Boston’s Newbury Street, which in recent years has faced competition from other parts of town as the premier destination for luxury brands and upscale shopping, isn’t about to cede its longstanding title. In time for the holiday season, new storefronts have opened up and down the street, offering everything from plants to gold-plated jewelry.
Because of its glitzy appeal and foot traffic, it’s a perfect location for retail, said Erik Allen, co-founder of Buck Mason, a Los Angeles-based clothing chain that just opened its first Boston store on Newbury.
“You don’t have many streets like that left in the country,” Allen said. “It’s a blast there.”
The economic recovery has not been evenly distributed ― many people are struggling to pay their bills ― but those who stayed employed during the pandemic may be in a spending mood this year. Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, predicted that holiday shopping sales statewide will rise 6 percent from 2020. A fair share of them are likely to be made on Newbury.
Here are snapshots of five recent additions.
Zegna, 1 Newbury
The Italian menswear company opened a 1,300-square-foot spot inside the Newbury Hotel to replace its Copley Square location in mid-November. It sells all the hallmarks of the 111-year-old brand — think cashmere cardigans, five-pocket pants, and plaid wood blankets.
Designed by Zegna’s in-house architects, the store is sectioned in two. Casual luxury items and accessories are displayed by the Newbury Street entrance, while an area for tailoring and personalization operates closer to the hotel lobby. Inside, an LED wall plays videos about the brand’s history and origins in Trivero, Italy.
To celebrate the opening, Zegna is making an undisclosed donation over the next five years to the Friends of the Public Garden.
Kendra Scott, 115 Newbury
Established in 2002, the popular fashion accessories brand brought its statement cuff bracelets and chain necklaces to Boston earlier this month. The 877-square-foot shop is stocked with the winter collection, brimming with gemstones such as opalite, navy abalone and black pyrite. It’s also home to Kendra Scott’s Color Bar, an interactive experience where people can customize jewelry in minutes.
The Newbury location is Kendra Scott’s third in Massachusetts. (The other two are at Legacy Place in Dedham and Market Street in Lynnfield.)
Gorjana, 209 Newbury
Inspired by the beauty of California’s Laguna Beach, Gorjana sells laidback-style jewelry in its new 1,205-square-foot space. The store is outfitted with mango wood finishes, brass hardware, and bohemian fabrics meant to remind customers of the Pacific coastline.
Founder Jason Reidel said he wanted the brand’s 23rd brick-and-mortar location to feel welcoming, “but also like an expensive experience.” It’s bathed in warm light from a crystal chandelier on the second floor.
Established in 2004, Gorjana specializes in gold pieces that customers can mix, match, and layer, including signet rings and alphabet necklaces priced between $38 and $700. But as holiday gift, Reidel also recommends a candle set, crafted with custom California scents.
“Something for everyone,” he said.
The Sill, 220 Newbury
Welcome to a plant lover’s paradise.
The Sill specializes in indoor greens, cultivated to thrive in urban environments. It sells everything from money trees and potted succulents to white orchids and fiddle leaf figs. Employees can also help with customers’ potting and soil needs.
“Our mission is to bridge the gap between plants and people,” said founder Eliza Blank. “Of course, plants are beautiful to look at. But on a deeper level, a biological level, humans need to connect with nature and this planet we live on, especially during the pandemic.”
The inspiration for The Sill originated in Boston, when Blank lived in a garden-level Beacon Hill apartment. Her mother was an avid gardener during Blank’s childhood, so she wanted plants in her adult life. But without a car, it was a hassle for Blank to visit multiple stores — far away from one another — to find supplies.
“The resources in the city then really didn’t allow you to have nature in an affordable and accessible way,” she said.
The Sill started as an online plant delivery business in 2012 before expanding to storefronts in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.
Opening in Boston “feels like coming home,” said Blank, who now lives in Tribeca with her husband and three-year-old daughter. The Newbury Street location is bursting with plants. It also offers seasonal items (Christmas cactuses, evergreen trees), gifts (grow-your-own kits, plant lights, watering cans, beanies, tote bags), and lifestyle furniture provided by Wayfair.
Buck Mason, 229 Newbury
The company sells modern American clothing classics in an 1,800-square-foot space with “almost a sleek, department store vibe,” said Erik Allen, who in addition to being co-founder is Buck Mason’s CEO. On the shelves, customers will find elevated sweats, leather jackets, and Japanese denim jeans for men and women alike. To date, it’s made and sold more than one million T-shirts.
It’s all about the essentials, co-founder Sasha Koehn said. “Fashion comes and goes, but great cut is forever.”
The storefront, open since early November, was designed by Cambridge-based architecture firm WOJR and its founder, William O’Brien Jr., an associate professor of architecture at MIT. Allen and Koehn opted for a clean look that invokes their Venice Beach roots.
“Buck Mason brings the neighborhood a fresh addition that also honors its tradition and architectural integrity,” Allen said.