Particularly because this girly shop is snuggled cozily between teems of gay-inspired boutiques around the Christopher Street area, Albertine stands out from the crowd. This element of originality is mirrored inside the shop where each piece you eye will either be one or two of a kind. What more does a NYC fashionista want than to be all done up in something that isn’t already done up? Albertine makes that dream come true.
Emerging artists are the stars here at Albertine. That coupled with the fact that their items are boasted for being the only of its kind on the planet, makes it understandable that their prices are high. It’s been a spell since I’ve been to Albertine, and because pieces come and go so quickly, it is hard to quote specific prices in this review. However, you’ll find womens-wear (including shoes) that is generally between $150 - $600+ and jewelry that runs anywhere from $100 - $1,000+.
The owner of this special boutique, Kyung Lee, has stocked her retail space with ultra femininity manifested in silk organza blouses, Grecian-style wrap dresses, canvas halter dresses, tunics with patterns reminiscent of a sundress-wearing kind of day, and even floor-length gowns. On the other end of the spectrum, you can land an edgy, highly-structured bomber jacket here, too.
Albertine’s aesthetics make it a joy to shop there. The space sort of resembles a sewing room with a contemporary flair. You’ll walk along grey-painted oak floors as you browse, and can rest your wearied shopper’s feet – or order your boyfriend to have a seat while you continue at your leisure - on one of two antique wooden chairs or a Victorian lounger. Service is just as welcoming. Although Kyung Lee is often knee-deep in some project and the probability of interacting with her is low,those who have had the pleasure of meeting her report she is a gentle yet dynamic personality made indicative in her creations.
The place is minimal to a T; so much so that you will only find one or two sizes of a piece on the racks at a time. For other sizes, the staff will graciously retrieve more stock from the back. You can rely on one-on-one personal attention at Albertine, a rare commodity when it comes to NYC’s fashion retail. Here, that attention is crucial as the store is so often called upon to make items to order since each piece is a true original. Custom-made wear can run you anywhere from $275 to over a thousand bucks, depending on the complexity of the design you are after. How it works: consumers try on a sample size, choose a patterned or solid swatch, schedule a fitting and wait for the perfect, made-to-fit piece of clothing to appear in your hands no more than three weeks later.
Accessories are to die for at Albertine. Either displayed in glass cases or neatly placed on their dreamy-hued shelving, items you’ll find vary greatly in style. Leather cuff bracelets, burnished gold pendants, lattice-cut rings, necklaces with owl charms, silver snake rings, and jade drop earrings are just a few of the items that will keep you allured.