City Pulse

By Katie Calautti

When I heard that Penelope Cruz is the new spokeswoman and designer for Barcelona-based clothing line MNG by MANGO, I had high hopes. After all, Cruz is one of the classiest and most impeccably dressed stars in Hollywood (at the very least, her Ralph Lauren-centric wardrobe deems it so.) Upon learning that the store’s flagship NYC-based franchise had opened in SoHo only a month prior, I had to check it out – if only to see what today’s model-actress-fashionista is endorsing.

Located at 561 Broadway (between Prince and Spring Streets), MNG’s glossy exterior sits just kitty-corner from its most obvious competitor – fellow Spanish-based clothing company Zara. “Bring it on!” I urged. Nothing like getting in the middle of a fashion catfight!

The L-shaped store is spacious and modern – polished black walls lined with mirrors and cushy Victorian-inspired seats off-set the bright colors of sweaters, t-shirts and dresses lining the perimeter. The center of the area is reminiscent of a catwalk – platforms prop mannequins bedecked in killer ensembles, while neatly folded clothing rest at their feet, eager for the picking.

The garments are a sort of modern-trendy-feminine fusion. Think: Zara meets H&M meets Pookie & Sebastian. One thing that sets MNG apart from the pack: everything is on sale! The red stickers plastered over original price tags were positively dizzying – blazers for $38.99, pants as low as $19.99, sweaters at $18.99, dresses for $26.99, outerwear at $73.99, wallets, shoes, belts, bags, scarves, t-shirts, jeans, jewelry…you get the idea. It’s the kind of whirlwind one-stop-shopping sensory-overload situation where a gal can really do some damage!

And if you’re still not convinced enough to trek to SoHo, store management tells me they’re in talks to open more locations throughout the city – so be on the lookout. Until then, MNG’s website (www.mangoshop.com) is chock full ‘o bargains. It took me a grand total of 10 minutes to put together a fabulous outfit from the Winter ’07 sale section:

coat1.jpg

OVERCOAT 6TS DENUEVE Original $219 NOW $108.99

dress1.jpg

DRESS BCD DUMBO Original $49 NOW $23.99

belt.jpg

BELT HAND C Original $29 NOW $19.99

bag1.jpg

HANDBAG P.. GARSON C Original $49 NOW $23.99

shoes1.jpg

SHOE 6/1 TRI C Original $109 NOW $53.99

sunglasses.jpg

SUNGLASSES P.. PARIS C Original $29 NOW $19.99

Throw in a pair of black tights for $4.99, and the total cost for a full outfit – including accessories and outerwear – is just over $250.00. Something tells me Penelope would be proud!

Originally published January 2008
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