplified luxury shopping Manhattan right now – 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. There are also outposts of the global luxury brands, like Dior and Louis Vuitton, that occupy iconic spaces in this historic neighborhood.

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

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

For apparel and accessories, once upon a time we would have steered you to the Mothership: the original outpost of Opening Ceremony. Sadly, all of the brand’s retail stores closed in 2020. But you can still shop it online. Totokaelo, (famous for its shoe wall) and “thoughtful womenswear” boutique Anthom have also closed, both victims of the 2020 pandemic lockdown.

Instead, start your visit with cool-girl stores The Webster and Anine Bing on Greene Street. Then hit Kirna Zabete on Broome Street and the RealReal retail store for luxury resale on Wooster. We also love Reformation on Howard Street.

Dover Street Market is slightly outside of SoHo, and absolutely worth a trip if you have time. It’s owned by Comme des Garçons, and each location is curated by Rei Kawakubo.

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For housewares and home goods, Roman & Williams Guild is a gorgeous retail space. The team there has also opened Guild Gallery on Canal Street, which features the work of contemporary ceramic artists and sculptors. Other home shops that get strong reviews are Matter on Broome Street and BDDW (currently by appointment only). 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. 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.

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, Saint Laurent, Burberry, FENDI and Chanel. A block away you’ll find the Gucci and Prada flagships.

Insider tips on the best luxury shopping in New York City (NYC).

Insider tips on the best luxury shopping in New York City (NYC).

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

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

If you’re in search of toys and treats for kids, the flagship FAO Schwartz store is now at 30 Rockefeller Center. American Girl is just a couple of blocks away.

There are wonderful places to stop for a bite to eat – or high tea, or a cocktail. We love L’Avenue at Saks; the Baccarat Hotel bar; and the champagne high tea at the charming Whitby Bar and Restaurant.

3. Midtown West

Ten years ago, there wasn’t much to say about luxury retail on the western end of Midtown. But that’s changed. Having survived the Great Lockdown of 2020, this neighborhood is 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, this is a pleasant way to start: less intimidating and less pricey than its nearby neighbors.

Nordstrom’s first foray into New York is still here. It’s a seven-story, 320,000-square-foot store on West 57th Street. Restaurants at retail are a huge Thing, and Nordstrom’s is no shirker in that regard. There are numerous options for food and drink, including Wolf, helmed by two Seattle-based chefs: Ethan Stowell and James Beard Award-winning Tom Douglas.

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. That’s when the city lights begin to shimmer and glow, Jazz at Lincoln Center performances light up, and the energy of the city feels like a tangible presence.

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

There’s a magnificent Williams-Sonoma flagship, as well as a number of smaller national retail chain stores. You’ll also find Diptyque, Jo Malone and Wolford. The food options are plentiful, and there’s a wonderful bar atop the 5-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel if you find yourself in need of refreshment.

4. Madison Avenue on the 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 evocative of Europe, and probably the most expensive of all of the shopping districts in the city.

You’ll find glamorous stores like Hermes, Asprey, Goyard, and Alexander McQueen. Shoe lovers should definitely 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 houses its enormous New York Maison at 740 Madison. Celine’s 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.

And for an only-in-New York shopping experience, you have to visit Zitomer, an iconic department store and pharmacy where truly chic New Yorkers can be found in their natural habitat.

When it’s time for a break, you’ll find lots of coffee shops on Madison that seem to have been there for decades. In most cases, they have. But should you want to try something a bit more cosmopolitan, there’s a Laduree outpost at 864 Madison. You can also pop over to the Metropolitan Museum for a snack.

5. Hudson Yards

We end our guide to luxury shopping in Manhattan with a mention of Hudson Yards. The space opened in 2019 to a huge fanfare, and then got socked pretty hard by the coronavirus pandemic. But it’s still here, and the indoor mall overlooking the Hudson River is worth a trip for luxury lovers, especially if you’re in the neighborhood to visit the High Line or to see a performance at the Shed.

Some people compare Hudson Yards to the kind of luxury shopping experience you’d find in Dubai, and having been to both, we think that’s accurate. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is entirely up to you.

New York City’s first Neiman Marcus store came and went in a head-spinning turn of events. After a splashy opening, the store closed within a year of opening, another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. The hip Dallas boutique Forty-Five Ten soon followed, much to our disappointment.

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

However, other luxury brands remain. As of this posting, the shopping galleries of Hudson Yards feature Fendi, Dior, Tod’s and Vilebrequin. For fine jewelry and watches, you’ll find Cartier, Panerai, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels and Watches of Switzerland.

The food and drink choices are almost overwhelming here. Our in the know friends swear by Mercato Little Spain for authentic and fresh Spanish specialties in a casual market setting. We also like Queensyard, which serves British fare in a charming space overlooking the river.

guide to the best places for luxury shopping in Manhattan-NYC right now

That’s it! Our insider picks for the top 5 luxury shopping districts in Manhattan and tips on the best stores to visit and where to go when you’re in need of refreshment. Where will you start your New York retail adventures, dear reader? 

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

This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

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