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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.
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Erica Blumenthal started her career working in Norma Kamali's production office before switching to editorial work as the fashion assistant at Interview. Now, she spends her days writing the weekly Browsing Column for the New York Times Styles section. Over the years, she's been a fashion editor for Jane, Lucky, Spin, and Esquire's Big Black Book, and has contributed to Nylon and Nylon Guys, Details, and Elle. She's styled bands and talent like Charlotte Kemp Muhl, Sean Lennon, MGMT, and Greta Gerwig, and she's known for incorporating hats into her shoots—hats that she often finds at Ida in Williamsburg.
I worked at a hat store in college one summer (aptly called Hattitudes) and learned that trying on dramatic headwear doesn't really get old for me. Now, for my fix, I go to IDA in Williamsburg, a store owned by the milliner Ryan Wilde and her friend Georgia Varidakis, whose jewelry designs also fill the tiny shop. Each hat is incredibly special, whether it's a felt fedora or mini-topper with a Raven skull. With extra fabric, Wilde often makes headband headpieces that are a great steal. Most importantly, the owners humor my need to try every hat on and make sure I do so properly.· Ida [Official Site]
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