Last night fashion bloggers were invited for a sneak peek at the new Accessorize store here in NYC, which will officially open on Black Friday, or November 26. Accessorize, the UK-based chain store that is now found in about 70 different countries, is basically the H&M or Zara of accessories--think cheap and trendy jewelry, bags, trinkets.
The first Accessorize store opened in the US in Washington DC in June 2010. The company hopes to open 100 stores in the US by 2015, starting on the East Coast. You can buy online now, but everything is still priced in UK currency. That will change by the end of November, when a currency converter is added.
When I walked into the tiny, adorable shop on the corner of Christopher and Bleecker Streets, my first thought was, “Wow, Katy Perry would absolutely love this.” Turns out that she and other starlets, such as Taylor Swift and, uh, Kate Middleton, are big fans.
The target demographic is 18-35 years old, and the wares are flirty, girly, tongue-in-cheek, and fun. It’s not childish, however, like US accessories store Claire’s can be. It’s definitely meant for women, albeit those with a sense of humor about fashion. Prices range from $8-$80. And the prices are comparable to UK pricing: for example £12.00 earrings were marked as $20--that's about an even exchange rate.
There’s a lot going on in the store, but once you focus, themes emerge. Right now it’s gypsy/Indian, holiday, and a sort of vintage boudoir look. Lots of color, lots of bling, lots of pearls. Sometimes all at once. The chandelier earrings were clever (I picked up a pair of cascading leaves). I fell in love with some huge acrylic flower rings, which were definitely inspired by that French label that I cannot name (cough--Chanel). Teen Vogue went nuts for a 3-dimensional kitty cat ring with rhinestone eyes.
The winter accessories were well done. Fair isle peppered with hearts was abundant, with lots of matching hats, scarves, and mittens. It got downright sophisticated in the snood section. I kept going back to fondle the grey leopard print, but then decided I didn’t need any more snoods.
The most confusing rack to me was the “Fascinator” rack. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know what a fascinator was--well, I do now. It’s a fancy headband adorned with anything from feathers to bows to fur to tiny little hats to netting to jewels. The Brits are apparently mad for them. Very cute and precious, but it takes a certain type of girl to pull them off.
Finally, the handbags. They ran the gamut from basic soft faux leather hobo to sequined Union Jack in crazy colors. The canvas weekender bag printed with flowers and Union Jacks is their most popular bag. Just in time for holiday parties, the evening bags were fantastic. A hard-sided sparkly bow clutch looked much more expensive than it was.
I ended the visit with a pink frosted cupcake. Much like Accessorize, it was sweet, delicious, and just a tad sugary.