NIKEID DEMOCRATIZED: When NikeTown opened Thursday morning, regular folk had their first chance to enjoy an experience that was until now reserved for athletes, entertainers and influencers: meeting with a design consultant in a NikeiD studio to customize Nike product. The 1,200-square-foot area of the Manhattan flagship's fifth floor replaces the exclusive studio on Elizabeth Street, where celebs from Jerry Seinfeld to Gisele Bündchen have customized shoes, which sell at about 25 percent higher premiums than traditional retail offerings. Men's pro sport apparel also can be personalized, and women's apparel will be added for spring. But only the proletariat who already booked 45-minute appointments will experience it in store this month — sessions are booked through the end of the month.
CONNAUGHT REOPENS: Having been shuttered for nearly nine months for restoration, London's Connaught hotel will reopen on Dec. 14. Posh interior design company Sills Huniford, whose clients have included Vera Wang, Anna Wintour and Richard and Lauren duPont, have redecorated the lobby and reception area as well as a new glass-enclosed terrace and bar, formerly the Red Room. Guy Oliver of Savile Row firm Oliver Laws has transformed the guest rooms and suites of the original building. By January 2009, a new wing of the original building will be completed with 33 new guest rooms and suites — all the more convenient for weary Mayfair shoppers after hitting the nearby Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga boutiques.