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Shop Talk: ALIFE, TANI, Rising States and More

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"New pieces, new brands, new loves." Marbled shorts at The Rising States on Ludlow.
“New pieces, new brands, new loves.” Marbled shorts at The Rising States on Ludlow.

Here’s Lo-Down contributor Jessica Delfino’s weekly roundup of Lower East Side shops, sales and new collections to keep your eye on.

Hester Street Fair (Promenade at Hester and Essex): Hester Street Fair is now open, and I just can’t imagine that there’s anyone in the neighborhood who doesn’t know about this quaint little bazaar, overflowing with vintage clothing pickers and indie jewelry, dresses and accessories. The prices are pretty good, too, save one or two items I stumble upon and say “Uh, yeah, right.”

Hester Street Fair is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through October 26.

TANI (100 Rivington Street): In the corner storefront space where Steve Madden set up shop for a good handful of years sits this new shoe shop, “for ladies and gents,”  that almost looks like a candy store. Their seasonal sandals and slip-ons in bright pinks, blues and rainbow striping make me think of a vacation I should be taking to a tropical island, far away from the hustle and bustle of busy little Rivington Street.

If you miss Steve Madden and their dope $20 sales racks (I think we all do), no problem, you can still buy Steve Madden shoes there, along with Sperry, Seychelles, Florsheim and other famous brands.

TANI is open 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday Through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

ALIFE (158 Rivington Street): Torn between a pair of sneakers that are $55 and $2000? Then this is your spot. Juxtaposition seems to be the store’s bag, in a sense. Upon entering, it looks like a rich kid’s lighted shoe closet. But in the back, it opens up into an uncovered yard, reflecting the rawness of what the Lower East Side used to be.

Racks of over-sized sweatshirts and T-shirts hang there (as well as some local hip-hopsters) enjoying the open air during this weekend’s Pop-Up sale, where you can get 50-70% off your purchases. (!)

On a lucky night, you might also catch a live backyard performance by the likes of Schoolboy Q or who knows who.

ALIFE is open Monday through Saturday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Rising States (168 Ludlow Street): I spent my 20s on good old grimy Ludlow Street. It used to be kind of a scary, seedy row. Now between Houston and Stanton, nearly every store is a tidy little shop, one of which happens to be uber cool Rising States. A small yet smart space holds a surprising amount of options from over twenty interesting local and independent designers (including many new pieces for spring).

Upon entering, I defined her collection as clothes that the people of Demolition Man (starring Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock and Sylvester Stallone) would have worn. I asked Megan (the store owner) if she’d describe it as a mish mash? She said no. “Clothing from the future — if the future was 1988 or something like that,” is what we finally agreed on.

I fell in love with a black leather jacket ($1200) and it’s white counterpart, but honestly, I didn’t see one thing in the store that I wouldn’t love to try to make work.

The Rising States is open 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Jessica Delfino is a comedic musician who has lived and performed in the LES for like, forever. She first fell in love with beautiful clothing as a kid when her mom let her dress up in her vintage stash. Jessica was called “One of NY’s 50 Most Fashionable People” by Time Out NY. Check her out at here or email her at: jessica@thelodownny.com. She’s also @JessicaDelfino on Twitter.

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