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The Madison Avenue Boom
Aquazurra, 935 Madison Ave
The coveted shoe brand's first standalone store in the country is located in the former Whitney Townhouse between 74th and 75th Streets and will be sharing a space with the equally fancy Moynat (see below) for double the shopping pleasure. The latest estimates expect it to open in February.
Sonia Rykiel, 816 Madison Ave
The womenswear label's refocused energy on standalone stores starts on Madison Avenue when the doors open at the corner of 69th Street, likely in February as well. Expect the French brand to return to the block (there was a Madison Avenue store previously) with its full line of offerings, plus items designed specifically for this location.
Moynat, 935 Madison Ave
Primed to open just in time for New York Fashion Week in February, Moynat's first US store, located right across from Apple and next to Aquazzura, will have a selection of Manhattan-exclusive products in addition its luxury leather goods.
The Row, 17 East 71st St
Mary-Kate and Ashely Olsen spent two years looking for just the right location for the first East Coast flagship for their award-winning label before signing on this townhouse just off of Madison Avenue in early 2015. When it'll actually open remains to be seen; last we heard, renovations should be wrapped up by now.
Isabel Marant, 23 East 67th St
Isabel Marant's second store in New York City is located in the former home of Bottega Veneta and features a private rear garden. Beyond that, you'll have to stop into to see how the new 2,500-square foot differs from its Broome Street boutique; it's expected to open in the early part of this year, but we don't know exactly when.
Jimmy Choo, 699 Madison Ave
Jimmy Choo isn't a new entrant here, but it's relocating its current boutique to this address in April as part of its 20th anniversary. The store will be "very institutional, very Madison, very classical in its idea of Jimmy Choo," according to the brand's CEO. It's not their only retail play in the city this year: A Soho shop at 111 Greene Street should also debut in the same month.
Stella McCartney, 929 Madison Ave
It's unconfirmed at the moment, but rumor has it that Stella McCartney is seriously considering taking this 1,600-square foot ground floor space near 74th Street — keep an eye out for construction facades going up.
Sporty Stores on Deck
The popularity of activewear — whether you're wearing to actually be active or just for leisure — continues on into 2016, bolstered by the new stores coming to the city within the next few months. Adding to Flatiron's spandex-heavy shopping scene is Tory Sport, which is expected to open at 129 Fifth Avenue in March, and Bandier, whose permanent store grand opening at 164 Fifth Avenue (including its workout studio) is scheduled in the coming weeks.
Another athleisurely store we can expect to see soon is the Lululemon Lab — a store where the Canadian brand can test out new concepts — right around the corner from the new John Barrett salon and Kenneth Cole store on Bond Street; signage has been up for a while now. And finally, Adidas is getting ready to move from Wooster Street to Spring Street in Soho in the coming months (the Fifth Avenue store will likely be much later in the year, if not 2017).
Another Year, Another H&M
The Swedish retailer's rapid New York expansion chugs into 2016 with one store in the immediate future: the Financial District. The long-rumored downtown location was finally confirmed last month; it'll be directly across from the Westfield World Trade Center stores and likely open before most of them in the spring.
The Department Store Revitalization Begins
The department store double-up begins with Barneys New York opening (or reopening, actually) in Chelsea. Last we heard, construction crews there are as far along as installing shelving on the main floor at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 17th Street, and while the brand hasn't confirmed a debut date yet, that's a good signal that we'll see the doors open in the first few months of this year.
Two long-awaited stores — or long-dreaded stores, depending on your view — should really, truly, and finally be making their debuts on Bedford Avenue this spring: The all-but-confirmed Apple Store at 247 Bedford Avenue, which of course doesn't have an opening date set, and Whole Foods at 242 Bedford Avenue, which is expected by the "late spring," according to recent signage. The latter could have some competition from the Trader Joe's coming to 206 Kent Avenue that'll hopefully see the light of day in 2016.
And elsewhere in the borough, Empire Stores are taking shape on the shores of Dumbo. Construction was supposed to wrap up on the complex that'll be home to Shinola's first Brooklyn store and the new and improved West Elm, so hopefully that indicates that these stores (and likely more) are due for a spring arrival.
Bonus Section: Nine More to Expect in 2016
Westfield World Trade Center: The much-delayed shopping center was expected to make its debut last year, but water leaksLINK late in 2015 were the latest disruption to push the opening date back. The Oculus, the section of the World Trade Center transportation hub that'll house many of 125 stores to come here, is scheduled to open in March, and hopefully stores will begin to trickle in shortly after; their website currently says "spring."
Saks Fifth Avenue: The final piece of the Brookfield Place puzzle will be complete in June, when the department store opens its second full-line New York City location within the luxury shopping center. Also on deck for Saks in 2016? The menswear store downtown and a Saks Off Fifth on East 57th Street (the downtown one won't open until 2017).
Zara: If it feels like that giant construction facade to cover up this giant forthcoming store (42,000 square feet!) at 503 Broadway has been up forever, it kind of has — we first spotted it in June. That's why we're expecting this location, which will replace the one just up the block, to open sooner in 2016 rather than later.
Rick Owens: We spotted signage taking up the windows of 32 Howard Street back in the fall, but there's no official word on when it'll open or what exactly we can expect of the offerings (except that maybe they'll be upside-down).
Target: Manhattan's second outpost of the chain will open at 255 Greenwich Street in Tribeca in October with a "flexible store format" that's geared toward city dwellers — think fewer bulk items and more grab-and-go things, plus small furniture for small apartments.
Victoria's Secret: Perhaps the November opening of the massive Fifth Avenue store, formerly home to Forever 21 and H&M, will tie into the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, since that's when it's typically filmed.
Bottega Veneta: Fancy woven leather bags will have a Madison Avenue townhouse of their very own probably at some point this year, after the rest of the brands mentioned above have opened. You can tell that the brand is taking the time to get this right, since they're currently in a temporary home as a stop-gap between Fifth Avenue and here.
Gap and Old Navy, Times Square: Out with the Ferris wheel, in with the chinos and $1 flip flops — Gap and Old Navy are taking over part of the former Toys 'R' Us in Times Square. But considering it might take some time to convert the land of play things into a home for affordable Americana, we're not holding our breath for this one to open anytime soon.
Dolce & Gabbana: 155 Mercer Street in Soho is just a construction site right now, but expect a luxury destination for all things Dolce & Gabbana to emerge out of the plywood hopefully this year, with 50 feet of frontage that'll allow for some crazy window displays.