Thursday, April 23, 2009

Last Weekend's Vintage and Teen Tours were a Success!

ShopNYC Tours is starting to pick up with the season!  Last Friday I gave a Vintage Boutique Tour for a grandmother and her granddaughter and last Saturday, I gave a tour for two eager teenagers.  Both groups were a lot of fun and came from totally different backgrounds.

The Vintage Boutique gals were from San Diego.  It was the granddaughter's first time to the Big Apple and she was researching design schools since she wants to be a fashion designer.  They were very in-the-know about the fashion world, which helped the tour along nicely.  They were really pleased to have transportation provided with the tour since they were exhausted from running around the city for a week!  They also enjoyed watching the tour videos.  (I show 1-2 minutes videos with interviews of store managers/owners/sales associates highlighting the latest items and best sellers.)  The first stop was Soho.  They were super excited to visit INA since I mentioned that some of the apparel worn in "Sex and the City" was sent there and sold for consignment prices, which is usually a third of what these items normally cost.  Still, although these are consignment pieces, they are mostly designer consignment, which ends up being costly, but at the same time, will last forever!  If you spend $500 on a coat at INA or $300 on a handbag, these are items that you will keep forever.  They also immensely enjoyed Chelsea Girl Couture, which is filled with feminine frocks including never-been-worn Diane Von Furstenburg and their best-selling Moon Bags.  Laurel Canyon Vintage and Flying A are a little more casual, which wasn't really their style, but they still visited and enjoyed browsing.

After Soho, I took them to the East Village where they had a great time visiting O Mistress Mine, where they bought some amazing vintage jewelry and a timeless vintage sweater.  The granddaughter also enjoyed Buffalo Exchange where she found some super-discounted tops and a dress.  As a teenager on a tight budget, Buffalo Exchange was definitely one of her favorites.  While watching the tour videos on the way to the East Village, they were really excited to visit Fabulous Fanny's to see all of the vintage eyewear.  They thought it was so interesting and probably spent the most time browsing there.   They were enamored with the hundreds and hundreds of eyeglasses.  They made a brief stop at Cadillac's Castle, but they were anxiously awaiting going to East 7th Street, where they wanted to visit AuH2O.  Wanting to be a fashion designer, the granddaughter thought that Kate Goldwater (who designs and sews all of her own stuff) was a genius!  The grandmother was very impressed with Kate's skills as well.  When I told them that she was on CNN's "How They Got Started" they weren't surprised at all.  

I dropped them off for dinner in Greenwich Village after the tour and they couldn't thank me enough.  They both had a wonderful time, which is what's so cool about the Vintage Boutique Tour.  No matter what age you are, you can appreciate vintage.

On Saturday morning, my Teen Fashion & Fun Tour goers were super excited to shop NYC!  (I think they were also excited to get away from their parents for awhile!)  I started off by playing the videos showcasing the Abercrombie & Fitch Flagship, Henri Bendel's and Juicy Couture.  I think the videos got them in the mood to shop and got them excited about what they were going to experience.  They had a really fun time seeing the sights of Fifth Avenue, and although they didn't buy much, they still enjoyed the atmosphere.  They also requested a stop at the Disney Store which is pretty much a given destination for tourists.  One of the teens commented that the Disney Store in her hometown in North Carolina had closed.  I assured her that the Fifth Avenue Disney store was THE Disney Store and the stores in the mall couldn't compare.  

After romping around on Upper Fifth, we got back in the car and headed for the West Village Marc Jacobs Special Items store.  I knew that they were a little overwhelmed from Fifth Avenue, so gave them their Teeny Cosmos on the way, which they seemed to enjoy.  I took a picture for them so they could feel very "Gossip Girl"--or maybe even "Sex and the City."  At any rate, teens who love labels but are on a tight budget die and go to heaven every time they set foot in the Marc Jacobs Special Items Store on Bleecker Street.  I mean, to buy something with a Marc Jacobs logo for two or three dollars is unheard of.  So they absolutely LOVED it and actually made their first purchases there.  Since everything else in that area on Bleecker is a little pricey, we hopped back in the car and headed for Noho/Soho.

On the way, I told them about the Magnolia Bakery (which I had even pointed out to them on our way to MJ) and told them I would be giving them some of the famous cupcakes en route to the next stop.  More sugar was just what they needed!  They enjoyed the cupcakes, but thought they were a little too sweet, so I told them to save them for mom.  

When we went to our first stop in Noho, Joyce Leslie, they officially started their shopping spree.  They were really impressed with the store, and more importantly, their prices.  Joyce Leslie is like a Forever 21 or H&M but they don't have locations across the US, which made this a special treat.  They spent most of their money at Joyce Leslie, which made sense because it was there that they got the most "bang for their buck."  They also visited David Z across the street to make some shoe purchases and the street market around the corner to get some dirt cheap (but cute) jewelry.  

It's hard to read teens, but I think Noho/Soho was their secret haven on the tour.  They enjoyed seeing the other stores and neighborhoods, but when they could actually start spending their money was what excited them most.  But I guess that excites us all, doesn't it?

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