Intermix and the City

This past year we have seen major changes in the retail
landscape of the city. Macy’s ended the reign of Marshall Field’s,
Lord and Taylor closed at Water Tower and Carson’s closed on State Street.

With skyrocketing rents, too much interchangeable
merchandise and erratic customer service, the one
stop shopping department store as we knew it may be an
endangered species.

But just as some mid-market and upscale department
stores face hard times, specialty boutiques that
focus on a younger, savier, more affluent customers have
prospered. Intermix, which opened Wednesday at 40 E.Delaware,
and Scoop NYC, which opened a few months back
in Bucktown, are two examples of a new retail model
which provides eclectic merchandise alongide
established designers, hip knowlegeable staff and
personalized customer service verging on styling.

At Intermix, which unlike Scoop NYC features only
women’s clothing and accesories, they really do
intermix: the designers, the prices, the formal and
the casual. Instead of displaying merchandise in
clusters by designer, they display the merchandise by
“lifestyle,” essentially dividing the 4000 square
foot store into a dressier, event/nite on the town
section and a section for “everyday” clothing.

But there are no hard and fast rules here so you may
easily find the “must have” Lacey Parker black lace
mini dress for $258 on the more casual side
perfectly appropriate for a more formal event, just as you
might find the same designer’s white chiffon tunic with
metalic polka dots($248) on the dressier side will
look great with a pair of the ubiquitous skinny
jeans. The Mathew Williamson floral chiffon dress for $1,895 is
both a must have for late nights and an indicator of the upper
range of the price mix here.

Labels like Valentino, Missoni, Chloe and Stella McCartney are
displayed alongside secondary lines from those same designers
along with a bevy of younger, less recognizeable designers (Lacey Parker,
Thread Social are standouts).

The look here is very much about layering — invariably something
white — with vintage inspired jackets over colorful tunics and
tunic style dresses over leggings or skinny jeans.( Instead of a sea of
black, the basic color of the season in the store is, refreshingly, white.)

Think of the 2007 version of “Sex and the City” and you’ve got
the idea.

A second location is slated to open by late May on Armitage.

Happy shopping!

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