Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
New York City has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around our fantastic city that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.
Image via Daily Photo Stream
As the managing director of beauty and fashion for Select NY, a global branding and advertising agency, Jonathan Braaten has worked with clients like Swarovski, Hugo Boss, Davidoff, and Roberto Cavalli on helping to shape the direction and image of some of fashion's biggest names. He says he approaches to shopping as if he was hiring someone on his team, and for the past few years, he’s been hitting up Chelsea Guitars, a spot on 23rd Street, where chatting with the store's owner Dan also feels like a master class in instrument education.
Personally I love Chelsea Guitars. The owner Dan is super knowledgeable on each and every piece and makes you feel like a professional regardless of your talent and skills. Usually each piece comes with its own unique story. I have purchased many instruments from Dan over the years and even some I don't even play (banjos and a tenor guitar) as he makes you feel like you're buying a spirit and not just an instrument. Of course being adjacent to Chelsea Hotel, it feels like a truly authentic piece of music history.
I luckily found the shop by chance. This also feeds into my process and philosophy of shopping. I shop for product the way I would shop for art or even the way I would recruit an employee. It's a 50% value/50% visceral response split for me, especially towards the experience as well as the person who is selling it to me.· Select NY [Official Site]
· Chelsea Guitars [Official Site]
· All Shopping Confidential Posts [Racked NY]