The secret to giving the perfect gift is finding something unique and personal enough to make a lasting impression. Fortunately, living in the East Village apartments at EVGB means you’re at the center of a shopping mecca defined by its innovative small business owners who have turned their shops into expressions of their own creative visions. At East Village favorites like Lori McLean, Still House, and Duo NYC, you will find clothes, objects for the home, sculptural kitchenware, and rare books unlike anything available at a chain store or name brand. These are presents that are completely personal, completely creative, and completely East Village. The challenge won’t be finding great presents, but choosing among a dazzling variety of options, and resisting the urge — or not! — to get two of everything; one to give and another to keep to put the finishing touches on your own East Village luxury rental.
There is a reason why Lori McClean’s jewelry is so coveted and admired. It has to do with her exquisite handiwork and the perfect balance she has found for combining a vintage aesthetic with a contemporary sensibility. The delicate femininity of vintage-inspired settings are offset by unexpected moments of asymmetry as in her Comet Necklace, which comes in diamond, emerald, and opal.
Duo NYC, a shop founded by sisters Wendy and LaRae Kangas, is the favorite East Village shop of Refinery29’s fashion editor, and for good reason. They carry a hand-picked mix of vintage clothing and pieces by a stand-out list of contemporary designers. All the elegant, eco-conscious women on your holiday shopping list will appreciate Duo NYC’s preference for the use of natural fibers and penchant for a hint of whimsy amidst the minimalist lines, as in the newly arrived Lacausa Santi Jumpsuit in Tar, which combines luxurious draping with playful pockets.
Finding gifts for men will never be a challenge when you live just steps away from The Lodge, a self-described “Man Shop” that is stocked with all the clothing and accessories a man could want — but taken to the next level in terms of style and quality. Give him a pair of cashmere Reindeer Socks so he can feel the spirit — and the warmth — all through the season. Or, present him with the Cobalt Woods “Man Candle,” which has a perfectly balanced scent of the forest.
Still House is filled with streamlined and creative takes on living well. Its name is perfectly apt for a store that offers jewelry and household items that are both minimal and refined — where a table vase has the powerful simplicity of a Brancusi sculpture. Another store where the objects of daily life become works of art is Nalata Nalata. Here, every item is chosen by co-founders Stevenson S.J. Aung and Angélique J.V. Chmielewski, whose love of materials like Ayous wood finds expression in finely crafted renderings of magazine racks and wastebaskets. And, finally, there may be no one in the East Village more familiar with transforming the most commonplace items into moments of pure pleasure than Bonnie Slotnick. Her famous cookbook shop features rare and out-of-print cookbooks, which make perfect presents for book collectors and foodies.