Madison Avenue is a haven for luxury; the streets are impeccable, the shopping is out of this world and the restaurants are absolutely delicious. Despite Madison Avenue being the epicenter of shopping, it has a fantastic “small-town” feel. The upper half of the avenue consists of residential buildings with luxury boutiques found just below, giving this area more of an “everybody knows your name” vibe. The lower half of Madison Avenue is where you will find commercial office buildings as well as incredible flagship stores.
One of the main reasons Madison Avenue is able to maintain its timeless elegance is because of the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District (BID). This is a non-for-profit organization that was formed in 1996 through a partnership of property owners, merchants and elected officials. These groups joined together with the common goal of enhancing the quality of Madison Avenue for both the community and visitors. The BID manages Madison Avenue between 57th and 86th street (as well as some adjacent streets), focusing on security, sanitation, promotions and advocacy for the district. Matthew Bauer is the President of the BID and knows Madison Ave just about better than anyone I can think of. Just about every store owner and employee seem to know his name and greet him as he walks about and down the avenue. Matthew can tell you everything you need to know about upcoming events in the district, the history of the buildings and probably even knows when each store’s lease is up! LOL!
The BID is also in charge of planning incredible public events that are held on Madison Avenue. Miracle on Madison Avenue is one of my favorite events hosted by the BID. For the past five years, retailers and business within the district participated in the “Miracle on Madison Avenue”, where they donated 20% of their sales of the day to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Center (isn’t that incredible?). This was such an amazing way to combine both holiday shopping and fun while benefiting children in need.
Each year, Departures Magazine highlights a different city around the world. This year, it was all about NYC! The magazine featured everything from where to stay in the city, top-rated restaurants, celebrity sightings and of course, the best places to shop. The Madison Avenue Bid teamed up to curate the “One-of-a-Kind” luxury shopping experience and tour. This is where I come in…I was asked to host three of their tours! This event was all about celebrating the unique products and services found throughout the stores on Madison Avenue that make this shopping destination unlike any other. Thirty-six premier stores participated in this event and showcased one-of-a-kind items and experiences for sale. I saw so many incredible items during my tours but my top three items can be found at Dolce & Gabbana, Brunello Cucinelli and Chopard.
Dolce & Gabbana showcased their one-of-a-kind black crocodile Lucia bag. This is a beautiful and elegant bag that reflects vintage Dolce & Gabbana. The fine craftsmanship and charming details makes the Lucia bag essential for today’s modern woman. Brunello Cucinelli’s one-of-a-kind item was a redefined biker jacket. The jacket was made using pink castorino fur, which gives the classic biker jacket a feminine and modern twist. Chopard showcased a one-of-a-kind precious necklace from their Red Carpet Collection. This necklace was truly incredible, featuring 66.50 carats of fancy yellow pear-shaped diamonds, 28.43 carats of white diamonds, 3.89 carats of yellow diamonds and it was all set in 18kt yellow and white gold. These are just a few of the incredible items you have the chance to see when on the tour.
Another aspect I loved about the one-of-a-kind luxury event was seeing the 14 art exhibits currently on display throughout Madison Avenue. Students in the BFA program at the School of Visual Arts in NYC designed original fashion ensembles using a single material. Objects on view are designs created using items such as Slinkys, packing peanuts and tea bags! These designs are in a glass case and can bee seen throughout the district. If you are in the city, I highly recommend taking a trip to Madison Avenue to view these incredible creations. This was such a brilliant idea! Art installations for public viewing throughout Madison Avenue takes the shopping experience to another level. The One-of-a-Kind Luxury on Madison Avenue will take place until November 15th so if you live in the city or plan on visiting NYC in the near future, make sure this tour is on your list!