New Yorkers fall into two camps, bargain hunters and those who consider it rather crass to look at a price tag. The former are quite willing to battle the crowds at Century 21 in Lower Manhattan or Nordstrom Rack in Chelsea in hopes of finding hidden designer originals. Shoppers with an eye for vintage clothing should head to the Lower East side and prowl The Dressing Room on Orchard Street and Assembly New York on Ludlow Street. Hipsters should head to the Lower East Side for new designer co-op boutiques, or to the East Village for used and new CDs, LPs and DJ equipment.
Meanwhile, those who just must have it, whatever it costs, will find plenty of temptation on Bleecker Street from Bank to 7th Avenue in the West Village, where the quaint, tree-lined blocks shelter such high-end designer boutiques as Marc Jacobs, Betsey Johnson, and Cynthia Rowley, and on the cobblestones of Soho. The Upper East Side’s ‘if you have to ask, you can’t afford it’ attitude comes to the fore on Madison Avenue in the 60s, a little patch of designer heaven where the celestial creations of Valentino, Armani and Ralph Lauren are on offer.
Fifth Avenue around 57th Street is home to the city’s holy trinity of refined department stores (Saks, Henri Bendel, and Bergdorf Goodman) and where the shop windows of Tiffany’s, Harry Winston and Cartier are filled with glittering jewels.