Friday, May 31, 2013

34th Street Weekend Picks: Summer Dresses, Park Fun, and More!

Old Navy
There's a 48 hour sale going on right now, ends tomorrow. Get 30% off your purchase in-store. Time to stock up on swim separates and lightweight summer dresses (both below $29.94 before sale)! 150 West 34th Street between Broadway & 7th Avenue

Levi's 34th Street
So many good things are on clearance racks in the back of the Levi's boutique, including all of the tops below. The Marine Layer denim top is soft as silk.  45 West 34th Street just east of Sixth Avenue

Denim vest on sale for $38 (perfect layering piece w/dresses),  Marine Layer blouse  $54.90
Floral shirt, left, $29.90, right $44.90.

Bryant Park Shop
We recently put some merchandise from our sister company's online shop in the park, and you can get most of it for less when you buy from our cart! Look for the Games Cart across from the carousel on the 40th Street side of the park where you can buy kid's and baby T's, Bryant Park water bottles, totes, and even a coloring book! While you're there, you can also bury your friend in a friendly game of Bananagrams. Enjoy! Bryant Park, 40th Street entrance between Fifth and Sixth Avenues

50% off this weekend plus other discounts! I shop AĆ©ropostale for tanks, T's, and activewear, especially their seamless, colorful sports bras.  15 West 34th Street just west of Fifth Avenue

Were $24.50, now $9.80

Curves Open House on 34th Street

I'm on a BIG Bikram Yoga Herald Square high right now (as a friend said "it's addictive"), but I know Bikram isn't for everyone. If you put that bikini on last weekend and shook your head in the mirror, and are looking for a more traditional workout, you should check out the open house this Sunday at Curves on 34th Street.

Here please insert that insufferable Dora the Explorer theme song excerpt: "Can we do it? YES WE CAN!" Annoying, but I don't think it's getting out of my head anytime soon.

See you at Curves this Sunday!

36 West 34th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, 3rd floor

Thursday, May 30, 2013

From the Archives: Saks and Gimbels on Sixth

Today our 34th Street archivist, Anne Kumer, shares some retail history of the district. This post also appears on NYC Circa.

A few short years before the ground broke for Penn Station, construction was underway in Herald Square for a retailer new to the city: Saks. The company, founded by Baltimore merchant Andrew Saks, chose Herald Square as the location for its first New York store in part because of its proximity to the Sixth Avenue elevated train and rumored Penn Station. Along with Macy's and a little later, Gimbels, these major stores would soon redefine Herald Square as a retail hub of the city.

View from Greeley Square, looking north at Herald Square, around 34th Street and Broadway, 1901. Image: MCNY

The Saks building was designed by architecture firm Buchman & Fox, the same firm that would later design the World's Tower building on West 40th Street. Though Saks and Macy's were more or less neck and neck with their store construction and opening announcements, Saks still managed to open its doors just five weeks before Macy's in 1902. Unlike Macy's, a store composed of several departments, Saks in the early 1900s sold only clothing, making it not quite a true department store. Around the same time, one avenue over, Benjamin Altman was purchasing lots on Fifth and 34th to build his new store B. Altman & Co.

The completed Saks building at West 33rd Street with its competitor Macy's one block north at West 34th Street, 1902.Image: MCNY
Saks and Macy's coexisted, offering consumers slightly different inventories -- Saks was an upscale clothing-based retailer, and Macy's catered to the general consumer with a large variety of merchandise-- until 1909, when another large retailer, Gimbels, joined the fray. Founded by Adam Gimbel in Vincennes, Indiana, Gimbels built its first large store in Philadelphia, PA, before constructing a New York branch just one block south of the Saks store, on Sixth Avenue between 32nd and 33rd Streets. Three large department stores in a row + public transportation = retail district.

Gimbels store at Sixth Avenue, between 32nd and 33rd Streets, 1912, thirteen years before the Gimbels Traverse was built. Image: MCNY

Model wearing a Gimbels dress, 1914. Image: LOC

Similar to Macy's, Gimbels was a large department store and family business.  Adam Gimbel had several sons, many of whom worked for the Gimbels Company: Isaac Gimbel became President in 1894, and was the driving force behind the store's expansion to the New York market; that same year, Ellis Gimbel took over Public Relations and advertising for the company. In 1921, he started the first Thanksgiving Parade in Philadelphia, PA, three years before Macy's began its iconic parade in New York City.

The company purchased Saks in 1923, and one year later, created the Saks Fifth Avenue brand, and opened its first store. The 34th Street location was kept open, and the Saks 34th brand was created. High end retail was moving farther north along Fifth Avenue, and the building's out-of-date construction (it didn't have escalators) were key factors in the decision to close the store in 1965.

Looking north from Greeley Square with the Gimbels and Saks buildings on the left, [1965]. Postcard: Anne

In 1967, discount retailer Korvette's moved into the Saks building. They "modernized" the facade, as seen below. Founded in 1947 by Eugene Ferkauf in a small store on Fifth Avenue and West 47th Street, Korvette's expanded quickly, with 2,684 stores in operation by the mid-1960s. This decade also saw a general rise in the national presence of discount retailers.

Same view as above, [1969]. Postcard: Anne
Gimbels stayed open until 1986. When it finally closed, it was cited as the store with the largest shoplifting rate of any in the country, largely because of the Gimbels Corridor. Originally built as a convenience to shoppers, the underground passageway connected the store to Penn Station a couple blocks away, and provided shoplifters with an easy escape. By the 1970s, the corridor had a horrible reputation and was the scene of more than a few gruesome crimes. This very opinionated description from a NY Post article pretty much sums it up: "In the midst of teeming Midtown, bare-bulb fixtures like those in mines marked a path through a Calcutta-like sprawl of diseased, predatory humanity."

After Gimbels closed, the building was renovated, and in 1989, reopened as A&S Plaza, and is now the home of JC Penney and the Manhattan Mall. Next door, the Saks building, now the Herald Center Mall, is slated for yet another makeover.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Levi's 34th Street Sale: Ends Today!

Luckily I noticed this sale at Levi's 34th Street this morning, because it ends today and I always stock up on 501s for my man during these 40% off shopping opportunities (spend $250 get 40% off, spend $150 get 20% off). This time I also picked myself up a pair of perfect skinny boyfriend pants.

Blouse $54, skinny selvedge boyfriend jeans $88

Skinny boyfriend jeans might seem like an oxymoron, but you'll get it when you try them on. I really, really needed new skinny black jeans, but I ended up with baggy/skinny blue jeans. This is what happens when you shop for a blog...

Vest on sale for $39, Liberty London x Levi's dress $220, yellow top $48

Levi's also has a great selection of summer tops and blouses. And look for the Liberty London collab pieces which are now in store (see shirt dress, above left). Their print for Levi's is pretty damn awesome. Hit up the boutique on your way home from work today and take advantage before this special ends.

Levi's 34th Street
45 West 34th Street just east of Sixth Avenue

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spotted at Gap Herald Square: Irresistible Espadrilles

I'm feeling the espadrille this summer, are you?

Perfect espadrilles in Gap Herald Square.

This equally perfect lace-up style found online and at the Herald Square Gap is also making me really feel the espadrille for Summer '13.

And I don't think I can resist this sequin tote any longer. It's green, it's sparkly, and could be my most hip weekend shopping tote/gym-clothes-carrier ever.

Perfect green sequin tote in Gap Herald Square.

Really loving Gap these days, how about you?

Gap Herald Square
60 West 34th Street at Broadway

Friday, May 24, 2013

34th Street Weekend Picks: Sales, Bags, and Bikram!

It's hard to pick just three. Pretty much every store on the main drag of 34th Street will be having a sale through Monday. Following are just a sampling of sale delights:

Through May 27, get 20% off your purchase with a jcp card, or 10% with other payment. Click here for details and online code. Also, find select Pearl by Georgina Chapman dresses on sale (below) at the Manhattan Mall store, and be sure to stop by and check out the L'Amour by Nanette Lepore. Is it wrong I want to buy the pink bomber jacket now, for when my 3-year-old becomes a teen?  Manhattan Mall lower levels 1 & 2, 33rd Street and Sixth Avenue

Gap Herald Square
It's the Red Bright & Blue event at Gap, with up to 40% off select merchandise, like all of the below!  60 West 34th Street

Shoes, pants, tanks!

Desigual Herald Square
They had me at "cat in bag." Get a free maxi bag with a purchase of $199 and up! Cat not included. Also, people, don't really put your cat in this bag, just photoshop him/her in ;)  958 Avenue of the Americas at 35th Street

Bikram Yoga Herald Square
Trust me: there is no better way to do some last-minute shaping up for your bikini than Bikram Yoga. And when you mention the 34th Street Partnership at Bikram Yoga Herald Square, you get your first class for $10, and 10% off an introductory package if you buy that day. Go do it! And Namaste;)  139 West 35th Street, 8th floor, between Broadway and Seventh Avenue

In action at Bikram Yoga Herald Square

Thursday, May 23, 2013

NY Golf Center Style: Seriously Cute on the Green

Are you hitting the golf course this weekend? Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, I highly recommend a trip to New York Golf Center for some appropriately fabulous golf attire. Actually, I'd be very happy to wear any of these off the course, too...

DKNY Golf and Ralph Lauren Polo: classic cute

Love the Jamie Sadock collection! And then there's my favorite color combo, grey and blue.

So many great colors, EVERYWHERE.

 Look for this sign on West 35th, and happy golf shopping, aka spring casual wardrobe shopping.

New York Golf Center
131 West 35th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Upgrade to Pretty: Express Flip-Flops

Sometimes, like just before Memorial Day Weekend, a girl needs to upgrade her flip flops. 

Now is a perfect time to toss those beat-up $3 flip flops and upgrade to this simple and pretty Express version, now 30% off ($20.93, prev. $29.90). They also come in blue and orange!

7 West 34th Street just west of Fifth Avenue

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dress Season on 34th Street!

Every day, as the weather gets warmer, I see the best of spring/summer dresses as I walk through the Fashion District on my way to 34th Street. I'm a pants girl, but even pants girls dream of dresses when it gets hot. So I stopped by Banana Republic to try on a few dresses (and spring tops, to go with my pants, of course...)

Can you say summer wedding? Add a hat, go to Preakness? Meet the parents?

Denim-on-denim perfection (shirt, $69.50, jeans $89.50). This top is so comfortable you're going to want to sleep in it.

Here's what I found on the sale rack:

OK, 3/4 sleeves will be too steamy soon, but is the navy/white not sailor-ific? The mint green is an all-around winner. Work-to-date: check. 

Also from the sale rack: one of those perfect Banana Republic tops that are wardrobe staples for those of us who work in offices, but can also go casual with jeans for a weekend trip.

Banana Republic
17 West 34th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues

Monday, May 20, 2013

#PinkYourPics at Victoria's Secret Herald Square

I love the PINK photo booth at Victoria's Secret Herald Square.

From Victoria Secret's PINK facebook page

I noticed it in action last week, and the users were thrilled to find out from the very polite security woman that it was free (she must answer this question all day). So don't be shy: go #PinkYourPics with your friends while you're shopping Victoria's Secret Herald Square!

Victoria's Secret Herald Square
11328 Broadway at Sixth Avenue

Friday, May 17, 2013

34th Street Weekend Picks: Shoes, Shorts, Camis, and More

Banana Republic
Find shoes on sale (above), and lots of lovely dresses on the sale racks! Also, through May 22nd get 40% off full-priced shorts, T's, tanks, flip flops and more, see store for details. This one's in-store only so be sure to stop by BR on 34th Street when shopping this weekend.  17 West 34th Street between 5th & 6th Avenues

Macy's Herald Square
Look for the RACHEL Rachel Roy and MADE Fashion Week for Impulse on sale, 40%-60% off, on the third floor by the Broadway escalators.  151 West 34th Street between Broadway & Seventh Avenue

Victoria's Secret Herald Square
It's Annual Swim Sale time: get 40% - 60% off swim styles. Spend $75 and up and you get a free beach towel (limited time only, while supplies last, see store for details).  1328 Broadway at Sixth Avenue

If it's a polka-dot cami, it's totally my best-loved cami. Pick up a couple at Express this weekend and they're B1G1 for $9.90. There are also sales on tanks, tops and T's, shorts, and dresses. Manhattan Mall level 1, Sixth Avenue & 33rd Street, and 7 West 34th Street just west of Fifth Avenue

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fashion Star Winner: The Designs in Stores

The final show has aired and Hunter was crowned the winner, congrats to Hunter! This season, instead of having the designs in stores the following day, they were only available online. But Hunter's winning collections for all three retailers are available not just online, but also in select stores. Naturally, we can find them in Macy's Herald Square and Express on 34th Street. Can you tell I'm partial to the Express Fashion Star designs the best?!

Namely because of that fabulous moto vest, awesome black and white blouse, and the really, really comfortable black skirt that I'm wearing with the white blouse. The skater skirt is adorable, too. Also, Hunter's collection at Express fit me better.

The Macy's Hunter collection skews way more ladylike, and is very pretty. My favorite piece is that mint mesh top: it's perfection and also comes in pink. Forget about finding this red scuba lace dress in store, there's only one size 8 left.

 Here's hoping Macy's and Express return next season to Fashion Star!

7 West 34th Street just west of Fifth Avenue
Macy's Herald Square
151 West 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue