Shopping Around Newbury St.
Newbury Street has always been a bastion of fashion—the stylish stretch of chic we point to when confronted by haughty New Yorkers. Indeed, with stores such as Burberry, Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Armani, the street holds its own against the likes of Fifth Avenue and Rodeo Drive.
NEWBURY STREET HAS ALWAYS BEEN A bastion of fashion—the stylish stretch of chic we point to when confronted by haughty New Yorkers. Indeed, with stores such as Burberry, Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Armani, the street holds its own against the likes of Fifth Avenue and Rodeo Drive. The street is also a pampering paradise, offering an array of decadent spas to choose from when you’re looking to spoil yourself. While local stalwarts—Louis Boston, Alan Bilzerian, Bella Santé—have long outfitted and indulged Bostonians, five recently opened shops and spas are putting the “new” back in Newbury.
Opened in early June at the corner of Newbury and Berkeley, Valentino brings major style to Boston. This upscale Italian clothier understands its patrons—the new shop is on the corner opposite from The Ritz-Carlton and mere steps from the aforementioned Burberry and Chanel. The large, light and airy store is filled with ready-to-wear runway fashions—tailored coats, slim-fitting suits, gala-ready gowns—as well as shoes, bags and accessories. The hallowed clothes are already a hit with an eager audience of ladies who lunch.
Four blocks away, the diminutive Easter Wings carries an intriguing combination of Japanese pop-princess wear and couture classics. Sheer black Gucci separates and flirty Laundry by Shelli Segal frocks mingle in the sweet-as-a-candy-store space with miniskirts galore and soft graphic-printed Ts so tiny you’ll wonder who can wear them.
Back up a block to experience the first of three new beauty hotspots. Legendary skin care guru Shu Uemura opened his Boston boutique of the same name in late spring, much to the delight of locals who covet his high-concept, low-maintenance skin care products. The crazy-cool boutique was designed by Japanese modern kimono designer Mamechiyo. The sleek, all-white interior is interrupted only by a funky swarm of multicolored acrylic butterflies hanging from the ceiling. The shop sells all the cult-favorite products (High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil, Depsea Water face mist, the gravity-defying Eyelash Curler), and features a Tokyo Lash Bar where you can pick up falsies to make your eyes really stand out.
Five stories tall and myriad treatment rooms wide, Emerge Spa and Salon is the mother of all Boston day spas. The Asian-inspired space includes such amenities as a full-service VIP suite; a juice bar, cafe and roof deck; and the Men’s Club, complete with a flat-screen TV, treatment rooms and shaving services. The salon and spa’s service menu resembles a five-star wine list—selections look savory, special and somewhat intimidating. Caviar pedicures, Hydrostorm water massages and a series of Kur body treatments (a mind-body experience involving massage and exfoliation, among other steps) abound. Owner Joyce Hampers even offers valet service as a first de-stressing step for weekend clients visiting after 5 p.m.
Also owned by Hampers, G2O Spa + Salon by Giuliano seems at first like Emerge’s little sister. Except there’s nothing little about it—the small storefront belies the cavernous space within. Completely renovated and redecorated, the multilevel salon and spa houses 10 full-time hairstylists, a manicure-pedicure studio and two stories of treatment rooms. Clients meander down long, hushed hallways (after lunching on a catered meal in the eating area) en route to services such as craniosacral therapy—a migraine-fighting treatment—or time in the “pod,” an egg-shaped machine that purportedly reduces body fat and takes inches off waists.