Private Equity Expansion in New York City

Headquartered in the Netherlands, AlpInvest Partners – an equity manager part-owned by Carlyle Group – has enhanced its operations in its New York office.

AlpInvest Partners (AlpInvest) has just appointed Nadim Barakat to its Investment Solutions team as a Managing Partner. He will be based in New York and will be an asset as part of the private equity management team.

Prior to joining AlpInvest, Mr. Barakat was a Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at the Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group. He began working at Credit Suisse in November of 2000. Before this, he was a founding member of the NBK Capital private equity effort. He was also in the merger and acquisitions department at JP Morgan Chase.

A few months ago, AlpInvest also announced expansion in Asia, with another investment team in its Hong


Grab Your New Adidas Shoes

Now is definitely the time to run to the Adidas Originals Soho store, as they are concluding their 10th anniversary with an amazing celebration. They’ve already had amazing appearances there by Jeremy Scott and A$AP Rocky and now they are about to have a limited edition set up kicks that will rock the fashion world.

Originals will be releasing 150 of each of six colorway shoes. The silhouette is a classic Rivalry Lo one and each colorway will include snakeskin stripes and snakeskin on the heel and the toe box. The NY Rivarly will, therefore, only offer a total of 900 shoes, with each pair sold for $130.00. Certainly, the Originals Soho store will also have other apparel for the mobs that don’t quite get the first 900 pair of shoes!

They’ll be coming to the adidas Originals SoHo store on 136 Wooster Street on September 21. Get ready!

Alicia Keys Presents New Children’s App

If you were lucky enough to be hanging out at the Apple Soho store this week, you just might have caught a glimpse of Alicia Keys. She was there to unveil her new children’s App for iOS called “The Journal of Mama Mae and LeeLee.” Created together with AK Worldwide and Bento Box Interactive, this immersive storytelling app focuses on the touching story of Key’s relationship with her Nana.

First debuted on October 25th, the app can be downloaded for iPad, iPhone and iTouch users at the Apple App Store. As described on the website for the app, “the app encourages exploration through music, journaling, rewards and more. Underscored by Alicia Keys’ original music and inspired by Keys’ own relationship with her Nana, the app tells the story of a relationship between a young girl (LeeLee) in New York City and her wise grandmother (Mama Mae).”

New York Gets Back to Business After Hurricane Sandy

Certainly, we’ve all been hit by Hurricane Sandy. Now, as areas of New York rebuild, we can be grateful for locations that weren’t hit by the storm, and by those that have been able to slowly get back to business.

New York is not a city that will remain still for long, and people have felt a renewed sense of spirit as hotels remain open, restaurants sweep up the mess, and Broadway shows resume.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel, for instance, owned by Triumph Hotels with Shimmie Horn, welcomes all of those looking for a warm, inviting location to relax. With 130 guess rooms, it’s a quaint, peaceful place to enjoy. Part of Shimmie Horn’s collection of elegant hotels, this is one that’s a bit off the beaten path and great for seeing many sites. As their website reports, “We are happy to report that the power has been restored in Lower Manhattan and that we are fully operational once again. Our heat and hot water have also been restored.”

Broadway shows are back in business as well. Right after the storm, as Patrick Page of the play “Cyrano De Bergerac” headed to the theater for a matinee, he said, “Broadway is as important an icon of New York City as the subways, so to get back to work is a sign that we can bounce back. This has been such a tough time for so many and it’s vital that we show the lights are on and there’s great work being done onstage.”

Saying Goodbye To An Area Icon Thanks to Sandy

Boom, located at 152 Spring Street, is going out of business. And with it will be a little piece of Soho history. Unfortunately, Boom isn’t alone in the Sandy aftermath that has left us all reeling with water, debt and debris; but they have certainly been one of the hardest hit in the area.

Boom had a flooded basement kitchen as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and over $100,000 worth of damage. They are closing for other, perhaps more disturbing, reasons which include their inability to keep up with the $150,000 a month rent. Certainly, Boom symbolized the changes in Soho when it started twenty years ago, moving from an industrial district to a hype place to eat, enjoy and be seen.

As former Boom partner Rocco Ancarola told the Post, “The rents are just ridiculous. It has become really hard for smaller restaurants and shops to survive when big luxury brands want flagships in Soho, the Chanels and Louis Vuittons of the world, even though there are never people in those stores. It’s just too costly to fix things up from the hurricane and fight the high rents.”

Goodbye Boom. We certainly hope it’s not goodbye to the boom in economy we’ve seen in the Soho area as well.

Utica Presents Local Artists’ Works Including Those with Cerebral Palsy

On display in downtown Utica, New York recently were the works of several artists from the Upstate Cerebral Palsy Artistic Realization Technologies Program. These artists’ works joined in with paintings from the Downtown Utica Development Association’s Project U Art in Windows. This special project showcases the work of local artist which is then displayed in the windows of shops in Utica’s downtown locale hoping to promote both the downtown area and the area’s artists.

More specifically, the Upstate Cerebral Palsy Artistic Realization Technologies Program supports artists who create their works using the latest in laser technology.

“There are so many ways that they’re benefiting from it,” said Melinda Karastury, studio assistant with the program. “They get to express themselves creatively. Also, there’s an evolution of process. They start with just exploring paint colors, then paint brushes and textures. Over time, they get to incorporate it all into their paintings.”

One couple from New Hartford, Dyte and Steven Giuffrida were also present at the gathering of the artists on the corner of Genesee and Devereux streets. Along with them was their daughter and artist Stephanie, who, according to her parents, has benefited greatly from this program.

“She absolutely loves it,” Dyte said. “She really feels like she can do something on her own. I think it’s very good for her self-esteem, which in turn, makes us very happy.”

SoHo’s Boutiques

Sarah Easley and Beth Buccini have been best friends since the day they met in the University of Virginia’s freshman dorms. They are also fabulous at choosing designer accessories and clothing for their store located in Soho.  Kirna Zabete – as it is called – originates from the pair’s college nicknames: Kirna for Easley and Zabete for Buccini.  Kirna Zabete offers apparel and more from famous brands such as Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Jason Wu and more.  Thus, fittingly emblazoned on their window is the phrase, “So many designers, so little time.” What is important to Easley is taking what she terms as “fashion risks.” She would rather see her models wear too many bracelets, or mix styles that might quite not match rather than go down the dull route.  As she said, “bad taste is better than no taste.”

But now – as part of The Shops at Target program – a limited edition of Kirna Zabete will be available in local Target stores. It brings a few affordable collections co-created by high end boutiques and Target to its stores.  Other boutiques participating in the program include: Odin, The Curiosity Shoppe and Patch NYC. Kirna Zabete is thus offering close to 100 pieces in its fun, flirty collection, replete with cool mixes of styles, patterns and more offering at local Target stores. As well the collection comprises signature colors of pink, red and teal, and boldly-colored graphic dresses and coats.  The line’s seal is a puckered-lipped kiss.

And that is how the general style of the boutique is, as it seeks to reflect clients’ different moods vis-à-vis how they want to dress each day. It seeks to mix a variety of prints, patterns and colors, “throwing all fashion rules out the window.”

More Color to Come

But Kirna Zabete isn’t the only color array to come to SoHo.  Piperlime – Gap’s online-only fashion boutique – is set to open its first actual store next week in the area too. Measuring 4,000 sq. ft, the store aims to create the same feeling of actually walking into its virtual counterpart.  The store’s “Color Clashing” trend seems to be right in line with what Kirna Zabete is trying to accomplish.  There will be clothing and accessories, with 800+ items ranging in price from $49 to $600.

The reason for this move is that Gap saw that Piperlime is its fastest-growing online property. While it doesn’t have its own label, it has been seen that a 3D version is vital to ensure a real relationship is created.  Customers will also be given an opportunity to discover new names in a boutique-style environment as opposed to through the computer. A variety of jeans come in colors ranging from classic indigo to snakeskin, floral tapestry and everything in between, spanning 15 brands. And of course, it’s much easier to try stuff on in the store’s four large fitting rooms complete with three-way mirrors than on line!

So for those who love color, fashion and are avid-fans of breaking rules, SoHo seems to be the place to be.