The Starting Line

Neighborhood: Chelsea
Type of Place: Women's Clothing

This coming weekend will feature New York’s annual Gay Pride parade—and whether you’ll be a marcher, a sideline cheerer, or simply a well-wisher, The Starting Line has clothes and accessories for you. Doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, male, female, or any combination thereof; the items here offer something for all, and as owner Gus Salce says, “We get everybody.”

This encompassing reach has no doubt helped the shop to thrive; it’s been going strong in this location for 18 years. Adding to its strength is a focus on small, local brands; I especially loved the t-shirts from Blue Platypus, $39.99 (“This garment is a unique and special piece of art, like you,” their labels say), and those from LABEL, also $39.99, hand-printed and, as their own labels state, “made with love in New York City, USA.” Though some of the clothes seem chosen with the neighborhoods now-legendary “Chelsea boys” in mind, guys and gals of all types could find use for the wide variety of caps and flip-flops, the classic cotton tanks from CASC ($14.99), and sale items like cleanly cut linen cargo shorts ($59.99). Practical satchels and messenger bags for sale get some spark from interesting colors and designs; I especially liked one in a patterned neutral from Robert Le Heros ($149.99).

If you’re looking for a party to which to wear a new Starting Line outfit, they can help with that, too: “A Night When Red Lives” ( is a benefit for AMFAR, an AIDS research group, that the shop is co-hosting. It’s affordable, it sounds like a great time, and it’s for an important cause; put on your dancing shoes and and dive in. (Tuesday, June 19, from 6-10; Secret Bar and Lounge, 525 West 29th St.; $5 suggested donation; cash bar; DJ all night.)

  - Pamela Grossman; June 18, 2007

The Starting Line
180 8th Avenue (19th St)
New York, NY 10011

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