A GUIDE TO THE SHOPPER’S LIFE
Byline: Jessica Kerwin
NEW YORK — For the novice and the super-shopper alike, authors Dina Clason and Jill Fairchild Melhado have come up with “Where to Wear,” a shopping guide that might even change the way certain stores do business. The book lists places where fashion can be found in every price range and in every corner of Manhattan, in stores from Abercrombie & Fitch to Zitomer. Some are familiar favorites and others are fresh discoveries — but there’s one store that didn’t make the cut.
While researching the book, the authors happened into a children’s store on the Upper East Side.
“We were saying how adorable the clothing was, and the people there thought we were snoops,” reports Melhado, who is the daughter of John B. Fairchild, former chairman and editorial director of Fairchild Publications. “They thought we were going to open a shop of our own.
“We kept telling them we were writing a guide,” she continues, “but they wouldn’t believe us, and they basically threw us out. So we never reviewed the shop.”
“Then they went out of business,” Clason adds.
Unlike other guides, “Where to Wear” takes a comprehensive look at shopping in New York without crowding the topic with information about restaurants, museums and the like. “Most are big, heavy tomes that sort of have everything in them,” says Clason, who previously worked at Tiffany & Co. and at Barneys New York. “Nothing out there was concise and dedicated to clothing.”
But that doesn’t mean their slim guide is strictly for out-of-towners.
“It’s great for tourists, but it’s great for New Yorkers, even though they think they know their shopping,” says Melhado. “I used to think that I knew my shops when we started this thing. I couldn’t believe how many amazing stores there are in New York that people wouldn’t think to go to.”
Part of what gives the guide its range is the difference between the two authors’ tastes. “I’m less of an avid shopper,” says Clason.
“We’re total opposites,” Melhado agrees. “I brought her into stores with blaring music, and she would bring me into stores and I’d say, ‘God, who would wear this!’ Dina would set me straight on certain looks and it was a good balance.”
And each writer did her fair share of shopping along the way.
“We spent more shopping than the book cost us to do,” admits Clason, who sometimes had to coax Melhado out of the dressing room and on to the next site. The book, which sells for $12.95, was published jointly by the authors and is currently available at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon.com and Hudson News outlets, among other stores. It will be launched at a book party Monday night at Nicole’s.
Of course, with the changing nature of Manhattan real estate and of the fashion business itself, the book will need continuous revisions. The next edition is planned for spring 2000.