Fashion Insiders’ Tour for the University of Manchester Fashion Students

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Students taking our Fashion Insiders’ Tour now have the opportunity to meet with top industry professionals and learn what it’s like to be a true insider in the fashion capitol of the world!  On this tour, students ranging from fashion and design to retail, merchandising and business, partake in a wide range of exciting experiences including visiting a designer showroom, speaking with a member of the design team for a top designer, visiting the production offices where some of the designer garments are made, visiting and touring a world-famous fabric and textile shop (Mood Fabrics, pictured above) and/or visiting a fashion magazine headquarters and speaking with one of the editors.  In addition to learning about the “ins”and “outs” of being a fashion industry professional on this tour, students learn about the Garment District “now and then” and have the opportunity to visit other neighborhoods and venues in the city that are influential in the fashion industry, including smaller boutiques and a designers market, where they can speak with independent designers and boutique owners.

Recessionista Finds and Birthday Bargains!

Last week’s Recessionista shopping tour was for 3 lovely ladies from New Jersey and one of them was celebrating their 35th birthday.  They told me that they visit NYC all the time, but that they wanted to try something different–so that’s why they came on the tour.  They said that they usually don’t get out of Midtown because they really just don’t know where to go.  I told them that they came on the right shopping tour!

Since the tour was scheduled just for the three of them and they were going to Dashing Diva on the Upper East Side afterwards, we started the tour in Soho and worked our way backwards to Union Square.  The first stop I took them to was UniQlo.  They had never been before (since it just opened in the last year and it’s the only one in the US) so they were surprised to find such great prices for such quality items.  I explained to them that the latest designer to come to UniQlo was Jil Sander with her +J line. 

After UniQlo, which is more about basics, we headed to TopShop which was definitely the opposite with their funky furs and dazzling sequins.  They explored all three levels and were especially anxious to see the Shoe Lounge. 

After a lot of browsing, we moved on to Nolita and headed to The Market NYC which is also known as the Young Designers’ Market.  They absolutely LOVED it.  From the unique knit hats, to some lovely CZ studs, to the sweet-smelling body butters, none of them left empty-handed.  This stop, as usual, was definitely one of the most successful. 

From Nolita, we headed up to Necessary Clothing in Noho.  They browsed for a bit and then it was on to Monk, near Washington Square Park.  They really enjoyed exploring all the unique vintage and consignment and the birthday girl bought herself a beautiful silk scarf. 

From here we explored the Shoe District and then headed up Sixth Avenue to 14th Street, where we stopped at Gem Story and they bought some really cute jewelry with bargain, bargain, bargain prices.  (I also bought my grandmother a pretty snowman pin!) 

The next stop was Remix shoe store on 14th Street where one of the ladies bought a really fun and funky pair of rain boots (which was very appropriate since it was pouring the whole day!)  From there, we made a quick stop at Strawberry and then I escorted them uptown to Macy’s where they wanted to shop before getting their manicures and pedicures at Dashing Diva.

Despite the rain and the cold, it was a fun tour and they had the chance to shop places that they hadn’t shopped before.  If you’re a bargain-lover and would like to take our Recessionista Tour, visit our website at for more information.  Hope to shop with you soon!

Customized Shopping Tours – Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Last weekend’s customized shopping tours were very unique experiences.  (It was fun to create new routes and change things up a bit!)  I had two mothers book tours to take with their teenaged daugthers but they had some special requests as far as their daughters’ styles and interests. 

On Friday, the mother of the 12-year-old girl (they were visiting from California) requested that we visit some of the Teen Tour stores but also some boutiques a la the Chic Boutique Tour that were unique to New York.  So we picked them up in a towncar at their hotel and headed to Henri Bendel first since they had never been there.  I explained to them that even though they had shopped on Fifth Avenue, Bendel’s was a must-see since 1.)  it’s the holiday season and it’s decorated beautifully and 2.)  it changes weekly with the different designers they invite to showcase on the main floor.  They ended up purchasing some of Bendel’s signature holiday items (which make the perfect NON-tacky NYC souvenirs–really the ONLY NON-tacky NYC souvenirs!) 

After Bendel’s, we headed to the Juicy Couture Flagship Store.  Even though the gals have Juicy Couture in California, the daughter is such a huge fan that I recommended we visit this shop at least for a few minutes. 

From here we hopped back in the towncar and headed to East 12th Street in Greenwich Village.  We made a quick stop at Make-up Forever and since all the make-up artists were occupied, I did a quick demonstration of their products on the daughter.  A 12-year-old doesn’t really need much make-up, of course, but just  a little shimmer eye-shadow on her lids with a pale pink “pop of color” (nothing too drastic) followed by some clear, glittery gloss was the perfect palette. 

Our next planned stop was Owl’s Lab, but to my dismay they have closed their store!!! 🙁  They are exclusive to the online world right now and have a messenger service that can deliver ordered fashion right to your door.

Next up was Pia, although it was a stop geared more toward the mother.  It was a little too sophisticated for a pre-teen.  Same with Ibiza–a little too sophisticated, but nonetheless, still a very unique stop.

Since Owl’s Lab was eliminated, I added two other last-minute stops to the tour that I thought the gals would enjoy.  We hopped back into the towncar and it was off to LaGuardia Place to Helianthus and Purdy Girl.  They absolutely LOVED these boutiques and it didn’t hurt that both shops had HUGE sales going on!  They made a few fun and funky jewelry purchases at Helianthus where they had everything from miniature pig charm necklaces to elegant floral charm bracelets.  At Purdy Girl, they bought an adorable plaid peacoat for the tween and a chic cashmere sweater and scarf for the mother.  Afterall, everything in the store was 50% OFF!

At this point we were running out of time so we headed to the must-see TopShop.  This was a hit for both the mother and the daughter (although it was a little more funky than their preferred style.)  Nonetheless, they took a liking to some of their basic tees and their funky accessories. 

Before we parted ways, I gave them some suggestions for dinner in the area, which included a Little Italy favorite of mine–Umberto’s Clam House!  I also made a map of some other boutiques in the area that they might be interested in, including Jump and Keito (since the mother wanted to find shoes) and Olive & Bette’s (which I knew the teen would love.)

Saturday’s customized shopping tour (although planned for a Sweet 16 Birthday Party) also had some special requests.  It was a mother, daughter and her teenaged friend in a limo and they were looking for some unique, funky, vintage/vintage-inspired and consignment boutiques.  It was a very exciting itinerary to plan!

The tour began at City Bakery (where I recommended the gals have brunch since it was away from the bustle of their hotel in Times Square.)  (Sometimes the disadvantage to a luxury transportation tour can be sitting in traffic for half the tour–especially during this busy holiday season.  To avoid holiday traffic, I suggested we make the tour a downtown-only tour.) 

First stop after City Bakery was Irregular Choice.  The only store in the US is located in the heart of Soho/Nolita and it’s like a shoe carnival.  You will never find more unique shoes in your life!  They had a blast exploring the British-designed shoes, sneakers, boots and handbags.  They even had some unique clothing including t-shirts and raincoats. 

Next stop was the Young Designers Market in Nolita which is a unique shopper’s treasure trove!  You can find anything from jewelry made of geodes to never-before-seen slogan tees.  What’s great about YOUNG designers??  They’re trying to build their business so their prices are EXTREMELY reasonable!  The daughter purchased a beautiful purple dress with crocheted detail for just $40. 

Following the market (where they spent a good 40 minutes–you almost have to with over 50 vendors), we headed to one of the more contemporary stops on the tour–Necessary Clothing.  I knew they would love the prices and since they’re from New Jersey and they have a Joyce Leslie, this would make for a nice alternative.  The daughter ended up buying a couple cute holiday dresses while her friend purchased a cute pair of $7 earmuffs. 

The last stops on the tour were Eye Candy and Zachary’s Smile (both on Lafayette Street.)  They loved browsing Eye Candy for their unique, vintage accessories and they had even more fun in the “Bargain Basement” at Zachary’s Smile where the daughter found a cute holiday blouse for $5! 

Since the time with the limo was up, I walked them over to their final destination–Urban Outfitters–the perfect ending for a day of shopping for teens with vintage style.

If you’d like to take a Customized Shopping Tour in New York City, contact us at!