There's really no argument, handmade is in. Why wait for stuff to be shipped from whoknowswhere at the whim of the Etsy gods, when you can get handmade fare all over this fair city of hours. Here are some of the 'best of' the best for handmade fashion in NYC.
248 Smith St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Suzanne Bagdade, shop owner and bag designer makes the most durable totes around. Her secret: upholstery. Bags of all shapes and sizes are made from upholstery material and are by far the most unique, durable bags I have ever owned. I'm a little obsessed with this store and have had to limit myself to one bag per year. The Smith St. boutique also has, wallets, baby clothes, jewelry from local artists, and uber comfy clogs.
Flirt: 93 Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Home Ec: 303 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11215
Flirt, along with it's sister store Home Ec, are Mecca's of crafty goodness. Everything these stores stock is made by local designers, knitters, sewers, and all around crafts-people…and it's actually stuff you would wear. In fact, Home Ec offers sewing classes that enable you to make the perfect skirt, or you could just hire them to and they'll measure and sew for you. Très adorable!
219 Mott St.
New York, NY 10012
Minji Kim designs the fashion, and the accessories are supplied by local jewelry designers, or imported from designers in her South Korean homeland. This store is small, but gaining quite the celebrity following. Recently Minji's stylings have been seen on Katie Holmes and Blake Lively, among others. Definitely worth a wander-in.
The Hat Shop
120 Thompson St.
New York, NY 10012
Fine, the Derby is over, but that doesn't mean there's still not ample usage for fantastical head gear. The Hat Shop is wear pretty hats go to breed. There are hats for every occasion and a knowledgeable staff that will not let you leave with a less than flattering chapeau. The hats are all handmade, and you can even commission a made-to-order hat crafted by one of their expert milliners.
624 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
This shop is a treasure trove of handmade items from Mexico. Owner Emily Cantrell is relentless in ensuring that every item her store caries is fair-trade, and the profits are going to the artisans that create them. The shop itself is tiny, but full of handmade guayaberas (Mexican wedding shirts), jewelry, clothing, blankets, hammocks, and home accessories. I warn you, you could spend a lot of money in this tiny store because everything is so gorgeous, and you're not going to find any of this stuff on Etsy.
Now, get off the internet and get on the subway and start shopping!
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