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There's no such thing as a "quiet year" in the New York City shopping scene. If it seems like there's a new store opening every day, that's because there probably is — but some of them are more impactful than others. Below, we take a look at the dozen places that made the biggest splash in retail in 2015.
The Financial District's first shopping center destination in more than a decade has set the tone for what's to come in the neighborhood. Debuting in March with a mix of high-end (Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta) and contemporary (Bonobos, J. Crew, Club Monaco), the upscale mall has filled and opened nearly all of its retail spaces — save for crown jewel Saks Fifth Avenue arriving in mid-2016.
200 Vesey St, Financial District
Capitalizing on the Korean beauty boom of the past few years, Club Clio took the plunge into Manhattan by opening near Union Square in January. While skincare is typically the focus in K-Beauty, shoppers would be remiss to overlook the color cosmetics — the brand's entire collection is stocked here.
11 W 14th St, Greenwich Village
CW Pencil Enterprise
Caroline Weaver transformed her passion for pencils into an Instagram-perfect shop that opened on the Lower East Side back in the early spring. Nine months later, the brand boasts nearly 100,000 Instagram followers and a pencil-of-the-month club.
100B Forsyth St, Lower East Side
It seems like every major department store is putting an emphasis on its off-price game, and Bloomingdale's is no exception — they even sweetened the deal by opening just before Black Friday. The retailer took over a former Urban Outfitters at a busy Upper West Side intersection after Macy's debuted its Backstage model in Brooklyn but before Saks had the chance to open either of its Manhattan locations.
2805 Broadway, Upper West Side
Need a store that'll make you laugh? Pop into this Denmark-based home goods store that opened in May that's stocked with everything from hamburger-shaped notebooks to pink wigs (plus some more practical options, like dishes, hand weights, magnets, picture frames, and so on). One thing you won't find in the shop's maze-like set-up is sticker shock — nothing's over $20, and the majority of stuff is $10 or less.
920 Broadway, Flatiron
There weren't many new indie boutiques to take note of this year, but even if the scene were replete with new small businesses, William Okpo would still be a standout. Sisters Darlene and Lizzy docked in the Seaport District back in April to make its mark as one of the first to arrive in an up-and-coming fashion destination, and can now count the likes of CFDA-approved Brother Vellies as its neighbor.
4 Fulton Street, Seaport District
Even if you can't afford anything more than a cotton tee or candle from here, a visit to Totokaelo, which opened during September's NYFW, is worth it just for the experience. The Seattle boutique-turned-e-commerce destination took over an old artist's residence on Crosby Street and filled it with avant-garde fashions from the likes of Rick Owens, Dries van Noten, and The Row (plus some luxe outdoor decks and VIP rooms).
54 Crosby St, Soho
Is this the future of Lululemon stores? The Flatiron flagship opened last month, and just half of the space's square footage is all the brand needs to display its collections for men and women; the rest of it is dedicated to amenities like a lounge with Wifi and free coffee, a studio for workshops and fitness classes, and a concierge service that'll help you book reservations at healthy eateries and fitness studios in the neighborhood.
114 Fifth Ave, Flatiron
Want Les Essentiels de la Vie
Is "I want to live here" a strong enough statement to describe just how intimate Want Les Essentiels is? The Montreal-based twin brothers debuted its first-ever flagship in October, but no one would blame you for thinking you accidentally stepped into someone's impeccable apartment upon entering — rooms are divided like they would be in a home (living room, wardrobe, etc.) and make a perfect display case for Want's leather backpacks and cashmere apparel.
301 W 4th St, West Village
After what felt like deliberate teasing, the cult fragrance brand finally opened its doors to Soho — and to the United States, for the first time — in early June. In addition to fancy candles and personal scents, you'll find the leather bags that Ben Gorham, basketball player-turned-perfumer (and leather bag designer, apparently), launched earlier this year, as well as brand collaborations.
62 Wooster St, Soho
H&M Herald Square
The Swedish fast fashion retailer continually outdoes itself with a bigger and bigger New York City flagship each year, and this year brought 63,000 square feet of shopping space directly across from Macy's (and a grand opening with John Legend) back in May. It's so huge that it almost feels like a department store, with separate shopping areas for categories like shoes and home goods.
1328 Broadway, Herald Square
Sneaker aficionados got a new way to shop both latest releases and rare classics when Stadium Goods technically dropped two storefronts in Soho back in October: one a classic set-up with colorful shoes lining the wall, and another that functions as an "intake center" for shoppers looking to sell their own.
47 Howard St, Soho
Stay tuned for the stores we're most looking forward to in 2016, coming up next week!