Neighborhood: Meatpacking District
Type of Place: Kids
Style is personal, thoughtful, unique. It separates those who manage to- Pamela Grossman; June 15, 2006
look distinctively great much of the time from those who merely follow
trends. And according to kids' shops like Yoyamart, it's something that
can't be discovered too early.
The shop is the brainchild of Stephane Gerbier and J.D. Boujnah, who,
with the help of their respective wives, Gena and Cristina, created a
store "for fathers by fathers." Catering to toddlers through preteens, it
followed in the footsteps of nearby Yoya, which focuses more on the
young-baby crowd (and bills itself as "for moms by moms").
Whoever is doing the shopping at Yoyamart, be it Mom, Dad, Doting Aunt,
or Best Friend from College, they'll find a store so stylish that they
might wish they'd put together a snappier outfit themselves in the
morning. Shirts, bottoms, and accessories are grouped together on a
countertop in combinations that would make any professional stylist proud. For
music, there was during our visit no Rafi or Barney or whatever the
(very young) kids are listening to these days; a great-sounding Neil Young
CD was on instead. DVDs play on a flat-screen TV, but again, Barney
will likely not be in evidence; instead, classics like the original
"Batman" show younguns how it's all supposed to be done.
Sorry to say that in this case, great taste is not particularly cheap.
A gorgeous pair of suede boots from Pom D'api was $185, which parents
might find hard to swallow. (We hear that Sarah Jessica Parker and
Matthew Broderick, as well as Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich, shop here
for their tykes, which might make the prices easier to understand.
Plus, hey, this is in the Meatpacking District; not really where anyone
shops for bargains these days.) But we found some more-affordable items to
love, like tunics from Antik Batik, $50; Salvor's silkscreen t-shirts
of animals (arty rather than cutesy), $40; and beautiful animal pillows,
also by Salvor, from $48-$265 (at least they can't be outgrown).
There are also eye-catching books and toys, some that adults will
covet. (We especially loved a book of surfing photos from the 70s, though we
were so busy admiring it, we forgot to write down what it costs.)
Figurines from Noupa were a reasonable $9 and bore a slogan on the box that
made us want to cheer: "Not to be sold in malls or big giant bad stores
that don't care." And there's a line of chocolate called Artist Bars,
with wrappers designed by contemorary artists ($4 each, or $40 for a set
of 10 in a gift box). A portion of the proceeds for these go to
OK, so maybe you're not Sarah Jessica Parker, and maybe you won't shop
here for your child's every need. But it's sure worth a look--for
special occasions, and just for the stylish beauty of it all.