A day trip to the Hamptons is worth adding to your New York itinerary as luxury retail booms
East Hampton is now home to boutiques of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Valentino and Prada, with exclusive events and products attracting shoppers and spend
In April, Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH, purchased an East Hampton boutique for $22 million (€20.2 million) – a new record price for commercial real estate in the tony beachside community.
At $4,400 (€4 million) per square foot, it wasn’t just a big deal locally: that number also exceeds the average rates for retail space in prime areas of Hong Kong, Milan, London, Paris, Tokyo and even Manhattan’s Upper Fifth Avenue (49th to 60th streets), where, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield, an annual average rent of $2,000 (€1.8 million) per square foot made it the world’s most expensive shopping street in 2022.
While record-topping residential real estate sales are commonplace in the Hamptons, commercial properties here have not historically seen the same demand. That’s changing as East Hampton finds itself in the midst of an unprecedented retail boom, driven by the spending power of a population that’s become less and less seasonal. Local agents estimate that overall commercial lease prices have increased by about 25 per cent in the past 12 to 24 months, thanks to a spike in demand.
“There are many brands that are in the Hamptons for the first time this year – many,” says Hal Zwick, director of commercial real estate for Compass in the Hamptons, adding that the full-time local population has swelled by 10 per cent to 15 per cent since the pandemic.
Arnault’s space, at 1 Main Street, now houses an outpost of Louis Vuitton, its first Hamptons boutique. For its opening event over Memorial Day weekend, the store greeted guests with live music, champagne and caviar-topped blinis; on the second floor, an artist painted flowers on a monogrammed suitcase to show off the brand’s on-site personalization services.
Louis Vuitton is just one of many boutiques to have opened in East Hampton Village in recent weeks; others include Chanel, Valentino and Prada. Even the Munich-based luxury e-commerce titan Mytheresa.com has set up its first brick-and-mortar location, with a five-week pop-up starting June 29.
“We’re seeing more international tenants,” says Zwick. “They want to be in the Hamptons because they know that’s where their clients are.” Mytheresa, for instance, has data showing that its Hamptons-based shoppers typically spend 30 per cent more than customers anywhere else in the US.
Bidding wars for prime locations and scarcity of retail space have some brands thinking outside the box, and sometimes outside of East Hampton. Some have set up shop at hotels this year (Givenchy at Topping Rose House; Milly at the Surf Lodge). Retailers such as Nordstrom have set up mobile storefronts for return drop-offs and alterations and Mytheresa retrofitted an auto body shop for its venture.
Across the board, though, the new shops offer curated edits and exclusive products that reflect the Hamptons lifestyle. They also host special events to draw in big spenders, such as runway shows, cocktail fundraisers and floral arranging classes. It’s as much a reason to plan a trip as the area’s luxurious hotels and excellent new restaurants and bars.
Here are 16 boutiques to prioritise, from the latest openings to shops with exciting new capsule collections that celebrate the season.
The theme for this bi-level, classic shingle-style boutique is “Parisian summer fantasy,” with manicured gardens and Chanel’s timelessly elegant design codes: contrasting black and white, interlocking C motifs and polished accents that echo Mademoiselle Chanel’s apartment on rue Cambon.
Besides the iconic tweeds and handbags, the location carries enough evening wear for a season full of galas. Also look for the coveted Coco Beach collection, with its ’90s-inspired swimsuits, two-tone terrycloth sets, mini-dresses and the most stylish surfboards around. 26 Newton Lane, East Hampton
The company’s pop-up is a partnership with of-the-moment Flamingo Estate, whose candles and soaps you’ve probably seen in fancy restaurant bathrooms. There are sections for women, men and children – plus a wide array of daily experiences, such as floral arranging classes, style makeovers and appearances by designers.
Fashion aficionados will want to browse a series of exclusive capsule collections created specifically for Mytheresa; they’ll include brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Toteme, Dodo Bar Or and Camilla. 9 Railroad Avenue, East Hampton
Co-founder Danielle Licata noticed that the clients of her multi-brand retail shop in Miami’s Faena District were often Hamptons residents, so she came to them with Curio’s first summer residency, running through Sept. 30.
She says her goal is to promote “underexposed” designers like Guiseppi di Morabito, who makes maximalist party dresses, and Lebanon’s Maison Rabih Kayrouz. The selection is huge, with more than 100 men’s and women’s brands including better-known labels such as Isabel Marant and Silvia Tcherassi.
On its calendar of events are celebrity book signings, fitness classes, runway shows and charitable cocktail evenings. 2183 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton
Across the street from Louis Vuitton, this TikTok-worthy boutique is decked out in blue-and-white stripes, reminiscent of a beach towel. It feels like stepping into summer. So do the beachy items on display, like bucket hats, pool slides, and crochet tote bags – all prime examples of quiet luxury, with neutral, color-blocked tones and timeless silhouettes. 2 Newtown Lane, East Hampton
Marina St Barth
Just in time for kaftan season is this haven of elevated resort wear, peddling straw hats, sandals, beach cover-ups, swimwear and breezy dresses for leisurely days in the sun. It carries its own line, along with a selection from resort designers such as Melissa Odabash and Carmen Sol. 32 Park Pl., East Hampton
A summery white Moke serves as shuttle from anywhere in East Hampton to Louis Vuitton’s sprawling new boutique, featuring a gallery-worthy lantern installation and decor inspired by an idealised version of its seaside surrounds: beach chairs, surfboard, hammocks, and some banana palms thrown in for good measure.
It carries the LV By The Pool collection, with luxurious beach attire and monogrammed mules, but the most coveted item may be a limited-edition Neverfull bag that says “Hamptons” on it.
And if handbags aren’t your thing, you can order a custom-made pingpong table, complete with gold-coloured accents to enliven your summer entertaining. 1 Main St., East Hampton
This two-floor boutique prominently features the Escape collection, whose bold archival prints, like a rainbow loop or retro crepe de chine, and easy-to-wear summer staples.
For men, there are T-shirts, Bermuda shorts, shirts and sweaters; for women, expect a wide selection of dresses, kaftans, swimwear and stylish sets designed for head-to-toe coordination. The 1970s-style headscarves and the mini bucket bags make especially covetable purchases. 53 Main St., East Hampton
At this July pop-up, you’ll want to make a bee line for two items in particular: raffia tote bags that can withstand the sand, and right-on-trend marshmallow wedges, which are perfect for events where you don’t want your heels sinking into the grass. Topping Rose House, 1 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike
Visit any high-end resort town around the world – Saint-Tropez, Capri, Honolulu, Palm Beach – and you’re bound to spot a Zimmermann boutique or a stylish woman wearing its refined resort wear.
The Australian brand now has two locations out east: one on Newton Lane in East Hampton and one in Southampton, both carrying its signature romantic florals and showstopping dresses for formal summer events. It also has some of the most elegant swimwear around, with embellishments and flattering cuts. 27 Newton Lane, East Hampton
If you’re in the market for a coordinating linen set or a breezy dress that will translate from day to night, this is the spot. Bonus: Most pieces retail for less than €275, and the shop offers an extended range of sizes. 85 Main Street, East Hampton
Designer Jonathan Simkhai will be spending time in this boutique throughout the season to offer hands-on styling assistance to customers—providing that extra dose of confidence when shopping the brand’s sought-after, crystal-embellished mules and flattering evening dresses. 64 Main St., Southampton
Derek Lam 10 Crosby
The rapidly-expanding Derek Lam 10 Crosby label has just planted its first Hamptons flag, where the self-described “intergenerational” edit includes a speciality denim bar that features a large range of shades and silhouettes, from skirts to shorts to wide-leg jeans. Here you can find something to wear back to the city – be it a crisp white shirt or a tailored midi dress. 20 Newton Lane, East Hampton
Just down the street from the new Sant Ambroeus restaurant is this Italian menswear powerhouse, which is launching an exclusive capsule collection in collaboration with Mr. Porter. Shoppers can expect a modern take on the heritage brand’s signature design codes, with sharp tailoring and timeless, versatile pieces. 50 Newton Lane, East Hampton
Donna Karan’s Sag Harbor boutique is tucked in the back of one of the area’s buzziest restaurants, Tutto Il Giorno. It spotlights the work of African artisans as part of the designer’s efforts to provide a platform for emerging talent.
Pick up a unique safari-inspired jacket in a soft summer suede or a floaty, hand-dyed Indian silk slip dress – the whole space feels more like a private lounge than a shop. 16 Main St., Sag Harbor
Bound to be the go-to spot for foolproof gifts for your host, it’ll sell the full range of scented candles and diffusers you know and love – plus a limited-edition Summer Essentials collection. Our favourites? The classic Baies and Gardenia scents. 11 Newton Lane, East Hampton
“All of our Aerin stores from the Hamptons to Palm Beach to Miami, each have a special edit inspired by their location,” says beauty and entertaining mogul, Aerin Lauder, of her eponymous boutiques in East Hampton and Southampton.
In the East End locations, that involves sun hats by Sarah Bray, sandals, kaftans, fragrances and elevated entertaining essentials, from refined glassware to board games, such as backgammon and chess. 7 Newton Lane, East Hampton