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With only a few days left in 2009, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, a year when every empty storefront held a pop-up shop and every sidewalk a sample sale line. Folks, it's the annual (three years running!) Racked Recap. All this week and into the next, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia with the Ten Biggest Store Openings Of The Year
Despite the ups and downs of the recession, 2009 was a year that saw more giant store openings than newsworthy closures. For this, we thank the gods of fast fashion and enduring designer collections. To pay proper homage, we give you the Ten Biggest Store Openings of 2009:
10. Marni Upper East Side: The April coming of the second NYC location for this Milan luxury label managed to totally evade us until the doors opened. It was so secretive and quiet, that we had no idea. This is also the only location where you'll find the lower-priced capsule collection.
9. Matthew Williamson: As the first USA boutique from British it-designer Matthew Williamson, this Meatpacking jewelbox brightens up West 14th Street with a clear glass storefront and Williamson's bright beadwork and patterns. It opened during February's Fashion Week and around the same time as his H&M collaboration, so the store rode a wave of buzz for several months.
8. Costco Harlem: Manhattan's first Costco arrived in November. How sweet that now the city has access to bulk food and even?quelle horreur?discounted Chanel. You've still got to buy the annual membership, but that's the price you pay for a warehouse of everything for cheap.
7. Ports 1961: For two years, we walked by the pile of rubble that would become the flagship Meatpacking boutique for Ports 1961. We actually abandoned hope that it would ever show, and then during February Fashion Week, it proved us wrong by polishing up and opening the doors.
6. Inven.tory Soho: We were so impressed by Inven.tory's first Nolita store and their commitment to making a curated sample sale permanent, that we invited co-owner Michael Townsend to our 92Y Tribeca talk. Inven.tory stocks designer pieces at wholesale prices and also participated in our Top Pop-Up of '09, the Save Fashion store. This Soho location, opened in March, exposes the store to tourists and boats a large space.
5. JC Penney: It was Christmas in July when JC Penney opened Herald Square's Manhattan Mall. Now, all of JCP's cheap offerings and designer collaborations (and a full-size Sephora) are next door...even if their actual neighbor is the flagship Macy's.
4. Green Depot: There's home depot, and now there's Green Depot, which opened in February and introduced a much-needed home store stocked with only green products. It goes right along with the development of the Bowery, since the store even boasts interior design consultants to help you bring your loft up to eco code.
3. Isaac Mizrahi: Isaac is a New York fashion fixture. And seeing as how he's had his own documentary, talk show, and years upon years of collections at Fashion Week, it's about time the man got a freaking store. His Upper East Side boutique is small, but it's perfect, and that's all that matters.
2. Apple Upper West Side: It's hard to believe that Apple's latest Manhattan addition only opened in November. It feels like yesterday we were hobnobbing with the stars of 30 Rock beneath the glass ceiling, clutching our free T-shirt. The excitement from that opening day continues as the store brings fresh retail to the UWS and all the great free Mac workshops and events.
1. TopShop: The round-the-block line and devotees of the Apple UWS opening is nothing in comparison with the debut of the first US store from British fast fashion chain TopShop. When Kate Moss cut the ribbon in April, the crowds continued daily for almost the whole month, and returned with every new designer collaboration. TopShop has quickly and all too easily made its way into the wardrobe of New Yorkers.