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What are New York City's best-looking stores? That's a subjective question if there ever was one, but retail architect Jeffrey Hutchison tried to narrow it down to the top ten for us. As an industry vet, he's more qualified than most. His resume includes projects for seven different Barneys around the world, as well as Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren. (The latter is on his list, but he didn't include locations that he worked on.) Here's his rundown of the city's retail design highlights.
1) Salon Musa. A wonderful Japanese hair salon. Initially, it feels like a classic gentleman's barber shop from London, but then you notice the minimalist Zen touches like the Ikebana window display. 156 Sullivan Street.
2) Moncler. Feels like you are walking into a modern Swiss chalet. The rich color of the boiserie wood paneling paired with the minimalist furniture and large graphics connects the history of the lifestyle to today. Makes you want to jump on a plane to Gstaad. 90 Prince Street.
3) 3x1. This amazing bespoke tailored denim atelier is a fresh interpretation of a Savile Row workshop, applying the concept to jeans. Their extensive choice of fabrics and the transparency of the process makes the experience of purchasing a pair of jeans very special. 15 Mercer Street.
4) Derek Lam. A beautifully minimalist environment where architecture and fashion are artfully merged, demonstrating how design can elevate the shopping experience. I particularly love the sculptural glass walls. 10 Crosby Street.
5) De Vera. An unusual design shop, De Vera creates a subtle and whimsical juxtaposition between the history of Chinatown and classic British elements. Their collection of exquisite objects includes Venetian Glass and Japanese lacquer pieces. 1 Crosby Street.
6) Crown Restaurant. One of the most gorgeous restaurants in New York. An updated townhouse with a beautiful wood paneled room and well-curated mix of modern photography and vintage art. And the food is amazing. I would move in in a heartbeat! 24 E. 81 Street.
7) Frye Boots. A well-crafted vintage-modern environment, utilizing creatively repurposed antique pieces to showcase the brand. 113 Spring Street.
8) Paul Smith. This store makes me yearn for London. I love the mix of reclaimed oak and his use of color and trademark whimsy. Good retail design transports the consumer, and here I feel as if I could be in a charming, eclectic shop in Notting Hill. 142 Greene Street.
9) Gagosian Damien Hirst "Dot" Shop. A fun and inventive temporary shop to coincide with the global exhibition of Hirst' show. The minimal space is offset by the artist's colorful pieces (the skateboards are my favorite). One can rest a few minutes in the glassed-in library, taking the time to thumb through an inspiring selection of art books. 980 Madison Avenue.
10) Ralph Lauren's Madison Avenue flagships. Now with a mansion on both sides of the street, Ralph Lauren has created the ultimate expression of his vision. This is truly what a flagship store should be. The women's store is clean and crisp but elegant; the men's store is warm and clubby. Once you enter you don't want to leave Ralph Lauren's universe. 867 Madison Avenue and 888 Madison Avenue
· Jeffrey Hutchison [Official Site]