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An article written by the Times this morning paradoxically proclaims: "Soho is dead. Long live SoHo." The story analyzes how the excitement of shopping in Soho sort of died out in 2010, around the time when Yohji Yamamoto closed his Grand Street store—or, as they put it, it was the sound of the "once-titanic cool quotient finally going 'pfffft.'"
But then, "almost overnight," Alexander Wang came along with his fur hammock and shook the corner space up. Visionaire editor Cecilia Dean tells the Times: "Our neighborhood has been sleepy for so long. Finally things are starting to wake up. And what's great is that South SoHo seems to be getting new up-and-comers like Alexander, so that's exciting, too. It feels a little more underground, if anything still can be underground."
Other recent neighbors to the southernmost part of Mercer Street include Orla Kiely, 3x1, and Surface to Air. Add that to the shops that were already there—VPL and Agnès B.—and you've got a whole lot of hip happening in one spot. But lest we forget that the big boys are also coming to town: Pretty soon, Mercer will also be getting its very own YSL and a Balenciaga.
It's not just Mercer and Grand that's having a moment, though. The Times says that the cool has spread like wildfire on Broadway between Howard and Crosby Streets with "a rash of boutiques," including Saturdays Surf, Dunderdon, and Aesa & Electric Feathers.
Jack Lynch, the great-grandson of Egidius Vogel (the man who started the E. Vogel custom boot shop 122 years ago on Howard Street) says that a lot of the neighborhood's popularity began with (recently-expanded) Opening Ceremony. He recalls the 1980s: "I remember when our UPS man was stabbed on Crosby Street. I talked to him afterward, and he said: 'Crosby is not a good street. It's too quiet.'" Not anymore.
· South SoHo, Hip's Home on the Fringe [NYT]
· Opening Ceremony's Got Legs, Knows How to Use Them [Racked NY]
· So, Can You Sit in Alexander Wang's Fox Fur Hammock? [Racked NY]