Type of Place: Women's Clothing Shoes Consignment Shops
What for some is merely a cast-off is for others catwalk worthy, so goes the adage for those who pine for designer clothing and accessories. The East Village, with close to a hundred independent clothing retailers, offers some pretty stiff competition to newcomers, though Ben Malik, owner of Eleven, a designer consignment shop on Eleventh Street and First Avenue, isn’t too concerned. As a native East Villager, he’s got a keen eye on what today’s modern hipsters prefer. Since opening Eleven just a few months ago, he’s been stocking the store with plenty to quench the thirst of the label-conscious among us.- Joann Jovinelly
What stands out most is Eleven’s fantastic selection of shoes—Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Jimmy Choo and more. You’ll find them all here at prices that won’t send you running. A sea of shoes sits in both front windows, in fact, just beaconing passersby to try a pair on for size. Although Eleven specializes in previously owned items, the majority of the shoes seemed as though they had never before touched pavement. We spied several gorgeous pairs of designer sandals, which can be difficult to obtain once the summer is underway, for less than $65. Plenty of heels and flats filled out the selection, which also includes the largest collection of leather cowboy boots this side of Texas.
Unlike most second-hand and vintage clothing retailers that cram a ton of merchandise in a dark, closet-like store with inadequate dressing rooms, Eleven is refreshingly open and light-filled. My shopping experience was slow-paced and delightful and Malik was eager to help without being pushy or chatty. The store is well organized and clean and offers an equal array of items for both women and men. Flirty dresses and tops, many of them still with their original tags, poked out from the racks at prices ranging from $35 to $85. Eleven also stocks tons of vintage denim for men and women, as well as jackets, lightweight trench and pea coats, and cropped styles for spring. Best of all, the selection is basically seasonal, so you won’t have to comb through an endless stack of wool to get to summer silks and linen.
Among our favorite scores was a black cardigan by Haute Hippie with cut-out horizontal lines (pictured), $60, a red coral necklace (pictured) with multiple magnetic closures that doubles as two bracelets, $30, and some Gucci black lace pumps (pictured), $89. There were also several handbags, belts, wallets, and hats that grabbed our attention.
Before my exit, Malik explained Eleven’s policies on turning your old designer goods into cash. Eleven takes in gently used clothing shoes and other designer accessories on trade or consignment, which is a 50/50 split (unlike most vintage and consignment retailers who usually take 60 to 70 percent of the sale). Items may be turned in for trade against in-store items or paid for in cash, depending on your needs, though Eleven only considers clean, well-maintained goods for adults that are in new or like-new condition and also in season.