Lester’s 1534 Second Avenue New York City, NY 10021

Lester’s
1534 Second Avenue
New York City, NY 10021
(212) 734-9292

https://www.lesters.com/

Open: Monday-Friday 10:00am-7:00pm/Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm/Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm

Five Locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Greenvale, Rye Brook and Westport, CT

I came across Lester’s, a clothing store for children’s, teens and adults when I was walking around the Upper East Side on ‘Day One Hundred & Four’ on my blog “MywalkinManhattan” when I walked this section of the Upper East Side. I saw crowds of school kids coming in and out of the store with their parents and stopped in for look.

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Don’t miss the children’s section

What I discovered was a store that almost sets the tone for what most people would think the Upper East Side teen might want for school, summer camp and casual wear. The store was stocked with all sorts of jeans, tops and shoes for the toddler to teens alike. There are Layette sets for infants and all sorts of accessories around the counters.

Even though the store marks itself as being trendy, I saw most of the clothing look more classic and items that did not go out of style by the next season. The latest styles often revisit older looks in clothing.

What I thought was nice was that they have a complete section for kids going to summer camp along with a registry to fill the orders of each child. You can even order customized stationary and bedding with name-labeling services, including free taping or sewing that is offered on site (Lester’s promotional).

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Lester’s is a true neighborhood clothing store for the Upper East Side child

On the side of the store, there are even trendy looks for the ladies with blouses, skirts, jackets, slacks and jeans all beautifully displayed.

The Fall Fashions have hit the store in November 2019 and there are some interesting items at Lester’s. There are logoed tops from vendor Hot Candy that are pretty interesting all done in mute colors. There are colorful bottoms in red, black and grey that caught my eye. The Layette sets for babies are very nicely set up and I watched as one sales associate was personalizing it for a customer.

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Lester’s has many looks and styles

The prices vary by items by season. The styles and label’s also change season by season. The customer service at the store I have noticed is very personal and a lot of the salespeople know their customers by name.

 

History of Lester’s:

The company started in 1948 by Lester and Lillian Kronfeld on Avenue U in Brooklyn in a tiny 300 foot shop. The current owner, Barry Cohen, who is a nephew of the Kronfeld’s, along with partners currently own the store.

Mr Cohen said, “It was a neighborhood business stocked from floor to ceiling with brand name clothing at discount prices. The owners knew everyone by name. They used to hand deliver items to people’s homes. It was all about customer service.” (New York Family Magazine 2010)

The store’s Manhattan outpost opened in 1992, after the Kronfeld’s noticed that many of their customers grown children were moving from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side with their own families. (New York Family Magazine 2010)

Amado on 3rd 1322a Third Avenue Between East 76th & 77th Street New York, NY 10021

Amado on 3rd

1322a Third Avenue between East 76th & 77th Street

New York, NY  10021

(917) 965-2852

merri258@hotmail.com

I love this quirky clothing store run by two women who are best described as ‘engaging’, Merri and Roberta. They will keep you laughing and welcomed in your visit to their store. I walked past the store when visiting the Upper East Side for my walking project, “MywalkinManhattan.com” and thought there window display was interesting (Please check the blogs on ‘Walking the Upper East Side’ more information on the store).

Amado on 3rd is a very unique clothing store, carrying brands both domestic and abroad that I have never seen before like Oui, a French company for cashmere sweaters. The clothes are fashion forward for both casual and professional  and are items the everyday woman could wear to the office or for an evening out on the town. It is trendy without being over the top. Items like nicely printed tops,  colorful geometric sweaters, multi-colored and dyed fur jackets and knit and cashmere hats. These designs you will never see in the department stores.

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Winter Knits and outfits at Amado on Third (plus refreshments)

The prices here aren’t cheap as a cashmere sweater will cost you between $200-$275, a dyed fox jacket around $600 and knit hats around $40 but the quality and materials match the price points. The clothes work almost as wearable art.

I have visited the store in the Spring, Summer and Fall and the clothes are unique in design and color as well as functionality. The clothes for all seasons at that Amado on 3rd carries can be worn both to the office and out for the evening, never losing their feminine appeal. Their clothes are dressy casual but still with that professional look. They are currently carrying a line by designer Joseph Ribkoff that was very impressive. Simple yet elegant.

During a recent visit to look over their Spring clothing lines, they have beautiful floral prints by Tizzie, that are bright, elegant and have beautiful floral motifs on them that would match with jeans and slacks alike. These come in both floral, geometric and solid colors and offer the most vibrant colors. A line of elegant tops by Petit Pois were also very wearable and had nice geometric patterns to them.

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One of Tizzie’s colorful blouses (may not be available now)

On recent visit to the store to look at their Summer clothing, they have an interesting and colorful line of blouses from Gretchen Scott that I have never seen in the department stores. Again the lines are colorful without begin gaudy and go great with a pair of slacks, a skirt or jeans.

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Gretchen Scott Blouse (may not be available now)

There is new transitional Fall clothing coming in that came in from a vendor called Kukon that were cotton tops with a gray colored motif on each of them. Very wearable with anything. The Fall clothing are now entering the store and there are many interesting sweaters and blouses coming into the store. Vendors being features are from Kokun, Cyrus, Tizzie ad Yah (not all lines are available at the same time.

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One of the new blouses by Tizzie

The store also has an interesting line of jewelry and accessories that you should check out. Every season there is something new to see. There is a very nice line of young girl’s dresses that are Torie Birch inspired and an interesting line of Japanese jeans stuffed with sequins on them in the shape of Bugs Bunny and other cartoon characters.

The best part of the store is the level of customer service you get from the ladies. It is excellent. They know their merchandise and who their customer is walking through the door. They can tell you how to put outfits together, what item might look nice on a certain woman and how to mix and match. They have extensive knowledge of the clothes they carry and will pull each piece off the rack and explain it to you. As one of the owners explained to me, “We buy for women like us who like youthful, elegant clothing that matches our lifestyle. There really is something for everyone here.”

Another aspect is the free food items to munch on when you are shopping. They might open a bottle of wine, have an assortment of cookies and fruit or cheese and crackers out for the customers to nibble on while they are looking around. On a recent trip I nibbled on a few jellied candies that the ladies put out. I thought that was a nice detail when shopping and a way of keeping the customer engaged.

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Keeping with the spirit of Halloween the fun and original displays at Amado on Third

They also don’t forget the furry four-legged customers who come into the store with treats for dogs and a water dish outside the store. They also had a small mirror outside during the warm months for the dogs to admire themselves. These are those interesting touches that most stores don’t offer.

For Men, they have an interesting line of colorful socks which are now all the trend for $15.00 in all patterns and styles.

The Winter merchandise is just coming in and there are many printed scarfs and fringed printed gloves that will go with any look.

So if you are looking for the unique piece of clothing, jewelry or accessory that you might not find in boutiques and department stores around New York City, start at Amado on 3rd and let the ladies help you make a selection. If anything, you can still indulge in a cookie while you are walking around the store.

This is shopping made interesting.

*The author wants to thank Roberta for supplying extra pictures of the shop for the blog. It shows the true spirit of the store.

 

 

 

Cotelac 983 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10021

Cotelac

983 Lexington Avenue

New York, NY  10021

(212) 288-0400

http://www.cotelac.com

Open:

Monday-Saturday: 10:30am-6:30pm/Sunday: 12:00pm-5:00pm

I came across this unique clothing and accessories store when walking the lower part of the Upper East Side for my project “MywalkinManhattan.com”. I was attracted by the beautiful clothing designs in the windows. It just lured me in with classic tailored look and vibrant colors and patterns to the clothes.

Cotelac

Clean elegant store with vibrant colored clothing

When I walked into Cotelac, I was taken by the clean lines and elegant displays that I thought was unusual for this part of Lexington Avenue. I thought this shop would be located on Madison Avenue or maybe in SoHo. The clothing had a sporty, casual elegance to it and the motives of the clothes were different from the other stores in the area. The prices were also not outrageous as they might be on Madison Avenue. Blouses and skirts start between $85.00 to $245.00 US dollars. By wearable and very affordable. The store is for the woman who likes an elegance classic look without being too dressy.

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Cotelac Fall 2019

When I talked to the saleswoman there, she said that the designer was from France and the store was part of a French chain that is located all over the world, it made more sense to me. I was attracted to a sporty blue and white nautical looking lightweight jacket and top combo that would not look out of place on a teenager or an adult. After two years in working at Macy’s Juniors Department, this look belonged on a active individual who dressed for the office and for going out for the afternoon or evening.

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Cotelac Fall 2019

They have a very striking Fall 2019 collection in the stores.

History of Cotelac:

Concept:

The Cotelac brand includes two lines: woman and man, designed by Raphaelle Cavalli and her internal style office. Her clothes are characterized by a sustained attention to the textile material as well as a meticulous work, close to the crafts, on the treatments of tissues. Cotelac often uses several types of fabrics for the same garment.

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Cotelac Dress Fall 2019

In the ready-to-wear sector, the brand is positioned on the high-end, all generations. For her designer, Cotelac, “Dresses an active woman, a little bohemian, who likes beautiful clothes, not complicated, easy to live and wear.”

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Cotelac Fall 2019

History:

Cotelac was founded by Raphaelle Cavalli, a stylist and Pierre Pernod, previously creator of the brand ‘tehen’.

Raphaelle Cavalli studied in the textile section of the Beaux-Arts in Lyon, where she already worked on fabric. She completed her research with a training at the School of Textile Engineers of Lyon. In the late Eighties, she joined ‘tehen’, directed by Pierre Pernod. She deepened her work on the subject, especially mesh. This fabric is the centerpiece of the first collection, launched in 1993.

The name, ‘Cotelac’, comes from its creation, near Lake Nantau. In 2010, the brand built a new site in Amberieu-en-Bugey, bringing together production and the company’s headquarters. In 2004, Cotelac launched a new line, ‘Acote’, intended for a younger audience. His style is entrusted to Baptiste Viry, in tandem with Raphaelle Cavalli.

Production:

The Amberieu plant remains at the heart of the production process and the Cotelac ‘trademark’, including the famous pleating machines. Its creators also consider their activity and the know-how oft he brand on the mode of ‘industrial crafts’.

Development:

In 1993, the year of its creation, Cotelac opened 8 stores in France, Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Annecy, Aix-en-Provence and Bordeaux. It now has 56, including 11 Acote stores, in 47 cities. Since 2004, the brand has been setting up abroad and already has some 30 points of sale in Europe (Spain, Germany, and Switzerland), the United States and Asia (Taiwan, China, Japan and Korea).

Artistic:

Cotelac has entrusted its image to several renowned artists, such as Ellen Kooi and Sarah Moon.

For several years now, the brand has also been involved in promoting young, unsigned, independent artists as part of a partnership with the Roy Music label. Each year, its creators select a ‘coup de coeur’, which they publish a CD with four titles, distributed free in the store. The brand has produced four artists (Jil Is Lucky, Onili and Hangar and Olivier Marois), many of which have since been successful.

In addition, in partnership with Kiblind magazine, Cotelac offers young graphic designers and illustrators the opportunity to interpret the brand artistically. An original creation is thus diffused in each number. Since 2009, several artists have participated in the operation, including Bettina Henni, Domitille Leca, Brecht Evens or the Montreal collective Chateau-Vacant. Cotelac regularly organizes exhibitions in its stores.

(Wikipedia)

Check out their website for all locations.

Disclaimer: This information comes from both the Cotelac website and Wiki. Please check their website at http://www.cotelac.com for the full line and prices.

 

Young Fashions Inc. 208 Boulevard Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604

Young Fashions Inc.

208 Boulevard

Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604

(201) 288-9371

Hours: Monday-Friday-10:00am-6:00pm/Saturday-10:00am-5:00pm/Sunday Closed

(I have not included prices here as they have changed over the years).

I have been buying clothes and gifts at Young Fashions for over twenty years and it is considered a Hasbrouck Heights, NJ institution. It is the perfect place to buy elegant clothes and accessories for babies, young children and young adults.

Their Christening outfits you won’t find at the department stores and are beautiful designs of silk, cotton and lace at various prices. They have also have for the baby plush dolls, colorful stuffed animals, silver rattles and banks all at various prices. They even have blankets, sweaters and diapers to finish off the perfect gift basket.

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The inside of the store

I have bought for many young children, six months and up, a baby sweater here that is the perfect gift for the parents as the sweater transitions from Fall to Spring and can be worn in the winter months as well. I have also bought many of their bathrobes with either sailboats or flower scenes for small children. Their three piece children’s set with a shirt, pants and tee shirt is also very popular.

If you just need a small gift, they have a selection of plastic rattles, stuffed animals and dolls or small plastic or porcelain piggy banks in blue and pink.

Shopping here is a trip back in time to the late sixties or seventies when shopping was leisurely and there was time to talk to the owner and hold a conversation. Addie, the owner, will never steer you wrong and once you explain what it is you are looking for, she will size up the perfect gift within your budget. All of her clothes are for the well-dressed child.

The best part of shopping here is the personalized service you will get here. All clothes will be steamed and pressed before being shipped, nicely gifted wrapped complimentary with a choice of wrapping and sent with a personal card from yourself. Your not likely to find that at your local department store these days.

Enjoy this article I did on the store about six years ago that can be found on Patch.com that I wrote when I was the Chairman of the Merchants program for the Friends of the Hasbrouck Heights Library:

Young Fashions: A Step back in Time

By Justin Watrel

Entering Young Fashions on the Boulevard is like stepping back in time to when shopping was about leisure, good service and an owner who knew your name and would take time to help you with your selection of merchandise. The store brims with beautiful clothes, plush toys and interesting silver gifts that will be wrapped perfectly for that special gift recipient. Clothing not found in the department stores is available here to dress the most discreet child. The store is a reminder of a time when people dressed for the sake of dressing.

The owner of this unique clothing shop, Addie Carrino, wouldn’t have it any other way. “I try not to compete with the department stores, because I feel I offer customers selections in clothing not offered by the big stores. We carry outfits that you were never see in the department stores. When I buy and I do all the buying myself, I buy for my customers and what I think they will like. The way children dress has changed over the years and when I visit the showrooms and trade shows, I keep in pulse in what is happening in the children’s garment industry.”

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Owner Addie Carrino of Young Fashions

Ms. Carrino (nee Sansone) was born and raised in Hackensack and is a Hackensack High School Alumnus. She and her husband, Anthony raised their three children here and now her grandchildren are being raised in the area. Ms. Carrino’s daughter, Liz,  owns “Not Too Shabby” next door. “My husband was very helpful in helping grow the business. I originally opened the business across the street where the post office is now. Six months later, I moved the business into this location and since then, we have expanded and renovated three times over the years.”

“I got into the Children’s business in a roundabout way. I started my career as a private secretary at Ford and Bendix and I hated it. One day I was walking around the Boulevard and decided that I wanted to open my own business and since there was no Children’s store in Hasbrouck Heights, I decided that was the business I wanted to start. Here I am 56 years later and in March I will be open 57 years in Hasbrouck Heights,” Ms. Carrino added.

“We have a big selection of Christening and Communion outfits with all the accessories for the big event,” Ms. Carrino said. “When clothing like this is sold, we check the garment over to be sure all the stitching and beading is in place and then we hand press the outfit and wrap it for pick up. This is a service that the big stores don’t do anymore.”

“Some of the special services Young Fashions offers are hand pressing of garments then specialty packaged for pick up and can be wrapped in one of many gift wrapping options. We will wrap the gift, ribbon it and add an accompanying card to it complimentary. This separates us from many establishments,” Ms. Carrino explained. “We will also wrap multiple infant purchases into baskets for baby showers. This is a big hit with new mothers.”

“I find that a lot of my customers are grandparents buying for their new grandchildren, aunts buying for family members and new mothers picking out the perfect gift for their child,” Ms. Carrino said. “What I find is that my customers trust my opinion. They appreciate my taste and good judgment in making a selection. I do my best to tailor the gift to the person they are buying it for. If the gift is not correct, we have a liberal return policy and don’t question the return.”

Some of the items carried by the store include baby clothing, girl’s clothing for tweens and teens, jewelry, Gund plush animals, dolls, piggy banks that smile at you, shoes, socks and an array of boys clothing that will dress a young gentlemen both for the evening out and a day of play.

“What makes this store special is the service myself and the staff gives to our customers. We find that people travel from other towns to shop with us. Our reputation is built on quality clothing and gifts, excellent service and a nice atmosphere. I enjoy talking with my customers and make them feel welcome,” Ms. Carrino said. It is very rare these days to find a store where the owner greets you warmly, knows their merchandise and helps you through the entire transaction, then wraps the selection in beautiful wrapping paper with a ribbon and card, all ready to be given to a special child. This and many other wonderful surprises await you at Young Fashions.

Young Fashions

208 Boulevard

Hasbrouck Heights, NJ

(201) 288-9371

Parking is in the rear

 

Welcome to the Little Shop on Main Street for innovative, creative and unique shopping experiences.

Hello my name is Justin Watrel and I welcome you to my blog, T’he Little Shop on Main Street (LittleShoponMainStreet@Wordpress.com), an extension of my main blog, “MywalkinManhattan.com”, joining “VisitingaMuseum.com” and “DiningonaShoeString@Wordpress.com”.

Here I will be looking for the unusual, quirky, eclectic and campy stores that make up the fabric of a neighborhood. There are always those stores that just stand out amongst the chain stores and the long line of service shops.

In an era of a Starbucks, Bank of America and CVS on every corner (and God knows that their needed) but we are losing our ‘mom and pop’ stores in the process. Changing tastes and especially higher rents in most downtown’s are driving these stores out. Still in the middle of all of this, there are those merchants hanging on selling products that you can’t find online and just don’t offer the personal service found on Amazon.

 

Amado on 3rd on Third Avenue in NYC

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I will take you back to time when shopping was fun and stopping in a local neighborhood store encouraged conversation both with the owner and other customers. These are the stores where everyone takes the time to get to know who you are, asks how your family is and you know the salespeople. These are stores that know how to creatively display merchandise, have beautiful store windows and not just at the holidays and carry merchandise lines you don’t find online. They are the stores you will go out of your way for and leave the house to shop at when you need something.

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Creel and Gow on Lexington Avenue in NYC

I will take you on a unique, interesting and creative shopping trip with small merchants who offer so much more to the shopping experience than just the merchandise itself.

Welcome to ‘The Little Shop on Main Street’ and enjoy the shopping trip with me.

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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