• people on the street in the soho shopping district

Soho Shopping Guide: Independent Fashion Boutiques To Fall In Love With

SoHo has had many lives. What started out as land farmed by Manhattan’s first free Black settlement during the colonial period evolved into a Revolutionary War defense locale, then a residential neighborhood, followed by retail and entertainment, before eventually giving way to a hybrid of red-light district and manufacturing. By the 1950s, it was known as Hell’s Hundred Acres, consisting of sweatshops and unappealing factories.

An influx of artists — attracted by the historic buildings and vast space available on the cheap — in the 1970s, breathed new life into the area and paved the way for SoHo to become the trendy shopping neighborhood we know today.

Some say SoHo has turned into a mall — albeit a captivating one that draws shoppers with internationally known luxury stores like the Rem Koolhaus-designed Prada Epicenter, fashion world favorites like Isabel Marant, and cool chains like Uniqlo and Muji. But, the neighborhood also has its fair share of independent boutiques, each with a unique fashion point-of-view. Here are a few that our staff and guests love the most.

Cover photo by Photo by Yoav Aziz on Unsplash

rack of clothing


Named after a Miles Davis song, Blue in Green specializes in Japanese and American jeans, including Holy Grail Japanese raw selvedge. Find destination denim from brands like Kapital, Samurai Jeans and cult favorite Oni Denim, as well as cool t-shirts and accessories that look great with a pair of blues.

racks of clothing for purchase


With two locations in SoHo, Flying Solo is a curated collective of indie designers from all over the world. The boutique’s name is a play on the founder, jewelry designer Elizabeth Solomeina’s name, and all the designers’ shared commitment to dodge the siren call of bigger brands and fast fashion. The result is an eclectic bazaar of directional style with a sustainable ethos.

if store sign
Photo courtesy of IF Soho


One of the first high fashion boutiques to open in a then very boho SoHo in 1978, IF won the hearts of artists like Warhol and Basquiat. Here you’ll find an artful mix of labels from Europe and Japan including Marc Le Bihan, Elena Dawson, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme Des Garçons and many other well-known designers’ designers.

interior of henrik vibskov nyc

Henrik Vibskov Boutique NYC

For lovers of Scandi design, Henrik Vibskov’s bright, bold colors and architectural drapey shapes could be the cast of their own avant-garde rock opera in this magic box of a shop that Vibskov designed himself. That it’s all delivered with the artist/designer’s signature wit and playfulness is just the icing on the Danish.

a tree with mood lighting
Photo courtesy of Khaite


Khaite, the womenswear brand whose name has become synonymous with the phrase “cool-girl chic” reinvigorated Mercer Street as a fashion destination when it opened its first standalone store earlier this year. The cavernous 4,000 square-foot space—part of which is subterranean — pays homage to the neighborhood’s industrial roots with swooping Brutalist curves and steel, chrome and glass surfaces. The dressing rooms are New York’s newest (literal) red light districts, but piped in birdsong and a black olive tree mascot nicknamed The Shady Lady add a softness to the space.

exterior of retail clothing store

Kirna Zabête

Although Kirna Zabête now has locations on the Upper East Side, East Hampton, Palm Beach and Bryn Mawr, PA (with one in Nashville on the way), its home will always be SoHo. Now in its third location in the neighborhood, the store features bold-faced names like Totême, Celine and Dries Van Noten, as well as emerging designers like Australia’s crochet-forward Alémais, and stealth-wealth staple TWP.

retail store full of hats

The Hat Shop

Owner Linda Pagan opened The Hat Shop as a third act in the late 1990s and is now one of the country’s foremost authorities on chapeaux. Bespoke and ready-to-wear options are available from mainly New York-based milliners — with a smattering of headpieces from non-local designers that Pagan just couldn’t resist.

Little Market

A collective of women artists, makers and designers, Little Market is a great stop for one-of-a-kind gifts, souvenirs, clothing and accessories.

Discover (and Shop) More of New York City

Heading to NYC for some serious retail therapy? The Knickerbocker Hotel, located at the iconic intersection of 42nd Street and Broadway, is convenient to all your dream shopping. From the streets of SoHo just a short ride downtown from the hotel, to the legendary boutiques of Fifth Avenue just a few blocks away, New York’s best shopping is all within reach. Of course, you can also always check out our NYC Travel Guide for more recommendations on where to go, shop, eat, and more in New York City.

Make a Reservation