It's SoHo in Midtown with High-End Fashion Moving to 34th Street

By Jill Colvin on July 14, 2011 12:24pm 

Mango is expected to open its doors on West 34th Street this fall.
Mango is expected to open its doors on West 34th Street this fall.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

MIDTOWN — Move over, SoHo.

West 34th Street is in the midst of an upscale retail makeover bringing some of the trendiest fashion chains to Herald Square.

Mango, the popular Spanish store specializing in women’s clothing, is the latest new retailer planning to open on the stretch. Sweeping photos of sexy spokeswoman Scarlett Johansson now fill the windows of the new location at 7 W. 34th St., which will be Mango’s second outpost in Manhattan.

While a spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on an opening date, staff at the store’s SoHo location said they’re planning for early September.

The arrival is just one of several high-profile openings on the block between Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

This fall, UNIQLO is slated to open its third location in the city on the stretch, which is already plastered with the trendy Japanese retailer’s logo. Construction is also currently underway at a new, large Levi’s location closer to Broadway, and a new Timberland footwear store just opened in May.

Tricia Lewis, Director of Digital Media at the 34th Street Partnership, who runs the Fashion Herald blog covering retail in the neighborhood, said the past three years have seen an significant shift.

“It’s changing,” said Lewis. “We were really getting lots and lots of junior stores, but now with UNIQLO and Mango, it’s a step up," she said, describing the new openings as "the next echelon of fashion retailers.”

For those who live and work nearby, she said the new options will mean fewer trips Downtown to find specific brands.

“We’re stoked not to have to head to SoHo,” she said. 

Natalie Jurakhan, a sales associate at WHO.A.U., a newly-opened Korean chain focusing on teen fashion, said she was also happy to see more diversity along the stretch, which was once known as a bargain center, with outlets like Conway and discount jewelry stores.

"I think it makes 34th Street look a lot better. It gives you a little more range to shop around,” said Jurakhan, 20, who said she’s also happy the area is still host to more ubiquitous, affordable destinations like H&M and Forever 21, which are also popular with teens.

The block is also home to other chains including bebe, Aeropostale, Desigual, Zara, and Victoria's Secret.

But Lewis said that even with the new openings, there’s still a long way from West 34th Street to the exclusive shops of the Upper East Side.

“We don’t have delusions of it becoming Madison Avenue,” she assured.

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