You would be forgiven if walking down Eighth Avenue you bypassed Casa Magazines, an unassuming New York City news vendor and newly-announced Valentino collaborator.
The shop's windows may catch your eye now, however, emblazoned with bright signage and the Italian luxury label's branding. Valentino releases its new book VLogo Signature, a coffee table book looking at how different magazines have treated its "V" logo, with a store takeover at Casa.
Though a long-time West Village institution and a gathering place for media folks, the newsstand has amassed a large following since customer Happy David began running the Casa Magazines Instagram account three years ago.
Now, the store has almost 20,000 followers, and has been featured in The New Yorker, Vogue, W Magazine, The Cut, and The New York Times. Valentino’s collaboration taps into the nostalgia for a New York grounded in local haunts, places to come together while running errands instead of having everything delivered to our doors.
“There are only a few 'magazine' stores left in Manhattan now—there used to be so many,” co-manager Mohammed Ahmed said.
Over the past few months, New Yorkers have been drawn to local institutions. Casa’s Instagram following is roughly 46 percent larger now than it was in May, and people across the city have taken to rocking local merch to show support for their favorite spots.
Casa’s cult-status was made clear this spring when the store posted a fundraiser for struggling neighbouring restaurant La Bonbonniere and helped raise $15,000 overnight. During the turbulence of the pandemic, the humble-seeming newsstand has become a harbinger of a new downtown cool.
Still, Casa has faced declining sales since March and run a series of fundraisers to stay afloat. So far, the store has raised about $30,000, but is excited about an upcoming donation from Valentino, which will give a portion of VLogo Signature sales to Casa. “Everybody is helping each other because of COVID,” Ahmed said. “We got together with model agencies and the fashion industry, and they are helping us.”
VLogo Signature is now available at Casa Magazines and other newsstands and bookstores, and can also be ordered online.