Shopping malls are a relative rarity in Manhattan, but the Financial District has two: Westfield World Trade Center and Brookfield Place. These malls bear little resemblance to the teen havens of suburbia, however. Their collections of luxury shops have more in common with London’s Bond Street, Tokyo’s Ginza, or Paris’s Champs-Élysées.
185 Greenwich St.
Westfield World Trade Center.
[Image: Anthony Quintano/Wikimedia]
White, bright, and expansive, Westfield World Trade Center is Manhattan’s largest mall, encompassing 365,000 square feet of retail space over two floors. John Legend and Leslie Odom Jr. headlined a concert marking its launch in August 2016. Among its nearly 100 shops are:
- Founded in 1894, the Swiss watch manufacturer is also known for its aviation-grade chronometers; in fact, each of its watches includes chronometer-certified movements. David Beckham, Justin Timberlake, John Travolta, and in Thunderball, James Bond are among the celebrities who have sported Breitlings on their wrists.
- John Varvatos. The eponymous designer won three Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awards since launching his menswear business in 1999. His collections encompass tuxedos and T-shirts, sneakers and sunglasses, leather jackets and cuff links, all with a rock-and-roll meets Savile Row sensibility.
- This French brand is synonymous with polo shirts based on those that company co-founder René “the Crocodile” Lacoste wore during his title-winning pro tennis career. However, its offering goes far beyond polos and other casually elegant sportswear to include watches, leather goods, and most recently, bedding and towels.
- Links of London. No less a tastemaker than Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is a fan of jeweler Links of London: In her engagement photo she wore its Hope Egg Earrings, made of sterling silver and white topaz. The company is also known for its Sweetie bracelets, made of sterling or 18-karat gold rondelles that can be personalized with a vast array of charms.
- K. Bennett. Like Links of London, L.K. Bennett is a British-based luxury brand. Some give this women’s apparel and footwear house credit for the most recent resurgence in popularity of kitten heels. Kate Middleton, though, seems to favor its higher-heeled court shoes (what we in the States call pumps); she’s repeatedly been seen in the four-inch-high Sledge court shoes in fawn.
- Another Swiss watchmaker, Longines was founded in 1832. Among its collections of women’s and men’s timepieces is one inspired by equestrian sports, with hardware reminiscent of horse bits. In fact, Longines sponsors the Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot, and it is the official timekeeper and watch of the renowned English racetrack.
- Since launching in 1997 as an Italian maker of notebooks, Moleskine has developed a highly devoted cult of followers (including Gwyneth Paltrow) who won’t jot their to-do lists on anything else. Its wares now include wallets, backpacks, and bags, as well as limited-edition collections featuring the Little Prince, Hello Kitty, and the Simpsons.
- Once you’ve bought your Moleskine notebook, you’ll need an equally elegant pen. Hamburg, Germany-based Montblanc has been making luxury pens since 1906; it now offers leather goods and watches as well. Many of its limited-edition pens are produced in quantities of 4,810, which is the height of the namesake Alpine mountain in meters.
- Turnbull & Asser. England’s Prince Charles is among the elite clients for whom Turnbull & Asser creates bespoke shirts; he granted the company a Royal Warrant in 1980. In its Westfield store you too can be fitted for custom shirts, as well as shop its collection of ready-to-wear menswear and accessories.
230 Vesey St.
This upscale mall is part of a complex of skyscrapers, primarily office spaces, formerly known as the World Financial Center. The centerpiece of Brookfield Place is the Winter Garden Atrium, which houses seating and 16 palm trees beneath a vaulted glass ceiling 10 stories high. It’s a perfect place to sit and rest your feet after exploring the two floors of shops. The downtown outpost of department store Saks Fifth Avenue is an anchor of the mall. Other stores include:
- Catering to fashion-forward little ones and their parents, Babesta sells clothing, furniture, toys, strollers, and other essentials for infants, toddlers, and older kids too. Here is where you will find Jonathan Adler nightlights and junior Doc Martens among DwellStudio bedding and Bugaboo strollers.
- Bottega Veneta. Founded in 1966 as a producer of artisanal leather goods, Bottega Veneta quickly became a jet-set favorite, thanks in large part to the distinctive intrecciato weave of its bags. Today the Italian house also creates men’s and women’s apparel, jewelry, and even furniture.
- Not only did Thomas Burberry found his eponymous company, in 1856, but he also invented gabardine, the weatherproof, lightweight fabric that its signature raincoats are made of. The company created the trenchcoat as well and outfitted Ernest Shackleton for three of his polar explorations. Its apparel, footwear, and accessories are now seen on fashionistas who favor quiet elegance.
- Ermenegildo Zegna. The fourth generation of the Zegna family runs this Italian menswear house, which was founded in 1910. Its bespoke service will deliver tailored suits, shirts, and other apparel within 28 days of being ordered. If even that is too long to wait, you can shop its ready-to-wear clothing, shoes, and accessories.
- Another Italian luxury brand, Gucci evolved from a purveyor of leather goods to a fashion powerhouse. Its double-G logo (in honor of founder Guccio Gucci) can be seen on apparel for men, women, and children, footwear, accessories, and jewelry.
- Paul Smith. Some credit British designer Paul Smith with creating the phrase “classics with a twist.” While that’s yet to be confirmed, the term does describe his take on clothing, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and children, and even his signature multicolored striped pattern.
- Salvatore Ferragamo. Italy issued a stamp in 2015, illustrated with a pair of red stiletto pumps originally designed for Marilyn Monroe, to honor the fashion house—proof, in case you needed it, of the esteem in which it’s held. The namesake founder is credited with inventing the platform shoe and the wedge heel. While Signor Ferragamo considered himself first and foremost a shoemaker, today the company designs apparel, handbags, and jewelry as well.
- “Endless summer” could well serve as the motto of this French swimwear and ready-to-wear brand, founded in Saint-Tropez in 1971. It is perhaps best known for its Moorea range of men’s swim trunks in vivid colors and patterns, with side and back pockets and an elastic waistband with a drawstring.