Soho is known for many things including but not limited to large, annoying crowds (who are made up of 90 percent slow walkers), the first U.S. flagship of Topshop, and shirtless male models who camp outside the Hollister store to lure in shoppers, bedbugs and all. What also makes Soho stand out from the rest of Manhattan’s many neighborhoods? The street vendors. Nine of out ten of them are usually selling the same old crap you saw on the last block, and despite the fact that you can grab a pair of cheap sunnies without feeling shopper’s remorse when you left yours at home, I tend to avoid those vendors like the plague. And I can tell you from experience anything you buy from these clone vendors will likely break after, say, a month.
This is why I decided to step off the beaten path last weekend to scope out the real artisans who are putting their time and passion into creating beautiful pieces that we can enjoy for much, much longer than a month’s time-span. From handmade leather cuffs and belts to pressed pansy rings, click through the slide show above to check out the best of Soho’s street vendors right now.
All photos by Michelle Halpern for StyleCaster
Click through the slide show to check out the best of Soho's street vendors right now.
The designer behind Petal Pizazz coats pressed flowers in several layers of resin before crafting them into these gorgeous little au natural accessories. Get your own piece of Pizazz on Spring Street between Crosby and Lafayette.
A pressed hydrangea, viola, rose petal or pansy goes for $20 bucks a pop.
Soho stop #2: The stand of leather craftsman Grey 56
The artist behind Grey 56 makes fine handmade leather accessories that we could easily imagine fighting over with our boyfriend.
Hop down to Prince street between Mulberry and Mott to check out Grey 56's selection of leather cuffs and belts.
One man on the main Soho drag (aka Broadway) stands out above the rest with his Manhattan-inspired creations I'm calling them a toss up between coasters and paperweights. As touristy as this might make me, I couldn't help but love these little slices of New York City.
Who do you prefer: Marilyn or Audrey?
Perhaps a Wall Street coaster is the perfect surprise gift for your banker babe? Pick one up on Broadway between Spring and Broome this weekend.
Jewelry designer Enrique Muthuan plops his wares down every weekend on the corner of Prince and Greene Streets to see what passersby will pick them up.
The designer, who has already received plenty of press in glossies like InStyle and City magazines for his skull inspired accessories, isn't above mingling with his customers on the streets of SoHo.
Dying for this gun shield necklace? Check out more of Enrique's creations at enriquemuthuan.com
The final stop of the day was on West Broadway between Broome and Spring Streets, where I met artist John van Orsouw who travels from upstate New York each weekend to sell his artwork.
Has a bit of a Picasso-meets-graffiti vibe, non?