By Michael Lanza
Northwestern Queens’ meteoric rise in stature
among the City’s young, wealthy and fashionable
crowd hasn’t been all bad for those of us
with more lint than cash in our pockets.
The rise of the Astoria boutique has brought
high fashion to Queens without the high prices.
So forget about the Lower East Side or Williamsburg
and head west of Steinway Street. In this little
corner of Queens you’ll find a holiday
shopper’s paradise – and one of
borough’s best kept secrets.
Here are a few places to add to your Queens
holiday shopping destinations.
33-06 31st Ave.
If you’re looking for vintage clothing
in Queens then look no further. Fashionphiles
will find a tremendous assortment of men’s
and women’s clothing and accessories from
the 70s and 80s – everything from gaudy
belts and acid-rock tees to plastic armbands
and leisure suits. There are also some rare
secondhand finds from the roaring 20s.
The collection is built with a discerning eye
– the owner said she owes her sensibilities
to Manhattan’s legendary Screaming Mimi’s.
Expect prices to run less than half of what
you’ll find in Manhattan – with
shoes starting at around $30, belts at around
$20 and blazers and dresses for less than $100.
21-10 31st St.
The boutique features hand-picked works by some
of the City’s most talented up-and-coming
Owner Mimi Yamanobe offers up an eclectic selection
of ultra-feminine women’s clothing inspired
by her days as a costume designer and assistant
in Japan’s renowned Issey Miyake.
While some of the $400 price tags may scare
some, it’s a bargain if you have the extra
dough. All of the clothing and accessories are
handmade original lines crafted with care by
meticulous designers. The lineup includes a
cycle of original dresses, jackets, blouses,
skirts and coats.
24-01 23rd Ave.
This small woman’s fashion boutique brings
an edgy style and international flair to a sleepy
block of traditional Greek souvlaki and gyro
joints next to Astoria Park. KrisTEES features
evolving collections from international designers
that are sure to turn heads and stand out from
Owner Kristie Foster-Chapman opened the store
after 13 years in Astoria. Her collections are
geared towards mostly casual and work casual
wear, with everything from hats to boots and
from dresses to jeans.
Candy Plum Collections
30-98 36th St.
This one’s all about color. From the bright
plum walls to the bright and vibrant mix of
retro and designer clothing – if you’re
looking to add some life to your wardrobe this
may be your place. Candy Plum is part vintage
boutique and part designer consignment, where
you’ll find everything from bright plastic
designer bracelets to neon Turkish print tops.
The store actively recruits up and coming designers
to display their wares. Candy Plum prides itself
at offering top of the line fashion at an affordable
price, so expect to get some good bargains here.