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7 Things for Fashionistas to Do in New York City

By AAA Travel Editor Patricia Miller
November 07, 2019
If you’re a dedicated follower of fashion who also loves to travel, you may know that sometimes it’s difficult to indulge your passion when you’re on the go. However, in New York City, one of the world's most popular vacation destinations, it’s fairly simple. To get you started, here’s a curated list of places to go and things to do; just toss it in your Vuitton bag and hit the streets in this mecca for fashionistas.
flickr/John Gillespie

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Ave.
(212) 535-7710
If you only have time to make one stop during your trip, make it here; it’s de rigueur for fashionistas. Named for Vogue’s editor-in-chief, this wing of The Met is world-renowned for exhibits like Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations; and Punk: Chaos to Couture. In 2020, the exhibition's theme will be About Time: Fashion and Duration, presenting fashion from 1870 to the present. Try to witness the annual Met Gala, held the first Monday in May, where stars of film and song try to outdo each other with outrageous fashions—to wit, Sarah Jessica Parker’s 2006 tartan ensemble by Alexander McQueen (or any of SJP’s Met Gala dresses, for that matter).
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Garment District

Seventh Ave. & 38th St.
You might be surprised to find that the Garment District holds more than just designer showrooms and fabric shops. As you walk down the east side of Fashion Avenue (aka Seventh Avenue) between 35th and 41st streets, look down at the sidewalks. Here’s where you’ll find the Fashion Walk of Fame, 28 round bronze plaques paying homage to designers like Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan and Norman Norell. When you’re near the Fashion Center Information Kiosk at 7th Avenue and 39th Street, look up—you’ll see an Instagram-worthy sculpture of a 14-foot black button threaded with a 31-foot needle. Neat fact: The button’s five holes form the letter F.
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Courtesy of Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Hilton New York Fashion District

152 W. 26th St.
(212) 858-5888
Stay in the Garment District, the epicenter of Manhattan’s fashion industry. Check into the AAA Three Diamond Hilton New York Fashion District, which is bound to suit any fashionista’s fancy. The hotel lobby’s décor features a Mondrian-style artwork made of spools of thread in primary colors, chic mannequins in the front window and mirrors in assorted sizes surrounding the elevators. Sophisticated guest rooms are like a smartly assembled ensemble, done in dark neutrals and accented with white linens, pinstriped carpet, whimsical polka-dot wallpaper and artsy black-and-white photos of thread-wrapped bobbins.
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flickr/Robert Sheie

The Museum at FIT

Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
(212) 217-4558
Although small in square footage in comparison to other museums, the Museum at FIT has more than 50,000 garments and accessories spanning the past 250 years in its collection. Exhibitions always include historical and modern avant-garde fashion in the mix, and have recently explored such topics as Fairy Tale Fashion; Global Fashion Capitals; and Denim: Fashion’s Frontier. MFIT also holds fashion-related events, so if you time your visit right, you may see your favorite designer participating in panel discussions and symposiums. Admission is usually free to exhibits and lectures, so you’ll have more cash for shopping.
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flickr/Aveda Corporation

New York Fashion Week

Locations vary.
Tickets to New York Fashion Week are hard to come by, but even if you don’t have one, you can catch the excitement just by being a bystander. After all, there’s a chance you might bump into a celeb or supermodel. Instagram ops abound, so don’t forget your camera and/or cell phone. Dress to kill and up your chances of getting street-styled (having a blogger or photographer take your pic and share it on social media). Afterwards, head to bars like Top of the Standard in Chelsea, where models and celebs party through the night.
Courtesy of On Location Tours

On Location Tours

Broadway & 51st St.
(212) 683-2027
If fun things to do with friends are on your agenda, step into Carrie Bradshaw’s Manolo Blahniks on a New York City walking tour and discover many of the sites where HBO’s “Sex and The City” was filmed. On Location Tours will take you and your gal pals on a whirlwind cosmo-sipping, cupcake-eating, location-scouting tour of many of the hot spots frequented by Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha, including the stoop at Carrie’s brownstone, Greenwich Village shops and Steve and Aidan’s bar. You’ll also get the skinny about the girls’ favorite boutiques in one of the fashion capitals of the world.
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Locations vary.
Last but not least—go shopping! Skip big-name stores; you’ll find those in Anytown USA. Instead, try thrift shops and places like Topshop, a trendy London store with several locations in New York, including one in SoHo and on Fifth Avenue. Head to La Boutique Resale, where you’ll run across designer duds for uber-cheap, or Metropolis in the East Village for vintage concert tees and hipster chic. At the Upper West Side’s Goodwill Thrift Shop, scoop up slightly used designer duds. For discounted brand-new clothing, check out Century 21, an outlet-style store overflowing with swoon-worthy goodies. For more ideas, dig into the AAA New York TourBook® guide and AAA.com.