Friendliest menswear (2008)

Hollander and Lexer

Too often, a high price tag occasions an accompanying hauteur—the more chichi the boutique, the chillier the sales associates. But even those frigid shopgirls and shopboys would thaw amid the costly goods and contagious warmth at Boerum Hill's Hollander and Lexer. Owners Hicham Benmira and Brian Cousins have stocked it with Paul Smith jeans, Steven Alan shirts, Rogues Gallery tees, and taxidermy from the nearby antiques store, Darr—all exquisite, none of it cheap. Yet Benmira will remember customers by name, embrace them in greeting, offer sage fashion counsel, and never betray the least annoyance if that counsel is declined. In addition to clothes, the shop also stocks leather goods, sunglasses, vintage Roman rings, surprisingly manly toiletries from the Santa Maria Novella convent, and the occasional jar of starfish and sea urchins. This fall, the store will launch its own sportswear line. If it's half as nice as its designers, it ought to be a hit.


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