NEW YORK — Holiday shopping can be a competitive sport in certain New York neighborhoods but a cluster of SoHo retailers is banding together for more of a goodwill get-together.
A thousand shoppers are expected to show up for Thursday’s Holiday Block Party on Howard Street. Michele Varian, who moved into the neighborhood in 2001 with her signature lifestyles shop at 27 Howard Street, cooked up the pre-holiday event. She made sure to include an ugly sweater contest. A committee will review participants’ photographs and the winner will be revealed on Friday. Block party goers will also find select discounts and extended hours at such stores as Outdoor Voices, The Arrivals, Roll & Hill and The Affirmation, among others.
Trying to take the pajama trend to new heights, Andy Spade’s Sleepy Jones will host an attempt to break the world record for jumping up and down on a Floyd of Detroit-made platform bed. Not surprisingly, the dress code calls for Sleepy Jones pajamas.
With extended store hours until 9 p.m., Opening Ceremony is aiming to ramp up sales to benefit Kids in Need of Defense, a nonprofit whose goal is to ensure that no refugee or immigrant child deals with the U.S. immigration court alone.
Block party shoppers at Tom Dixon’s three-floor store will be able to take holiday images in the elevator and Block Watches will be awarded for the best ones. (Tom Dixon fans can also find his collection at a new 850-square-foot shop at ABC Carpet & Home — the British designer’s third outpost in the U.S. )
Consumers will also be able to catch a live art installation by Emily Johnston at the Canal Street Market, a multivendor retail space that houses such outposts as Saint Clair, Forge & Finish, Pat Kim Design, Upstate Stock and a number of multidisciplinary design studios including Conmateria, Studio Proba and Fort Standard.
As any Fifth Avenue pedestrian can attest to, navigating the streets of New York at this time of year requires a certain amount of fortitude. But a Howard Street Block Party spokeswoman said this week’s merriment is “more of a chance for the neighborhood to come together and have some fun whilst offering shoppers late-night opening hours.”