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Before 2011 came to a close, we put together our annual list of the top ten retail spaces to watch in 2012. While many of them have opened by now (Céline, the gigantic new Zara, Moscot in Brooklyn and Stella McCartney in Soho), some of them are still taking their sweet old time. Check out our updated list of the 11 upcoming store openings that we're the most excited about after the jump. Or in other words, the stores that we wish would just freaking open already.
1. Proenza Schouler, Upper East Side: Now that we know Proenza Schouler's first store will be located on Madison Avenue between 68th and 69th Street (thanks to some loose-lipped construction workers), we're ready to start the countdown. However, we can't quite do that yet, since we don't know when it'll open. According to the LA Times, it'll be sometime later in 2012.
2. YSL, Soho: Yves Saint Laurent's upcoming Soho location at 149 Mercer Street has been under construction for so long that we can barely remember a time when there wasn't a giant piece of logo-plastered plywood hogging up the sidewalk. Three months ago, we noticed that a "spring 2012" opening date had been added to the store's facade, though a commenter wrote in that based off of a glimpse inside, the space still looked pretty unfinished.
Inside Fivestory's preview shop
3. Fivestory, Upper East Side: Back when Fivestory was just a preview shop, Vogue pondered if it would be NYC's answer to Paris' Colette. Since the store will have its grand opening on April 19th (at 18 East 69th Street), we only have about two more weeks until we find out. In the meantime, their Tumblr alone can keep you occupied.
4. Balenciaga, Soho Everything's been pretty quiet on the Balenciaga front, which is probably because YSL's above-mentioned plywood across the street is stealing its thunder. When Stella McCartney announced she was moving to Soho, within a few days we heard that Balenciaga would be too, at 148 Mercer Street . And...we're still waiting.
5. Charlotte Olympia, Upper East Side: Back in December, Charlotte Olympia mysteriously tweeted that she'd be opening her first stateside store somewhere uptown. A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal casually mentioned that it would be on a "tony stretch of Madison Avenue," which is what everyone assumed anyway. They reported that the store would open the first weekend of April, but Charlotte Olympia's people said they were still confirming the opening date and details. Here, "details" is synonymous with "address," so stay tuned for on what part of that stretch the store will be.
Sandro & Maje on Prince. Image via Bowery Boogie
6. Sandro & Maje, Nolita: Prepare yourself for a new side-by-side Sandro & Maje location. The brand's Bleecker Street storefronts were so much of a success that they've decided to continue with the dual Parisian invasion on Prince Street. No complaints here.
7. Maison Kitsuné: Coming soon to the not-yet-opened Nomad Hotel is Maison Kitsuné, a French boutique (three's a trend!) that will stock products from Monocle, Aesop, WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, as well as its own men's and women's clothing line.
8. Nicholas Kirkwood, Meatpacking: In September, WWD broke the news that Nicholas Kirkwood would open up its first U.S. store in the Meatpacking District. Appropriate, since despite the fact that cobblestone is the least conducive thing to high heels, MePa is the city's high heel Mecca. The brand's website lists "Spring/Summer 2012" as the opening date, so it shouldn't be long now.
One of Tiffany & Co.'s Soho storefronts
9. Tiffany & Co., Soho: The Tiffany store at 97 Greene Street isn't slated to open until September, but that doesn't mean it can't have a giant bejeweled-box facade in the meantime. Actually, make that two bejeweled-box facades, since the location also has a storefront at 106 Wooster Street.
10. Christian Louboutin, Meatpacking: Speaking of the Meatpacking District and shoes, Christian Louboutin is gearing up to open his first US men's store at 808-10 Washington St, right around the corner from his women's store at 59 Horatio Street. The Paris men's store offers shoe tattooing (yup), and the general consensus is that this one probably will, too. Spring is the projected opening date, so it looks like it'll be a well-heeled race between Louboutin and Kirkwood.
11. Rag & Bone, Upper East Side: According to the WSJ, Rag & Bone has signed a lease at 909 Madison Avenue, in what used to be a Chase and previously the Bank of New York. That's about it for the details, except we do know there's apparently still a safe in the basement. You know, which they'll probably use for top secret denim sketches and stuff like that.