New York City: My Coulda Woulda Shoulda Syndrome – Part 3 (Retail Therapy … Fashion)

Arshiya Fakih Eappen , 25 Sep 2012
Arshiya Fakih Eappen
Arshiya Fakih Eappen

How can one not but appreciate the gothic, and rock-inspired Soho fashion swagger, as well as Madison Avenue designer classics! Both so beautifully inter twined in this city. Other than the endless flagship designer stores on Madison Avenue, one must visit the Meatpacking District. Some of the stores I liked there were AllSaints Spitalfields and Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF). There are tons of others that one can appreciate, all in line right there.

Model Cory Kennedy Levin and Olympian Sanya Richards Ross at the BCBG Spring/Summer 2013 show at Fall 2012 New York Fashion Week
Model Cory Kennedy Levin and Olympian Sanya Richards Ross at the BCBG Spring/Summer 2013 show at Fall 2012 New York Fashion Week

Other hot spots

Soho, Downtown, on Broadway
There are some small quirky boutiques like Mystique Boutique for fun inexpensive fashion. Most of the high-street brands from Zara to Steve Madden are all there as well.
The three floors of the BCBG Max Azria flagship store on the Upper East Side is perfect if you are looking to buy some beautifully fitted evening dresses. Some were structured, while others were very feminine and soft.

For discounted designer wear, one can visit Nordstrom Rack (in Union Square), Century 21 (in the Financial District), TJ Maxx (There are a number across the city), and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets (in Central Valley, a one-hour car / bus ride and pretty much a city in itself, so you had better be super organized!).
One can get some amazing deals on designer wear in all these places, but they are especially great for accessories and gifts.
DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) in Union Square has some great designer wear footwear at fabulous prices.

The Childrens Place
The Childrens Place

The Children’s Place (There are a number across the city), had some super cool kids wear. I particularly loved their boots and hats.

Express had some trendy street-style fashion for men.
Tom Ford had some classic yet edgy designer men’s and women’s wear.

Sephora was paradise for makeup. What I like about it is that along with classic brands like YSL and Dior, it also carries contemporary brands like Kat Von D and Soap & Glory. I particularly loved the one in Soho. I got myself some great makeup lessons from Jason (one of the best makeup artists they probably have), and bought some of the most technologically advanced makeup I have seen. I stumbled upon a great mascara from Too Faced. It is called Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System and is basically an eyelash extension mascara with nylon fibers. I promise they will make your lashes look as fabulous as the fake ones, but with NO fuss! The Super-Colour Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumping Gloss from Soap & Glory gives you an instant collagen boost, along with very tingling lips (more than you’d like, I warn you).

Tom Ford catsuit
Tom Ford catsuit

If you love high-end watches, then the Tourneau stores are just for you. An amazing selection of luxury watches and where I found a great two-tone Tag Heuer. It had a diamond bezel and markers. A perfect blend of sporty and blingy fashion!

Men, my intention was definitely not to leave you out, but other than the usual designer wear stores, I didn’t love the men’s fashion. Definitely not the city if you are looking for stylish and hip menswear.
For that, London… London… London… Most definitely!

Gwen Stefani at Sephora Soho
Gwen Stefani at Sephora Soho

I spent endless hours thinking about what life would have been like had I stayed on in New York after my fashion design degree and not left my job there in 1998. Well, I guess I followed my dreams. I launched Araiya in Mumbai, fell in love with an amazing man, endured sleepless nights raising the most beautiful baby, and hence became the person I am today. Even then, I wonder what prompted those thoughts. Is it my love for this city or am I trying to convince myself that I made the right decision? Or maybe, like many others, I’m just suffering from the coulda woulda shoulda syndrome…

A special thanks to my cousin Sameena, who hosted me while in NYC, and made my trip most memorable.

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