Swedish Christmas Shopping online and in New York.
'Tis the time again... soon time to do our Christmas shopping that is! And yet, it seems it was just yesterday we were carving pumpkins. We want to keep things Swedish this year,
and in New York we’re actually able to do so just by visiting a few favorite stores - most of them also available online. Here’s a list that should keep you covered, or give you inspiration and ideas if you're at a loss for what to give your friends and family.
More North—for the child(ren) in your life
Christmas is for children more than anyone, and do we have a good spot for Swedish Christmas shopping for the child(ren) in your life! We love More North Gallery in Tribeca—sadly, this treasure trove of Scandinavian gifts will be closing its doors in 2010. And yet, this may offer opportunities for even greater prices during close out sales in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Here you can find tasteful, contemporary Scandinavian art and design as well as porcelain. But downstairs is where the real treasure trove is: a happy room for kids stuffed with Swedish toys. How about a Brio train set ($52) or Elsa Beskow’s “Blomsterbarn,” a three-piece melamine set ($30)? There are books and puzzles and other fun things. For your older child there’s Royal Copenhagen’s “Masquerade” dinner set for a boy or a girl. A plate and bowl retails for $100, for $40 you get a cup, too. Prices mentioned are list prices.
39 N. Moore Street, New York, NY 10013. (212) 334-5541
Polarn O. Pyret—for children's online shopping
Have a stripey, stripey Christmas with Polarn O. Pyret’s clothes, a brand of children’s clothing that is familiar to all Swedes. These days they aren’t only about stripes either (although we do like those very much), you can find all kinds of patterns here, as well as unisex baby clothing. Worth checking out also is their ECO collection. A classic red-and-white striped romper for baby ($42) and moccasins to match ($20.50) and the pretty Gunila Axén Stroller Blanket ($39.50).
The man in your life may not buy a pair of rubber boots for himself, so why don’t you do it for him? Tretorn is a Swedish brand owned by Puma since 2001, famous for its rubber boots and sport shoes. There’s a Tretorn boutique in Tribeca, where we found more than rubber boots for men, we also found Gore-Tex sneakers ($150 for low-tops, $180 for high-tops), and the popular Skymra puffer ($90). The Jolly Vinter rubber boot for children is insulated with faux fur lining, keeping your little one both warm and dry. Jolly Vinter comes in assorted colors, such as brown and pink. Tretorn actually carries rubber boots for all of us, from infants and toddlers to grown-ups. And yes, they cater to women, too.
150 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012. Phone (212) 454-9680
Face Stockholm—for Mom
Mother looks good the way she is, but who wouldn’t like something pretty and shiny and colorful among their Christmas gifts? We head to Face Stockholm where manager Lauren Conklin picks out “the perfect winter make-up” for us, stuffing it in velvety pouches in red and green.
“Your skin gets dry in the winter, so I suggest you use our Picture Perfect foundation ($48). It’s creamy and gives full coverage for a flawless skin. For a softer, dewy look there’s the Mineral Powder foundation ($30). A fresh powder blush is necessary, the color Shamballa ($19) suits all skin tones.” We also wanted sparkly red nail polish nr. 84 ($12) and red lipstick, either the moisturizing Matte Rod, Seduction or the sheer Red Veil ($22). The pretty make-up pouches cost $22.
110 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012. Phone (212) 966-9110
Just Scandinavian—for your American friend
Don’t miss Just Scandinavian! The enormous Josef Frank sofas may not be in your Christmas spree budget, but just looking will instantly make you happier. And owner Ann Ljungberg has an array of more affordable yet equally attractive items, like beautiful Swedish tea towels ($22), and if you can't afford the sofa, maybe you can afford Josef Frank’s bag with the funky Manhattan pattern ($365). Introduce Sweden to your American friends with books such as “Swedish Interiors” ($40) by Eleish and van Breems, “Barock och Rokoko i Sverige” by Groth and Strömblad ($70, in Swedish only but beautifully illustrated) or “Amazing Sweden” by Dahlberg, Koller and Ravegård ($90). The last one manages to cover almost every aspect of Sweden. And if you have money left over to splurge on yourself, do consider the beautiful Josef Frank sofa, Liljevalchs, designed in 1935. Ljungberg features it in an original Frank fabric, but it can be upholstered in any fabric. It costs $25,000.
161 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013. Phone (212) 334-2556
House of Organics—for your green fashionista friend
We love Johanna Hofring’s hole-in-wall boutique on Manhattan’s lower East Side, House of Organics (Ekovaruhuset). Though this is a very earth-conscious place, there’s nothing here that isn’t simply beautiful (as well as natural, chemical, pesticide and sweatshop free). Store manager Eduardo Dali Reyes picked out a crochet-and-cotton vest by Anja Hynynen and a hand-knit sweater made from Gotland wool. He also points to a pile of jeans.
“Our denim is for both men and women, women love the higher waist in our jeans,” Eduardo said, adding that the jeans range from $80-$200.
123 Ludlow Street, New York, NY 10002. Phone (212) 673 1753