Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Uptown & Tom Ford

Uptown is a different world.
We visited both the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Upper East Side and the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side.
Affluence abounds and you can almost smell it in the air.
One can only guess the cost of an apartment in this part of town.

This concentration of wealth Uptown means that every big international fashion brand has an presence, and often in an imposing way.
Even though we didn't do too much shopping Uptown, it was here that we had some of the best service of anywhere in the entire city.

Though we could have ventured into many stores, time was tight so we window shopped our way downtown past the likes of Miu Miu, Chloe, Zegna, Loro Piana, Gucci, Jil Sander, Dolce Gabbana etc etc.

We did manage to visit Ralph Lauren's impressive 3 level store on Madison Ave and 72nd.
The breadth of products was amazing. The full Ralph Lauren 'lifestyle' was presented in its entirety. Ralph Lauren openly acknowledges the inspirtion he draws from English country living, and this store encapsulates that. There were leather couches, open fires, tweed blankets, shooting jackets and hunting boots.
The staff were completely disarming and were happy to show us around the different levels of the store and even ride the elevator with us.
* unfortunately no photos

Tom Ford - Madison Ave & 70th St

We almost missed seeing the Tom Ford store after we lost track of time at The Met and made the trek to Madison Ave only to find it already closed.
We did come back a few days later and I'm glad for it. Although we had heard it was an intimidating store to visit, our experience was the complete opposite from the first moment we stepped inside.
Any store that has someone on a front desk to greet you as you enter is bound to frighten a few, but we were greeted with warmth by the pretty girl manning the counter, and this set the tone.

After a bit of wandering we found ourselves in the fragrance 'room' where we were met Samuel. Samuel had moved from Chicago especially to work for Tom Ford, and had been working in the store from its first day.
His understanding of the different products, as well as the vision of the man himself was impressive. 'Mr Ford' had definitely had been successful in his hiring policy.

After a tour of downstairs including trying on some suiting, we were taken upstairs in the velvet walled elevator. Here we were shown rooms such as the 'bespoke shoe room', 'VIP room', and even given a peak behind a curtain which revealed waistcoated tailors behind a glass wall working away on their machines.
Off the rack suits are altered onsite, while the bespoke suiting is made in Italy. Though you're up for $10k+ for anything that is fully tailored.

One retailer (at another store) had told us that the store had taken $25 million in its first 2 months, and you could see why.
For those with the money this place offers a bounty of temptations.

Tom Ford has done a very impressive job is creating a complete service for men. As well as the comprehensive collection of suits, shirting and jackets the store has everything a customer could want, from umbrellas and sunglasses to fragrances and driving gloves.

The store has its own 'gardener' who tends the many bonsai.

The shirt and jacket room with fragrance room at the rear.

Autumn was just kicking in so got to see the city turn shades of yellow and orange.

Another pretty view!

Its an impressive site walking back south from the Upper East Side, particularly as the sun is going down.

5th Avenue

Is that Bruce Wayne's penthouse in the distance?

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