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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 Will Work For Yarn
Jewelry designer Bliss Lau was born and raised in Hawaii, and her pieces are inspired in part by her half-American, half-Chinese upbringing. She's doing something different, making jewelry that adorns the body in bold and progressive ways—think metal harnesses, S&M-looking leather arm straps and cuffs, and delicate torso-encompassing chains. Lau has made a name for herself (check Vogue, Esquire, VMan, and Interview magazines for evidence) by doing something entirely new. Her favorite NYC textile shop? That would be Habu, the one-stop yarn store in far west Chelsea.—Yale Breslin
There is a purity achieved just by to walking into the yarn shop Habu. The aesthetic inside is bare, complete with simple baskets on the floor filled with skeins of wool in every color imaginable using natural dyes, yet they have some extremely innovative yarns. The first room is a showroom, the second room is a narrow hallway filled from the floor to the ceiling with different color swatches, and the third room is comprised of many raw wood shelves stacked with different yarns all the way up to the ceiling.
It feels like you have just walked into another dimension, a world where ice cubes are shaped in oversized squares and leaves fall from the trees in perfectly formed clusters. Everything is made by hand, from the handspun silks and cottons to the handwoven baskets. When I was in school, I once had a teacher who demanded that all our projects had one quality: "Make it look like it was born." That statement holds true to everything inside Habu.· Habu Textiles [Official Site]
· Bliss Lau [Official Site]