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Our Ultimate Guide to Global Shopping


What you bring back from a trip is often just as important as the trip itself. In this international guide to retail nirvana, you'll find curated, expert-led shopping tours of cities from Tokyo and Florence to Marrakesh and Singapore, along with the best specialty shops for jewelry, records and other obsession-worthy finds.

Published on Aug 25, 2017

 

BRANDS TO SHOP IN …
BANGKOK
Small labels are packing big style into sustainable designs.

ICONIC
This bohemian womenswear line by designer Akrawut Panthumvanich is certified fresh. Their Cairo Snow collection lit up the catwalk last fall with pop-art spins on Egyptian iconography, like Nefertiti wearing shades. facebook.com/iconicofficials

iCONiC
Iconic rocks a nouveau Nefertiti. Courtesy of Iconic.

BOLANA LAB
An oldie but a goodie, this leathergood brand has been churning out beautiful handbags for the past 30 years. Their collection is called Baitong, the Thai word for banana leaf, and leverages their ample experience experimenting with leather in a fringing technique that mimics the geometric veins of a banana leaf. The result is a zero-waste, highly versatile line of purses and totes. bolonalab.com.

Bolona Lab
A canvas bag by Bolona converts into a beach blanket. Courtesy of Bolona.

APRILPOOLDAY
In a country where it is summer year-round, there’s a high demand for swimwear. Founded by Lilanan Ronakiat, Aprilpoolday is all about minimalist throw-back shapes, like full-bottomed one-pieces and high-waisted bikinis, in single colors or two-tone—no prints. All of their offerings are a winning combination of flattering and classic, and the conservative cuts make it easy to pair with shorts or a skirt. aprilpoolday.com.

ORNAMENTS & L'OR
Up-and-coming designer Supatchana Limwongse uses Thai silk to craft jewelry that is modern and eye-catching, with Thai hill-tribe nuances. She just launched this brand last year, but she's already established a signature style: conversation-starters with a wink of whimsy. ornaments-and-lor.com.

Ornaments & L'Or
Necklace by Ornaments & L'or. Courtesy of Ornaments & L'or.

THXFUL FOR SMALL MERCIES
Home furnishings and décor carved from local wood, this brand stands out for its interesting weaving and hand-carving woodwork. Some of the designs have a Scandinavian feel, like the lean, long-legged side tables that fit into compact spaces, while the beech boxes and woven trays are totally Thai. fb.com/Thxful.


Thxful
Hand-carved light fixtures by Thxful. Courtesy of Thxful.

—By MERRITT GURLEY

 

Feiping Chang
Feiping Chang's
HONG KONG

We turn to Chang, arbiter of all things stylish and the lady behind the fashion, food and travel website xoxofei.com, for tips on how to mine Hong Kong's shopping scene. 

 

The statement eyewear brand Reve makes the coolest sunglasses. revebyrene.com.

Sheung Wan
©Pindiyath100/Dreamstime.com.

Moiselle
Courtesy of Moiselle.
For cool little boutiques, take a stroll in the Sheung Wan district. It always presents unexpected surprises. I am all about the homegrown luxury brand Moiselle, which showcases unique craftsmanship and inspired designs. In winter 2016, I bought a decadent hot water bottle covered in mink here. It has kept me luxuriously warm during some of Hong Kong's colder nights. moiselle.com.hk.

 

Paribawga Collection
Courtesy of Paribawga.

 

Sham Shui Po
Andi Andreas/GettyImages.

Paribawga Collection and Paribawga Bespoke, the contemporary Burmese furniture brands founded by my friend Ivan Pun, opened a showroom in Hong Kong in collaboration with McNamara Art Projects (mcnartprojects.com). The gallery shows a constant rotation of curated exhibitions alongside the pieces of furniture. paribawga.com. I love how each area of the city has its own flavor. For arts and crafts, make the trip to Sham Shui Po, which has endless little shops full of everything imaginable. I often gift custom neon signs made by old craftsmen here; they seem like something out of the Wong Kar-Wai film In The Mood For Love.

—By MARK LEAN

 

WHERE TO SHOP IN …
NEW DELHI
A slew of homegrown fashion labels is redefining Delhi's shopping scene, putting a contemporary spin on classic weaves and traditional crafts.

ANOMALY
Designer Medha Khosla believes in "celebrating Indian textiles" and uses only natural fabrics—handloomed linens, textured Gujarati cottons, Assamese eri silk—to create sophisticated workwear essentials that translate easily from day to night. With seasonless separates in a neutral color palette, the boxy shirts, minimalistic midi dresses and relaxed pleated pants are tailored to the fuss-free woman. Their silk blouses incorporate details like contrast piping and flirty bow ties. shopanomaly.in.

Anomaly
Anomaly specializes in modern workwear. Courtesy of Anomaly.

BIAS
Bias was born out of designers Mridu Mehra's and Shruti Bhardwaj's need for sustainably made, versatile clothing that is, quite simply, not boring. These summer staples in breathable fabrics, such as cotton mesh, with anti-fit silhouettes (loose at the top and gradually tightening down the the leg) take you easily from beach to bar. Following ethical methods, they avoid water-intensive chemical dyeing processes, relying instead on recycled plastic yarn and korra cotton gauze. Bias's basics are designed to be layered, lived in and loved. facebook.com/wearbias; Shahpur Jat, by appointment only.

Bias
Handloomed and dyed cotton T-shirt with netting detail by Bias. Courtesy of Bias.

NICOBAR
With an aesthetic reminiscent of far-flung islands in the Indian Ocean, Nicobar's eclectic homeware, clothing and travel essentials draw in tones of the sea, the earth and all that's lush in the world. Neat freaks and packing geeks, make a beeline for their minimalistic pouches and pochettes, so you always have your baubles within easy reach. nicobar.com.

NIMAI
Every centimeter of Nimai's 280-square-meter space is strung with covet-worthy pieces of wearable art, carefully curated from nearly 70 independent jewelry labels. Founder Pooja Roy Yadav says, "Designers nowadays marry their newfound respect for Indian crafts and prints with modern design sensibilities." The result? Contemporary, handcrafted pieces inspired by Indian landscapes, architecture, dance and mythology. Don a piece of your Himalayan holiday with Baby Baniya's whimsical neckpieces, featuring resin-inset photographs of mountain scenes. shopnimai.com.

Nimai
Shop Nimai for the Time And Space pendant by Absynthe Designs. Courtesy of Nimai.

OLIO
Every day is easy with Olio's breezy, holiday-and- food-inspired range of clothing. Slip into one of their billowy cotton dresses for a languid breakfast—eggs sunny side up and iced lattes, please — followed by a lazy walk in the park. Dynamic duo Aashna Singh and Sneha Saksena are generous with the geometric patterns and splotches of color, fanciful motifs such as cacti and fried eggs, and relaxed silhouettes in khadi and pure cotton to lend a fun, tropical vibe to their collections. theoliostories.com.

Olio
A fun and voluminous prickly pear party dress by Olio. Courtesy of Olio.

—By MALAVIKA BHATTACHARYA

 

WHERE TO SHOP IN …
TOKYO
Hand-made arts and crafts bring the Japanese capital's past to life and solve your souvenir goals in one go.

JAPAN TRADITIONAL CRAFT CENTER
Think of this slightly out-of-the-way store in Akasaka as a one-stop shop for Japanese lacquer, ceramics, paper, kimonos and stonework. The center also holds demonstrations by local craftspeople. kougeihin.jp.

Japan Traditional Craft Center
Ceramic bowls from Japan Traditional Craft Center. Christopher Kucway.

WISE WISE
Handcrafted bamboo homeware, vivid stone jewelry, elaborate noren dividers and even finely carved wooden greeting cards, this posh shop offers a rotating collection of practical hand-made Japanese goods. wisewise.com.

Wise Wise
Find handcrafted homeware at Wise Wise. Christopher Kucway.

KAMATA
If you're the type who knows that there are left-handed knives or forged blades specifically for root vegetables, then this Kappabashi shop is for you. It's been in business since 1923 and has enough razor-sharp cutlery to make your head spin. kap-kam.com.

Kamata
A razor-sharp Japanese blade at Kamata. Christopher Kucway.

RYUSEI-KAN
By private appointment only, this samurai dojo is a glimpse into Edo's past, the center of attention—aside from the serious sensei—being a blade that dates back to 1540. In addition to the wisdom of the samurai, the master here has antique blade handles for sale priced from ¥20,000. Contact Naomi Mano at luxurique.com to set up a private visit.

FOUND MUJI
By now, everyone has marveled at the goods in their local Muji. This spin-off aims for all things organic, from bath salts to yukata to Japanese sweets. The two-floor shop in Omotesando is worth a peek. muji.com.

Found Muji
The welcoming Found Muji shop in Omotesando. Christopher Kucway.

GRANIPH
A T-shirt may be standard tourist fare, but many you'll find here meld historic  Japan with modern pop-culture. There's also a broader cross-section of diverse designs, so head to the Harajuku store for the widest and wildest selection. graniph.com.

MARUZEN
Sure, the English-language selection is small, but the main store in Marunounchi more than makes up for it with quality titles. There are some brilliant fiction and non-fiction accounts of Japan, so check your luggage weight limit because you're sure to walk away with books you've purchased on a whim. maruzen.com.

—By CHRISTOPHER KUCWAY

 

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham's
LONDON

Where the fashion maven takes her children shopping in the

British capital.

 

Duant Books
Neil Setchfield/GettyImages.

Bonpoint

Courtesy of Bonpoint.

Daunt Books is the most wonderful bookshop. There's one at the end of my road, and I often walk down there with the kids and we each browse our own section. dauntbooks.co.uk. I have always loved Bonpoint, because it's so quintessentially French. They make chic clothes that aren't overly fussy for kids. And the detail is really beautiful. bonpoint.com.

 

Harrods
VisitBritain/Britain on View/GettyImages.
Target
Courtesy of Target.
Harrods (harrods.com) is such a great store for the children, particularly at Christmastime. And I like the mix of clothes and shoes at Caramel (caramel-shop.co.uk). Their housewares and toys are always tastefully chosen. WEAR IT LIKE BECKHAM
Victoria Beckham shares her favorite looks from her new kids' clothing line for Target.

For my daughter, Harper, I especially like the collared Clever Bunny dresses in the new Target line. The silhouette is so signature to my VVB collection, and it's fun to see it reinvented. target.com.

 

WHERE TO SHOP IN …
MARRAKESH
Design-savvy shop owners in Morocco have turned traditional wares into collectibles.

TOPOLINA
The French-born designer Isabelle Topolina combines her love of color and prints with her couture skills to create whimsical pieces—think Marni in the medina. There are A-line coats with wax prints from Benin, smock dresses made from hand-dyed fabrics from the Sahara, and patterned, tasseled loafers. The atelier also has a jaunty menswear collection by Topolina's son, with tropical print shorts and bow ties. 134 Dar El Bacha, in the medina.

Topolina
Terry Munson.

EL FENN
The riad El Fenn has always attracted a fashion-forward crowd, so for its boutique, owner Vanessa Branson (sister of Richard) enlisted an industry insider. Former New York casting agent Paul Rowland (who launched Kate Moss) helped create a handsome shop within the hotel's restaurant, with custom-made leather djellabas, vintage Berber jewelry and handwoven blankets. el-fenn.com.

El Fenn
Saad Alami /El Fenn.

33 RUE MAJORELLE
Located opposite Yves Saint Laurent's Jardin Majorelle, this concept shop showcases designers who offer a spin on traditional craftwork. You'll find babouche slippers in handsome jacquard prints, tribal-design rugs made from hemp and denim, and the ubiquitous Moroccan tea set rendered in elegant recycled glass. There are also coffee-table books, an exhibition space featuring Moroccan artists and a café and juice bar. fb.com/33ruemajorelle.

33 Rue Majorelle
Terry Munson.

ARTC FASHION
It's no surprise that Artsi Ifrach's theatrical designs—ornately embroidered tunics, coats reworked from vintage Berber carpets—have been shown at Paris couture week. Although his prices are steep, it's worth a trip to his atelier in the Gueliz district just to marvel at the creations of this self-taught master. art-c-fashion.com.

MARRAKSHI LIFE
Fashion photographer Randall Bachner left New York City in 2013 to open a tiny men's shop deep in the medina. Working with local weavers and tailors, he gives a breezy surfer vibe to standard caftans, oxford shirts and linen babouches. There's also a selection of women's clothing and accessories in the casually decorated store. fb.com/marrakshilife.

CHABI CHIC
Call it Marrakesh's answer to Sur La Table—this housewares shop is full of modern updates on Moroccan pottery. Instead of arabesque patterns, you'll find graphic stripes on tagines, cups and serving platters. There are also Berber baskets, olive-wood kitchen utensils and bags of herbs, from mint tea to harira-soup kits. There are two locations in the city, but the best selection is at the warehouse-size space in Sidi Ghanem, the city's evergentrifying industrial zone. chabi-chic.com.

Chabi Chic
Courtesy of Chabi Chic.

—By MAURA EGAN

 

WHERE TO SHOP IN …
SINGAPORE
The city typifies the best of Asian style and combines artisanal crafts and international influences.

EDIT LIFESTYLE
This four-room space on Tanglin Road run by interior designer Florence Lim is beautifully styled and gratifying to shop in. Niche brands like Lisa Marie Fernandez and jeweler Ileana Makri mix with fragrances from Carthusia in Capri, a smattering of tabletop curios, beaded ornaments from South Africa, and Alba, Lim's resortwear line. editlifestyle.com.

Edit Lifestyle
The airy interior at Edit Lifestyle.
Courtesy of Edit Lifestyle.

STRANGELETS
This shop in the Tiong Bahru neighborhood has been at the forefront of Singapore style since it opened in 2008. It essentially created a market for Balinese ceramics, introduced the Lion City to the tableware of Astier de Villatte, and it stocks leather clutches and exquisite letterpressed goods. strangelets.sg.

CLUB 21
COMO Hotels founder and style maven Christina Ong's slick boutique brings experimental designers (like Rick Owens and Yoshio Kubo) to Orchard Road. The meticulously curated selection and personal shopping are among the best in town. club21global.com.

BOOKS ACTUALLY
One of Singapore's first independent bookstores has its own imprint, Math Paper Press, which publishes small poetry and photography volumes. Look out for the notebook with a very funny (and handy) guide to Singlish, the local patois, along with stationery and tote bags. booksactuallyshop.com.

Books Actually
Outside Books Actually. Karman Tse.

SURRENDER
The Surrender collective has long catered to Singapore's stylish men; its sleek new Orchard Road shop features designs from Thom Browne and Alexander Wang, plus Nike's exclusive Tier Zero sneakers. surrenderous.com.

SCENE SHANG
The golden age of 20th-century Chinese design reigns at this contemporary furniture gallery on Beach Road. Wares range from desk fans to ceramic tableware. sceneshang.com.

ATELIER ONG SHUNMUGAM
In 2008, Priscilla Shunmugam left a law career to become a designer. In 2016, she opened this studio and boutique in Chip Bee Gardens. Here, she showcases her vibrant womenswear, such as her reinterpretations of the cheongsam. ongshunmugam.com.

Atelier Ong Shunmugam
Atelier Ong Shunmugam. Courtesy of Ong Shunmugam.

SUPERMAMA
This gallery and boutique on Beach Road brokers projects between locals and Japanese craftspeople. Fashion accessories, porcelain and even perfumes are on display in the large, spare room; the porcelain with Star Wars–inspired motifs is one of the most original things we've seen in town. supermamastore.com.

Supermama
Supermama, for all your Star Wars–themed porcelain needs. Courtesy of Supermama.

—By MARIA SHOLLENBARGER

 

 

James Ferragamo

James Ferragamo's
FLORENCE

For the best of Firenze, ask a man whose name is synonymous

with the city.

 

Flair
Courtesy of Flair.
Luisa Via Roma
Birgitte Brøndsted.
Flair is a store and gallery with a unique collection of design objects and furnishings, all chosen for their emotional resonance and character. It's a space for the imagination to celebrate. flair.it. Open since the 1930s, Luisa Via Roma is now recognized globally as a cutting-edge brand, discovering young design talent and exploring new technologies. luisaviaroma.com.

 

Loretta Caponi
Courtesy of Loretta Caponi.
Santa Maria Novella
Courtesy of Officina Profumo Farm Aceutica Di Santa Maria Novella.
Loretta Caponi is more than a shop—it feels like a home. The elaborate lace and embroidery, produced by Caponi's daughter, are testaments to Italian craft. It's among the last surviving such stores in Florence. lorettacaponi.com. Santa Maria Novella products are made by artisans whose skills have been handed down for generations. The smell is captivating. smnovella.com.

 

The perfumes of Lorenzo Villoresi are inspired by Renaissance-era merchants—scents of Tuscany meet the spices of the Middle East. lorenzovilloresi.it.

 

 

Derek Lam

Derek Lam's
LOS ANGELES

The designer shares a few of his regular stops for furniture and housewares.

 

JF Chen
Ben Easter
Galerie Half
Shade Degges.
For anybody who's in love with design, JF Chen is a mecca. You feel like you're in the most incredible flea market, but everything has a pedigree. I'll find something from William Haines next to club chairs from Sweden that are destroyed and perfect. You could lose several days browsing here. jfchen.com. I'm from California, so I love the laid-back L.A. vibe. I go to Galerie Half for inspiration. I like how they mix pieces. You'll see furniture from names like Kjærholm, but they bring in rustic and ethnic pieces, too. It's an eclectic, Midcentury style. galeriehalf.com.

 

Lief
Courtesy of Lief.
Lucca Antiques
Courtesy of Lucca Antiques.
Lief is so refreshing, cozy and quiet. They make amazing outdoor furniture. Go here after JF Chen—it's a nice palate cleanser. liefalmont.com. The pieces at Lucca Antiques are so inviting. It's the furniture equivalent of buying the most beautiful basic T-shirt—it's all about the proportions. luccaantiques.com.

 

WHERE TO SHOP IN …
PRAGUE
Homegrown creatives and indie boutiques showcase the Czech Republic's inimitable sense of style.

PAGE FIVE
Pop in to this pint-size bookstore to browse countless screen prints from local artists, most for less than €37. Look for work by Maria Makeeva, whose illustrations appear in the country's most prominent magazines. pagefive.com.

Page Five
Page Five, a bookstore in Holešovice. JJ Jimenez.

GALLERY KUBISTA
The handmade porcelain and glass at stylish Kubista, in the Cubist House of the Black Madonna, pays homage to Prague's 20th-century avant-garde. There's also an excellent Czech Cubism exhibition. upstairs.kubista.cz.

PAPELOTE
A few shops around the city carry this beloved local stationery brand, but the best selection of postcards, graphic prints and paper goods—all made with eco-friendly materials—can be found in its charming New Town studio. papelote.eu.

GARAGE STORE
Everything about this record shop feels fresh, from its wall of windows and cool, minimalist vibe to its curated collection of vinyl, vintage hi-fis and designer footwear. garage-store.net.

KONCEPT STORY
A collective of designers—and a rotating series of guests—sell clothing, jewelry and housewares at this shop on Řezáčovo Square. There's a new concept every three months; a recent tennis theme inspired sculptural metal necklaces by Kristýna Malovaná and retro neon-green eyewear from Optiqa. konceptstory.cz.

BOTAS 66
Color-blocked unisex sneakers are the foundation of this famous Czech brand, which has been making shoes in the same small town since 1949. The synthetic-leather Tofu line brings the brightly hued tennies into the 21st century. botas66.com.

Botas 66
Sneakers at Botas 66, in Skořepka. Courtesy of Botas 66.

LEEDA
Womenswear designer Lucie Kutálková flits from conservative silhouettes to unconventional hemlines and electric palettes in her Old Town showroom. Collaborations with artists, filmmakers and musicians keep Leeda's aesthetic current. leeda.cz.

Leeda
A wrap coat by Lucie Kutálková at Leeda. Courtesy of Leeda.

PERFUMED PRAGUE
Bespoke scents are the specialty of this unpretentious perfumery, which opened in Old Town last fall. Set aside an hour to have an expert help you build your ideal fragrance, note by note. perfumedprague.cz.

—By MORGAN CHILDS

 

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Ornaments & L'or uses Thai silk to craft jewelry. Aop Divaholic/Courtesy of Ornaments & L'or.
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