The fashion world waits for no one. You wake up and there’s another trend to follow and yet another photo of Céline Dion flaunting the latest fashion fad. Whether you’re a Diane Von Furstenberg lover or prefer the street style of HBO’s latest drama, Euphoria, there’s nothing like spending some hard-earned money to look and feel your best. Like Carrie Bradshaw said, “I like my money where I can see it…hanging in my closet.”
Because we’re all about channeling our inner fashionista(o), we’ve decided to take a look at some of the best shopping destinations all over the world. First, we’ll explore Milan, London, Paris and New York City, which are considered the fashion capitals of the world. But the last city we plan to venture to might surprise you: Los Angeles. The city is still working hard on its reputation in the fashion industry, but its steady growth is what lands it a spot on the list. Needless to say, get your wallets ready and call your banks to let them know that you’ve got some shopping to do.
A little bit of history for you, Milan has been regarded as the fashion capital of the world since the 16th century. So, this fashion thing has been kind of a big deal for a while now. And shopping in Milan is especially no new thing. Fashion flagships are the backbone of what makes this city a destination for avid shoppers. The golden rectangle – properly known as Quadrilatero d’Oro – is a fashion district that’s bordered by Corso Venezia, an esteemed cluster of Italian brands. No matter if you’re shopping or browsing, you’re going to want to take a stroll down this window shopper’s paradise.
Other stores are harder to find but have gained a reputation by word of mouth. The best of these shops include Cavalli e Nastri, a funky vintage-inspired store; La Rinascente, a luxurious department store in Piazza del Duomo; and Wait and See, a forward-thinking boutique located in an 18th century convent on Cinque Vie. For the finer things, make your way to Via MonteNapoleone. On Europe’s most expensive street, you’ll find a heavy concentration of high-end brands delivering high fashion and haute couture.
If you want to shop till you drop, head to Corso Buenos Aires, an extremely long street with gorgeous architecture that boasts over 350 shops and outlets offering ready-to-wear – or prêt-à-porter – attire, which is what Milan is known for. If you’re not all shopped out, be sure to visit Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, where you can not only shop but also see stunning city views of Milan. And if you’re serious about fashion, catch spring and summer looks during Women’s Fashion Week in September or October, and autumn and winter looks in February or March.
While London is known for many things, from afternoon tea to the London Eye, the city sustains a reputation as one of the leading cities in the fashion world. In fact, London was the first city to invite the public to its annual fashion week, letting both fashion experts and fashion lovers go behind the scenes. The spectacle now welcomes more than 5,000 guests each year. Notably, some of the most recognizable designers hail from London as well. Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney might ring a bell. Both designers have paved their own paths, with Westwood bringing modern punk fashion to the mainstream and McCartney tailoring feminine and edgy collections that garnered attention from the start.
Now that you’re filled in on London’s rightful place in fashion history, the most important question is this: Where on earth do you go to shop? When the luxe life is calling your name, head over to Bond Street. This has been the haven for upscale shoppers since the 18th century thanks to its careful curation of exclusive designers. If Bond doesn’t do it for you, Westfield London is a mall that offers a wide selection of brands including Burberry, Bucherer and Prada. Plus, their blog offers forward-thinking advice on style crazes and design tips that pair perfectly with their inventory.
After a stroll through Hyde Park, head to the upscale district of Mayfair. Here you can dine at gourmet restaurants or skip over to Burlington Arcade and Shepherd Market for a throng of independent boutiques. Over on Cork Street in this same district sits a plethora of art galleries, perfect if you want to purchase something timeless. At the end of the day, however, there is nothing like a one-stop-shop scenario. On Oxford Street, enjoy your pick of 300 shops, outlets and antique motherships. Snag some sneakers at Adidas to further enhance your street style swag or head to Topshop to grab the trendiest threads.
Oh, Paris. There are many reasons to choose a trip to Paris when you want to enhance the stockpile in your closet. Paris is the grand dame of fashion week, with both Parisians and runway models alike outfitted in the city’s best garb. Paris Fashion Week showcases the je ne sais quoi the city is known for, combined with expert planning and execution. If you want to witness a fashion week spectacle, catch Men’s Fashion Week and Haute Couture Fashion Week in June, or check out Women’s Fashion Week in September or October.
If you aren’t planning on attending a fashion show but love to shop, then we’ve got the places for you. Head to the neighborhood of Le Marais to shop big French brands and designers. While here, peruse the racks at the oldest department store in Paris, Le BHV Marais, or keep it cool at Merci, American Vintage and Kiloshop. For the super modish shopper, head to Boulevard Haussmann. Here you will find the Galeries Lafayette. This upmarket French shopping center has just about everything you need and is considered the best shopping mall in Paris. It also features weekly fashion shows so you can see what’s hot – and then you can shop it.
For more high-end shopping, you’ll want to visit the shops that line Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. This is one of the most luxurious and fashionable streets in the world. Here lies every major global fashion house from Louis Vuitton to Gucci, as well as the Élysée Palace – the official residence of the President. The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is another street that offers lavish shops with the addition of cafés and, of course, the Arc de Triomphe.
New York City
New York City is the first fashion capital to have ever hosted a fashion week, and now New York Fashion Week is one of the city’s most iconic events. If you have the opportunity to head to New York to see the up-and-coming trends on the runway every fall and spring, take it. However, you could ride the subway just about any day of the year and see something spectacular that catches your eye.
But where do the patrons of the Big Apple get their garments? Well, it all depends on personal style. If you yearn for selective looks that are trendy, like Supreme or Reformation, visit the neighborhood of SoHo. Meanwhile, Nolita offers up a chic shopping scene with stores like Love and Adorned and is your go-to if you’re looking for an incredible selection of jewelry. If you’re posh like the Upper East Siders, visit Fifth Avenue for your designer sanctuary. Bergdorf Goodman will welcome you with open arms, and those running the shoe salon at Saks Fifth Avenue will be ready to help you slip on the shoe of your dreams.
If you love a good bargain or are looking for a more low-key look, head to Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. Being in this borough means feasting your eyes on some incredible street style. When it’s time to celebrate your money well spent, just grab a cocktail in one of the city’s cafés or chic bars. If you’re there on the weekend, you’ll love access to the street vendors that line the streets of nearly every neighborhood. They bring their best of handmade jewelry and artwork so you can leave New York with something truly special.
Los Angeles hasn’t gotten the recognition it deserves when it comes to fashion. The city doesn’t have an annual fashion week and has a reputation for perpetuating the latest craze rather than creating it. However, Los Angeles has a brewing fashion scene that promotes sustainability, which is huge in the fashion world right now. Both designers and avid consumers are steering away from fast fashion – clothing made at a rapid rate by mass-market retailers – and shopping more environmentally-friendly brands. In response, the city of Los Angeles is building up more companies that are taking the green approach to their curated threads. A few of these brands include Reformation found at PLATFORM, Christy Dawn in Malibu, Jean Franklin sold online and Whimsy & Row in Venice.
In addition to sustainable fashion, Los Angeles has so much more to offer. If you’re strolling the West Hollywood, Venice Beach or Silver Lake neighborhoods, you’re bound to see the latest trends – especially those that are centered around vintage finds. That’s because Los Angeles has an incredible thrifting scene. From places like AS American Vintage and Jet Rag to Varsity or even the tents at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, there are innumerable shops that allow locals and tourists alike to track down the perfect vintage find.
If vintage isn’t you’re thing (some trends – like shoulder pads – are better left in the past), don’t worry, Los Angeles still has just about everything you need. You can shop up and down Melrose Avenue or Abbot Kinney Boulevard to find snazzy threads. If you have the taste for something designer, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills has an incredible roster that includes designers from Agent Provocateur to Yves Saint Laurent. You can also stick to what you know by shopping at The Grove, a very popular outdoor shopping mall that typically has more than just shopping up its sleeve.
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