Welcome back to Neighborhood Style Showdown, our quest to determine New York City's most stylish neighborhood.
Soho's Kirna Zabête, left; Diane von Furstenberg in MePa, right
Round one of our Neighborhood Style Showdown has been called: the Lower East Side is more stylish than Williamsburg. Still up for voting are Nolita vs. the West Village, Tribeca vs. the UES, and now Soho vs. the Meatpacking District. The two neighborhoods share a lot: tons of stores from flagships to boutiques, really freaking pricey real estate, and cobblestone streets that locals know five inch heels do not belong on (but there are sacrifices to be made).
Soho has a few nuances to consider. Broadway is a hot mess of tourists, mall stores, and street vendors—but the convenience of hitting Topshop, Zara, H&M, and Forever 21 in one fell swoop can't be denied. A few streets west you'll find serene and luxurious shops like Stella McCartney (who left MePa for Soho, mind you), Barneys Co-op, and Chanel. Further down is the burgeoning South Soho, where cool kids like Alexander Wang, Acne, and Opening Ceremony call home. As a result, the style of Soho can run the gamut from an Indiana high school class checking out Necessary Clothing to Harley Viera-Newton popping into 3.1 Phillip Lim.
The Meatpacking District takes up a lot less square-milage than Soho, but still brings it on the shopping front. Diane von Furstenberg is basically the mayor of the area with her flagship/office/studio/home just next to the High Line. West 14th Street has seen an influx of mall brands—kind of the Broadway of MePa—but many of the outposts are concept stores, like Puma Black and Levi's Made and Crafted. Side streets offer up big designer brands including Ports 1961 and boutiques like Owen and Scoop act as mini-department stores. Of course we can't talk about the area without calling out the shop that started it all: Jeffrey, known for a stellar designer shoe selection. On top of the bevy of stores, the area draws well heeled visitors to the Standard Hotel, locals to the restaurants, and B&T types to the nightclubs.
Update: Soho wins! Tomorrow, it'll go up against yesterday's other winner: Tribeca.