Though Bess NYC is by no means new to the
circuit, the boutique that first opened it’s doors in 2000 by New York Douglas and is constantly evolving. Each season the store gets a total revamp with a new theme---everything from Western to Goth. Bess was originally started as a jewelry/accessories line that within its christening year was being sold at Bess Abraham Barney’s, Bergdorf’s and the like. In 2006, their shop relocated to the former site of ’s historic Pop-up Shop in Keith Haring SoHo. Most recently, when walking into Bess it was clear 90’s grunge was on the rise and its safe to say its my favorite store revamp they've done so far. Every crevice of Bess is decked out in the theme making it look like a trippy basement. You know, that place where all the cool older kids hangout where you wish you could be invited? Where the girls wear lurid high-top bedazzled platform converse, spray-painted dresses, own loads of ironic Smurf merchandise (which to be honest, is slightly frighting), and enough vintage movie posters to impress all the goth boys who hangout there, too. By the way, if you're still pondering the title of this post, it's the name of an old Disney movie that I thought totally fit Bess. If you've never seen Stepsister From Planet Weird then take this moment to make the leap back into classic '90s Disney here.
My favorite part of the store was the glass semi-shrine by the register with Vanilla Ice trading cards, candy necklaces, plastic eyeballs, spiderweb rings, and New Kids on the Block everything filling its walls. From Haring yo-yos to Doc Marten's with his signature sketches printed onto them, sprinkled throughout the store you’ll also spy little remnants of
’s once-pop-up shop. Keith Haring
Oh yes, I spy a Furby!
This rack reminded me a bit of
’ grungier collections in the 90's, no? Marc Jacobs
Bess NYC; 292 Lafayette Street (Between Houston and Prince Streets); 212-219-0723.
The weirdest part of the shop is the
doppelganger shopkeeper who sits in a corner chair and knits while you peruse the collections. Though he gave me a stink-eye when I attempted to snap a photo of him, he is just as much an extension of the store as the yin yang patchwork pants that hang in the window. Looking forward to see what's next for Bess! (hehe that rhymed). Andrew Mukamal
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