Christmas Shopping in New York: Where to Go and What to Buy

Douglas Rogers, The Daily Telegraph, November 7, 2014

Christmas comes early for New York shoppers. The day after Thanksgiving – November 28 this year – is Black Friday, the biggest nationwide sales day of the year, when stores slash prices and the crowds move in. While Manhattan does not have the mega box stores of the suburbs, even small, niche boutiques open on Sundays and stay open past 10pm throughout the season. December 26 marks the start of the winter sales, which gather steam in February.


Trailfinders (020 7368 1200; ) has a three-night break to New York, with direct flights and accommodation at the three-star New Yorker hotel from £799 per person; valid for a November 24 departure.

Glamour shopping

Fifth Avenue, between 50th-59th Street is home to many of New York’s greatest department stores, where you can pick up everything from designer shoes to diamond-encrusted purses. The aptly named Saks Fifth Avenue (611 Fifth Ave, ) at 50th Street takes up almost an entire city block, and has a legendary cosmetics section. Their Kiehl’s Avocado Under Eye Treatment, sought after by celebrity make-up artists, goes for $28.50 (£17.50).

Henri Bendel (712 Fifth Ave, ) founded in 1895, is a New York institution, showcasing clothing from established and upcoming designers as well as luxury travel accessories (buy the Jetsetter Convertible Backpack for $278 [£174]) and quirky gift items: board games, cocktail shakers, ornamental dog collars. Three blocks north, Bergdorf Goodman (754 Fifth Ave; ) is another icon, famous for high-end signature design houses such as Chanel, Gucci and Versace for women, and bespoke menswear at its brother location across the street. Stick to the women’s store where at the shoe salon Manolo Blahnik’s colourful Cork Paint-Splatter Pumps are currently going for $695 (£435).

No Fifth Avenue retail excursion would be complete without stopping at Tiffany and Co (727 5th Ave; ) the most iconic name in luxury jewellery. The second-floor engagement ring section is full of nervous grooms-to-be, but be sure to check out the gift department where a famous Tiffany mug (make sure it comes in their signature blue box) is a perfect memento for $40 (£25).

Bohemian quarter

If Fifth Avenue is for the upscale classics, head downtown into SoHo and Nolita for boutique, bohemian-chic offerings. What Goes Around Comes Around (351 West Broadway, ) is a cornucopia of retro and vintage gems, from Hermès scarf rings to heritage Levi jeans. Make an appointment to see its basement archive, usually reserved for celebs.

A short walk away, pick up something ultra-stylish for the home at Jonathan Adler (53 Greene St, ), the salon of the renowned interior designer. I like his circular Blue Malachite 4x4 picture frames ($128 [£80]) but you can also get funky patterned sheep’s wool rugs and jade-glazed ceramic dinnerware. In Nolita, Elizabeth and Mott Street are lined with boutiques popular with supermodels and celebrities. Start at the queen of urban bohemianism, Tory Burch (257 Elizabeth St, ), whose signature T-Logo medallion adorns chic patterned dresses, holiday sandals and cool accessories like a Swiss-made tomboy watch in green stainless steel ($995 [£623]). Venture north to East 6th Street where you will find VideoGamesNewYork (202 East 6th Street; ), a magnet for gamers for 20 years. Aside from stocking the most up-to-date systems and the latest games (pick up Ultra Street Fighter 4 for $14.99 [£9.39]), they repair products, too.

The 2014 Black Friday Sales ( ) are on Friday November 28, the day after Thanksgiving. Winter sales begin the day after Christmas.

Personal shopper

Betty Halbreich of Bergdorff Goodman is arguably the most famous personal shopper in America. Her new memoir, I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist, recounts a life dressing the stars. For something equally professional if less extravagant contact Chic Inspiration (133 W 72 Street; ) the Manhattan-based company of personal shopper and image consultant Ella Goldin.

This article was written by Douglas Rogers from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.