After a bleak, recession-addled stretch for Soho, today WWD reports that two high-profile designers will open new stores in the neighborhood: Diane Von Furstenberg at 135 Wooster Street in July, and Ralph Lauren at 109 Prince Street later this fall. DVF’s Soho expansion was unplanned — the 2,000-square-foot space (which formerly housed kids’ clothier Agatha Ruiz de la Prada) was just “too good not to grab,” she says — and will likely stock iconic vintage items from the archive and contemporary best-sellers like handbags. Lauren hasn’t revealed a concept for his 8,000-square-foot addition yet, which will replace bedazzle-happy outfitter Replay.
With the launch of Isabel Marant’s first U.S. shop on Greene Street later this month, the Soho retail scene seems to be expanding beyond its recent fast-fashion fixation. Broadway alone is dotted with Topshop, Desigual, Mango, Uniqlo, Old Navy, and two H&Ms, but the fate of a slew of cheaper stores around Canal Street is uncertain. We love Topshop and H&M as much as the next budget-conscious shopper, but we’ll take the likes of DVF over Soho’s preponderance of spangles and spandex any day.