Theses Master's

New York Chic: High-Fashion Retail Experiences as Provocation for Urban Placemaking

Floyd, Ethan

Fashion is inseparable from New York City. It is sewn into the city’s urban fabric, and nowhere is it sewn more tightly than on Fifth Avenue. After having my own breakfast at Tiffany’s one afternoon, I realized what’s going on inside stores along Fifth Avenue today is far more than just the act of buying something. Could urban planning be inspired by the world of high-fashion retail experiences? It is an intriguing question worth answering as cities seek to reimagine retail corridors in their urban cores and create places that evoke a better sense of connection and identity.

With qualitative methodology consisting of expert interviews, participant ethnographic observations, field notes, original photography, secondary sources, and more, I take readers on a journey to unveil a current-day retail phenomenon, then contextualize it with the theory of cultural capital, and finally, to critically imagine how lessons from inside the stores can apply to urban placemaking projects outside of the store’s alluring glow.


This item is currently under embargo. It will be available starting 2025-06-01.

More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Slater, Thomas S. J.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 12, 2024