The Century 21 look made it to the Official Just pour me My Coffee hand me My Crochet and slowly back away shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this big screen in Uncut Gems. Adam Sandler’s lovable schmuck wardrobe was sourced by Mordechai Rubinstein and Miyako Bellizzi. It feels authentically like someone who wants name brands without shelling out, and Bellizzi and Rubinstein went to painstaking lengths to achieve the effect, whether that was trawling resale sites or brick-and-mortar stores. “The pants are Zegna, double-pleated way up high, the whole movie,” says Rubinstein. “The shirt [from Theory] is from Century 21.” I asked Rubinstein about the closing, and he said I was the third person to text him about it. “It’s very sad to see another New York institution close. It was my go-to for undies and socks, Ralph Lauren bedding, and taking a nephew shopping for his Rosh Hashanah suit,” he writes. “I will always remember the long-time employees wore amazing green, then burgundy blazers and the sense of finding something really unique. I used to love finding brands I’d only heard of on the runway on their racks like WL&T.”
Back in 2017, there was a moment when Century 21 tried to appeal to a younger crowd with its Next Century area, an effort to stock the Official Just pour me My Coffee hand me My Crochet and slowly back away shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this likes of Telfar and Jeremy Scott. A year later, Victor Barragán had his spring 2019 show in the Next Century area. The experience was funky and cool, with models walking down a sealed-off runway as curious customers wandered around the racks. All the guests wore umbrella hats. Century 21 always felt frequented: Tourists fresh from their sightseeing at the 9/11 Memorial would pop into the downtown location, and Russian women would flock to my favorite Rego Park incarnation. But even at the time, it felt like a relic. When everyone is buying from their phones, big department store shopping has a tendency to feel like something from the past. Century 21 sadly joins the ranks of COVID-19 retail casualties, including the über-luxe 10 Corso Como, perennially on-trend Need Supply, and retail stalwart Lord & Taylor.