Jan 13th, 2012.
Shopping is a necessary part of any city break. No matter how long your stay, its important to get a feeling for the place and this includes checking out the sartorial treats on offer. But foreign shopping trips can often end up at the same old high street chains, resulting in a suitcase of purchases you could have found at home.
Dipping into the local Zara and Urban Outfitters is tempting (we know what we like after all), but it pays to seek out those hidden gems that’ll give you a real taste of the city’s unique style. It’s easy when you know where to look, so we’ve given you the low-down on some of our favourite boutiques around the world.
1. Merci in Paris
Found in the Marais district, this enormous concept store encompasses a boutique, perfumery, café and library under one roof. You can browse for fashion and interiors, relax with a book and chocolat chaud, or simply appreciate the design of the store, which doubles up as an impressive art installation. All profits go to a children’s charity, making it worthwhile place to spend your euros.
2. Nummer 9 in Amsterdam
Nummer 9 is home to a small, but perfectly formed selection of fashion and accessories. Stocking achingly cool European brands, it’s a one-stop-shop for directional style. Seek out masculine tailoring from House of Dagmar, slogan tees from Wildfox, and chunky leather boots from Hope.
3. Frock in New York
A favourite with New York’s style set, Frock stocks an impeccable range of designer vintage. Highlights include retro evening dresses from labels like Lanvin and Oscar de la Renta as well as well-preserved Chanel handbags.
If it’s good enough for Chlöe Sevigny and Mary-Kate Olsen – who are often spotted shopping here – it’s definitely good enough for us.
4. PotiPoti in Berlin
This little shop on Rosenthaler Strasse has bags of character. Founded in 2005, the boutique showcases the distinctive aesthetic of design duo Silvia Salvadoro and Nando Cornejo. You’ll find bright jumpsuits and quirky Perspex jewellery from the pair’s own clothing line, as well as CDs, graphic prints and fanzines.
5. Kapok in Hong Kong
If you’re looking to escape the faceless shopping malls of Hong Kong, look no further than Kapok. Found amongst an assortment of food vendors on Sun Street, the store has everything from iPad cases to travel books, high-tech gadgets to leather stationery – each of which has been carefully selected for its own unique charm.