Monday, November 18, 2013

Shopping in the Garment District on a Saturday...

Not sure why I haven't noticed, but the garment district is no longer the ghost town it once was on Saturdays.  For those of you who aren't available to shop during the week, there are still plenty of stores to choose from.  And the hours aren't even significantly reduced, like they once were!  Many are open between 10 and 5 with some variations on both opening and closing times, and a much less hustley-bustley experience, to boot!

We have the insanely predatory landlord situation to "thank" for this. As rents have increased, many of the shops now know that (to quote one of the fabric store owners) "If you're not open on Saturday, you are guaranteed not to do any business, no matter how little." As the stores are now far more retail friendly than they once were, we can also "thank" the ever-decreasing customer base. These stores are happy to have all the business they can handle!

Who is the Saturday shopper?  Anyone who doesn't have time on weekdays, anyone who prefers relative quiet, anyone who is happier to "discover" what she/he needs than to be on a very specific search, since looking for something very specific may be tougher on a Saturday, and, lastly, not an intense bargain hunter, since the least expensive stores tend to be closed on the weekend, too.

So, I went to the district this Saturday (yesterday), on what was mostly a quick research run, to find the right complement to a garment I need to finish for a client.  

By the way, this is my photo of what the weather looked/felt like in Central Park yesterday...

Could this just take your breath away, or what?

I went to Rosen & Chadick.  They open at 11AM on Saturdays now, by the way - a bit later than some of the others.

Here's what I found:


This is a wool you've gotta see/feel to believe. Visit it. Buy it. Love it.
A mind-blowing  Loro Piana perfectly white (rare) cashmere to blow you away, some printed silks and some cotton prints that were just magical. Just lovely.

Then I stopped into New York Elegant.  By the way, you may be interested to know that the owners of this store were once fabric converters in Korea.  They really know how to choose great fabric, and, if you don't already know, this store is just HUGE.  Here's the thing though.  They can carry a lot of inventory, and keep it for a long time. There are times when fabrics have been around for 15 years before they actually have their "moment", when they are sold.  That is the beautiful thing about having so much room.

Here are some cool things I found:

Corduroy... seriously!

Pretty acrylic somethin' or other - loved it!


Wool sateen in a glorious regal purple at NY Elegant
Now, NY Elegant is selling more supplies for non-professional workrooms, too.  Near the front counter, you can pick up large sheets of carbon paper, small rolls of pattern paper, thread, magazines, and some general notions, too.   


Where to next? Chic Fabrics, where I found a sparkly-grey stretch knit, that would make a perfect holiday season Saturday shirt in my life, and a grey faux leather that calls out to cover a holiday dessert cart, accented with silver and glass ornaments.







And finally, Daytona Trimming, where I saw this loopy trim (below), in warm colors, begging to accent a mantle.  Just gorgeous.


Where else should you go?  A Saturday itinerary could easily include Paron Fabrics, where I found this great coating fabric:

And you should just feel it.  This picture doesn't do it justice.

Yes, you want this.
Are there more stores?  Of course, there are!  As you probably already know, Mood is wide open on Saturday, as is Gray Lines Linen, B&J Fabrics, A.K. Corp, and many of the trim and notions stores you know and love.

So, there you have it.  Now the only day you will see tumbleweeds in the district is Sunday.