NYFW Via The Streets - The Best Places To People Watch

With New York Fashion Week officially launching today, the city braces for an influx of editors, models and style aficionados at shows, and on the streets. Although front row is a valuable position for this year’s presentations and runways, those looking for a fashion fix can find one simply by being out on our own turf. We’ve put together a hit list of the best spots to people watch throughout the city – so post up and enjoy the view.

CHA CHA MATCHA

Standing at the intersection of Broome Street and Mott Street in Nolita, Cha Cha Matcha is the latest superfood hotspot to drive the fashion flock crazy. Founded by Matthew Morton, who is the son of Hard Rock Café co-founder Peter Morton, and Conrad Sandleman, Cha Cha Matcha offers high-quality Matcha crafted beverages and bites in a relaxed atmosphere. The space is decorated with an abundance of palm prints and blonde wood tones, while the walls are painted with vintage Cha Cha records. It’s a tropical oasis on the gritty outskirts of Little Italy. The outpost is already a watering hole for the founders’ Instagram famous pals, and a frequent stop for Gigi Hadid and Leonardo DiCaprio. Take a seat on the front patio to watch it all unfold.

THE APARTMENT BY THE LINE

The Line’s offline home, The Apartment, is an incredibly unique retail space that feels like your adopted New York City living room. The Apartment is a concept store built out as an enviously chic apartment on Greene Street. It’s everything you’d imagine and hope for in a SoHo loft – sun-drenched open space, cast iron pillars, and spectacular artwork. Intelligent design fused with a well-thought buy makes way for an interesting crowd – well-heeled shoppers and Instagram obsessives come together in a fantastical marriage. A pair of Luteca chairs in the “living room” offers a haven in the center of SoHo.

CAFE SELECT

realm, Cafe Select offers up  a prime position to catch all those venturing in from LES, NoLita and Chinatown, and those meandering out of Soho. Close to the all too familiar cobblestones of Crosby, and neighbors to Le Esquina, Jack’s Wife Freida, Outdoor Voices and Odin, Select offers front row seating to the ultimate concrete jungle catwalk. Keep in mind – you’re working with limited tables and limited space, so be quick to snatch up the sidewalk real estate early.

SANT AMBROEUS ON LAFAYETTE STREET

Warm wood paneling, art deco details and marble checkered floors welcome guests into this neighborhood gem. The Italian restaurant is a favorite among the fashion set, and equally popular with visiting Europeans. Belly up to the bar for an expertly crafted espresso, or take a seat on a burnt orange banquette for the Signature Squid Ink Carbonara. Either way, you’re bound to be entertained by the chic crowd. Comfortable outdoor seating also offers an ideal vantage point for watching the downtown set cruise Lafayette Street, and the tribes of skateboarders sailing through SoHo. A glass of rosé offers refreshing refuge from the heat stricken sidewalks.

STOOPS OUTSIDE OF OPENING CEREMONY

It’s no secret that Opening Ceremony draws a colorful crowd and the plentiful steps on Howard Street offer prime people watching. Swarms of trendsetting fashion kids, and hard edge sophisticates roam this pintsized corner. It’s a quiet haven on the borders of SoHo and Chinatown, and home to occasional Harrison Ford sightings.

LA COLOMBE ON LAFAYETTE STREET

Grab an iced draft latte, and take a seat (if you can grab one) at this popular, tiny jewel box of a coffee shop. It’s worth it. The La Colombe on Lafayette Street sits next to New York’s only Supreme store, which maintains a serious cult following. Watch the hoards of “hypebeasts” outside of the neighboring Supreme store, and if you go on a Friday – even better. Crowds line up overnight for new product releases, allowing for a never-ending stream of streetwear enthusiasts. Inside, the coffee shop draws a unique blend of artists, fashion designers, and the occasional celebrity.

Words by Devin Barrett