In 1961, co-founders Al and Sonny Gindi opened the first off-price retailer in Downtown Manhattan. Inspired by an upcoming World’s Fair exhibit “Century 21,
The World of Tomorrow,” the name represents the owners’ mission to revamp the traditional retail model, allowing shoppers to access designer brands at amazing prices.
What started as a small, discount department store has evolved into a must-see shopping destination for locals, tourists and celebrities alike. Now, the flagship store spans six buildings, up from a mere three floors from when it first opened, and there are 14 locations spanning the east coast.
You can be sure that all Century 21 Stores product is 100% guaranteed authentic. Since the early ’80s, our buyers have scoured the globe for great merchandise and worked with trusted vendors to negotiate our amazing prices. We have established longstanding relationships with top designers and are committed to confirming the authenticity of every item we sell.
Not even celebrities can resist our legendary discounts. Kim Kardashian, Ed Norton, rapper Cardi B, Extra host Mario Lopez, The Hills alum Kristin Cavallari, Bravo’s Paige DeSorbo and Sonja Morgan and The Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn Sigler have all shopped with us—and the list keeps growing. We even got a shout-out from THE Carrie Bradshaw on HBO’s hit show Sex and the City.
“This past New York Fashion Week, Century 21 and its younger Next Century area in downtown Manhattan were filled with more than only shoppers trying to find a discount. The department store known for its markdowns held youth-drawing events, like a presentation for the recently rebooted clubby Buffalo shoes with a model cast that included rapper Vic Mensa. Last night, the label Barragán by Mexico City–native, New York City–based designer Victor Barragán gave the store another jolt and held a show on its main shopping floor.”–Vogue
“At a time when most savvy shoppers want to mix and match, and stay far from prescribed trends or fast-fashion uniforms, discovering rare finds on Century 21’s racks and layering them together magpie-style is a luxurious thrill.”–Vogue
“WORLD’S BEST SHOPPING DESTINATION–25 SHOPPING MECCAS YOU NEED TO VISIT”–Refinery29
“Exclusively New York Shopping Experiences... Discount mega-department store Century21 is often touted as New York’s best kept shopping secret. Except it’s not much of a secret, judging from the hordes of shoppers with suitcases (bought on site in the luggage department) crammed with designer handbags, shoes, watches and sunglasses.”–CNN
“Merchandise at C21 ranges from cutting edge apparel to classic Home furnishings, but the star of the show at this Sex and The City favorite is the designer handbag department.”–CBS
“Century 21 offers off-price designer clothes, shoes, accessories and home goods, which is to say, slightly out of season or overstock, in an atmosphere where service may range between warm and war-torn. For those willing to dig for their bargains (and defend them once in hand), it is practically a holy site.”–The New York Times
“My introduction to shopping for fashion was at Century 21 with my mother. I got some of my greatest and most cherished fashion pieces there.”–Zac Posen
“My mom, it’s her favorite store.”–Jerry Ferrara
“A friend of mine gave me like a really large gift card for Century 21 and I handed the Century 21 card to my wife…and ya know I was like a hero for, I don’t even know how many months it lasted but she had a grin on her face.”–Edward Norton
“I keep asking people so what’s the cool store, where should you go & people would always mention Century 21.”–DJ Cassy
“Justin & I, we love Century 21 & one of our favorite things is probably the website because we are BIG online shoppers & just found the process to be really easy, it’s an easy site to navigate, was a great experience.”–Lauren Tuck
“One day I did go to Century 21 and I was able to buy, with my meager salary, a Cynthia Rowley skirt. And I felt like I could play with the big boys because I had a designer piece of clothing and Century 21 allowed me to do that.”–Cat Greenleaf
“I was watching Sex and the City and Sarah Jessica Parker she had jury duty in this episode and her voiceover is the best thing about jury duty is being downtown and being able to go to Century 21. And I immediately thought, I gotta get my ass to Century 21. It’s pretty amazing, it’s an amazing place.”–Rachel Winter
“In my years of playing dress-up as a child, I understood that what you wore could help define you but in this store I realized you might even be able to change who you are.”–AnnaSophia Robb as Carrie Bradshaw, The Carrie Diaries
We all live for the moments we find It—the piece we want to show and tell everyone about. For Richard Martin, curator of the Costume Institute, it was a John Galliano dress. “Absolutely off the rack,” he said. “In fact, falling off the rack.” The dress would later be showcased in The Met show, “Our New Clothes: Acquisitions of the 1990’s.”
Our flagship has been front row for a lineup of NYFW events. Office magazine took over Next Century and half of the first floor to host their legendary NYFW party—one of the most attended parties of the entire week. Telfar, the menswear line of fashion prodigy and international celebrity Telfar Clemens, showcased their Fall/Winter collection, allowing the public to get a sneak peek the same time as the insiders.
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