Thanks to First Fridays, ASU Downtown students, and some funky new businesses -- downtown's offerings are much more attractive than they used to be, but are people really going to haul downtown for a day of shopping? There have been mall-like attempts in the past (Arizona Center, anyone?) which didn't necessarily flourish. CityScape, however, is trying again.
We surveyed the shopping options now available at the infant center ... and jotted down a few noteworthy spots for good holiday, and post holiday shopping.
1) West of Soho
According to owner Mike Beharmon, West of Soho is "bringing a new flavor to the west." That flavor, as it turns out, isn't altogether that different from what's available elsewhere in town. The space utilizes green decor principles: Reclaimed wood, vintage chandeliers and furniture, and concrete flooring.
The clothing is trendy at mixed price points. We found both casual and going-out wear: Inexpensive cardigans, over-the-knee boots, and a bunch of accessories -- most things that would fit the style and budget of for a college student's wardrobe.
For more stores, click after the jump.
This "pop up" store (it's inhabiting the space temporarily) features furniture and housewares from a variety of local artists, like former Haus-owner Lew Gallo's wood tables, entertainment centers, and benches, Christoph Kaiser's welded-iron tables, and Shauna Thibault's paintings. Also available, smaller pieces like picture frames, funky tableware, and looks-like-wood terrarium pottery pieces. Everything is modern, well-designed and cool. According to Kaiser, the lease is only 3 months, perhaps with an option for more ... so visit soon.
3) Designer District
This designer boutique is a mix of high and low-end designer-wear for both men and women. What we saw on the racks: Price-y modern items from local talent Joy Li, reasonably-priced trendy dresses and faux-leather jackets from BB Dakota, vintage-looking tees (including some from ASU) and denim.
4) Urban Outfitters
If you've been to an Urban Outfitters, you'll know exactly what to expect at the newest branch Downtown: Indie fashion and accessories, funky books, novelty gifts, and a healthy sale area. The downtown selection, however, might be a bit less picked over than the more trafficked locations -- just one reason to stop by.
5) Charming Charlie
Two-floors of cheap accessories arranged by color, Charming Charlie's is usually a mall staple. The downtown difference: Volume. This store is enormous.
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6) Republic of Couture
A huge selection of designer jeans and a range of affordable be-jeweled going-out wear -- likely for the ASU set. Republic of Couture is currently having a grand opening sale with 50 percent off of everything in the store "for the next couple of weeks."
The verdict: Except for Workbench and some of the Designer District offerings, the shopping is a limited selection of what you might find at a mall.
The reasons to go: It's not as crowded, they are offering some amazing deals right now (50% off everything?!) and you're a stone's throw from some other really cool and unique places nearby (Butter Toast, Grow Op, Bunky, Mercantile and more).