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Whether hunting for a world-class luxury apartment or the perfect statement piece from a favorite fashion brand, New Yorkers expect nothing but the best. For those with such discerning tastes, there is no better place to shop than the material meccas just east of Central Park. Just as every New Yorker dreams of a luxury residence on Fifth Avenue above Central Park, luxury brands jostle to make their homes nearby.


When you are shopping at this level at flagship sites that have been designed by world-famous architects and retail gurus, quality is a given, but the quest to find the perfect match for your distinctive personal style turns the experience into an adventure. Entering stores like Prada, Ralph Lauren, and Missoni is like discovering another world where aesthetics are taken to the limit. And it's a world with access points up and down the stretch of Madison Avenue located just steps from Urbana’s 985 Fifth Avenue luxury rental residences. This section of Madison Avenue is, in fact, the perfect sartorial twin of Museum Mile. The shop fronts along the street read like a who’s who in contemporary fashion, including Dolce and Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Celine, Carolina Herrera, and Christian Louboutin.


Tucked just off the Avenue in a classic townhouse at 71st Street is Monique Lhuillier. Known for her ready-to-wear and bridal collections, Lhuillier was the designer chosen to create the wedding dress Dakota Johnson wears in Fifty Shades Freed, not least because of her mastery at turning fantasy into reality.


On Madison and 72nd Street, you will find Ralph Lauren’s New York fashion empire, which occupies two mansions on either side of Madison Avenue. Here, the magnitude and glamor of the architecture capture the sumptuousness of the designer’s vision. These are palaces of fashion that bring to life the world of Lauren’s clothes and accessories.


Another portal to another world through fashion is Marin Hopper’s Hayward, the flagship store for her line of handbags, which is located in the Grosvenor Atterbury Mansion on 70th Street. More than a shopping experience, this is a fantastical juxtaposition of Upper East Side splendor and “East Coast meets West Coast” luxury design.


The ultimate example of a designer who is known for blurring the lines between fine art and fashion is Miuccia Prada, whose store at Madison Avenue and 70th Street provides a 21st-century luxury counterpoint to the Frick collection just down the street on Fifth Avenue. Take an afternoon to peruse her latest designs, and you may emerge with clothes that transform you into a work of art worthy of the 18th-century fashionistas in the museum’s famous murals by Fragonard.


The neighborhood also gives you a special opportunity to dote on the little ones in your life because along Madison from the 80s to the 70s, many of the best children's boutique clothing shops—including Paris-based Jacadi at Madison and 89th, Crew Cuts at Madison and 87th, Spring Flowers Children's Boutique at Madison and 73rd, and Ralph Lauren Baby at Madison and 71st—feature finery that can make every jaunt to the park a dress-up occasion. You can spend a day selecting many essential wardrobe changes for the new baby or shopping with your visiting grandchild. (And let’s face it, a home this close to Central Park makes visits to the grandparents even more inviting!)


With so many reasons to celebrate living in the spacious two- and three-bedroom homes at 985 Fifth Avenue, whether it's that the finest shops are here because the finest homes are here, or the other way around, Urbana can help you define a lifestyle of elegance and fun, surrounded by the best Manhattan has to offer, in shopping as in so much else.