The Thrill of the Hunt: New York's Best Small Boutiques

Courtesy The Space

Nine small stores that celebrate (and facilitate) shopping discovery

Founded in 1964 by Nuran Mateosian, the suit-making operation is currently run by his son. The lower Fifth Avenue shop provides custom tailoring with textiles from elite mills, including Loro Piana.

The by-appointment showroom in East Williamsburg focuses on handicraft. Look for old-world horn-and- bone corkscrews, handmade bicycles, and silk bomber jackets from in-house label AS65.

The Tribeca shop offers surprising (and minimalist) home decor: conical suspension lights from LucidiPevere, mod seating from GamFratesi, and ultrachic ombré mirrors from Germans Ermičs.

Exactingly curated and aggressively hip, this Nolita spot is beloved for its knockout (and hard-to-find) women’s fashion. Expect embroidered, stringy pieces from Central Saint Martins grad Yulia Kondranina alongside corduroy-and-velvet smocks from German provocateur Bernhard Willhelm. Jewelry, home decor, and apothecary items like Dr. Alkaitis organic masks and Binu Binu charcoal soaps round out the mix.

Courtesy Oroboro

The by-appointment Nolita store, founded by Vivek Nagrani, is, first and foremost, an insider favorite among ex-presidents for its socks. (George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are clients.) In 2013, Nagrani expanded from undergarments to suiting, jackets, and shirting, but he keeps all of his products limited, made in either Italy or Peru, and individually numbered.

One of the oldest clothing stores in SoHo (it opened in the 1970s, when the neighborhood was all art galleries), the boutique stocked pieces from Mugler, Yamamoto, and Moschino in the early days. It now sells offbeat and lesser-known brands like Daniela Gregis, an Italian women’s-wear designer who specializes in sculptural tailoring.

Straddling business, art, and design, No. 8 sells an eccentric mix of decor, fashion, and vintage items, ranging from hand-knitted animal figurines and watercolor kits to leather tote bags for wine bottles. NoMad regulars stock up on underwear, German ink pens, and Taiwanese pencils.

Dave Katz

The 24-year-old East Village store is an outpost of all things highly nostalgic and fantastically weird. Obscura sells dice made of real bone, Russian flight goggles, and artfully curated Zippo lighters. (Beware: Taxidermy and primitive medical instruments abound.)

The newcomer on New York’s cult-favorite retail roster, Odd Eye features a blend of one-off vintage and design items, from objects and art to furniture. With a mission of “striving to keep the energy of the East Village alive,” the store features standouts like Philippe Starck chairs, smoked-glass coupes, and painted sculptures from Mexico. The shop’s random-seeming set list is as quirky-cool as the neighborhood it celebrates.