What better way to combine two of life’s greatest pleasures than with an escape to a sartorial city, where you can shop for your new winter wardrobe? Here’s our pick of some truly distinctive fashion destinations, in which to relax and indulge in a little retail therapy.
Global hotspot: Antwerp, Belgium
Fashionistas already know Antwerp as one of the coolest cities in Europe, thanks to its reputation for cutting-edge fashion and design. It is after all the home of the famous Antwerp Six: Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, and Marina Yee, who all graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the early ‘80s, promptly putting Belgium on the global fashion map.
Haute Hotspot: Graanmarkt 13
This style mecca for men and women is considered one of the city’s best-known concept stores. Expect to find coveted international brands including KASSL editions, Simon Miller, and Mackintosh, alongside stunning deco items from Forget Me Not, Atelier Pierre Culot, and the WDSTCK design collective, and a restaurant headed up by chef Seppe Nobels whose specialties include healthy vegetarian tapas-style platters, and a variety of fish and meat. And if all that shopping leaves you weary, there’s even an apartment above the store where you can spend the night.
Graanmarkt 13, 2000 Antwerp
Haute Hotspot: Verso
The legendary multi-brand concept store Verso feels part 16th century mansion house, part contemporary art gallery, part style mecca. The space is lined with a broad range of fashion and accessory collections by Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Emilio Pucci and Moncier, to name but a few, as well as trendy, artisanal boutique fragrances and scented candles by Cire Trudon, Byredo and Fornasetti.
Lange Gasthuisstraat 11, 2000 Antwerp
Haute Hotspot: Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten, the most famed and successful of the Antwerp Six is also considered to be one of the most cerebral designers on the planet. Renowned for his elegant pieces with a distinctive avant-garde edge, Van Noten hails from a family of tailors, so there’s no missing that indisputable eye for cut and detail. Van Noten’s collection is housed in his flagship store Het Modepaleis, a beautiful 19th
century flatiron building where you will find his winter styles including a limited-edition collection of marble print raincoats in 10 unique colourways; tartan trousers, paired with asymmetric pleated side skirts, and a checked tweed overcoat. He also brings an unconventional twist to long shirting, sweater sleeves, oversized jackets and silk blouses for women, in bold shades of mauve, gold and black-and-white prints.
Nationalestraat 16, 2000 Antwerp
Global Hotspot: London, England
London has long been revered for its edgy, independent street style, and as a fashion incubator for the next big thing - avant-garde designers Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Junya Watanabe and eco style warrior Stella McCartney all sprung from here.
Haute Hotspot: Liberty London
Liberty, set in a five-storey Tudor revival building, is the capital’s most celebrated department store. It is known for its exquisite ‘Liberty’ prints and handpicked collections from the finest names in fashion, namely Christian Lacroix, Fendi, Givenchy and Missoni, while also ushering in a fresh wave of labels every season, with a particular emphasis on showcasing exceptional British brands, including Isabel Marant, AlexaChung, Ganni and Needle & Thread. You can also seek out statement coats, scarves and knitwear from the likes of Rokh and Nanushka. Heritage brand Barbour has recently launched a new collection, featuring the versatile Barbour X Margaret Howell Spey Archive jacket, in chic burnished gold.
Regent Street, London W1B 5AH
Haute Hotspot: Dover Street Market
The highly conceptual multi-brand department store, founded by Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo, is very much an exercise in art-meets-fashion. Now inhabiting a larger space in London’s Haymarket, expect to find a carefully curated collection of exclusive pieces from major fashion brands Céline, Valentino, Jil Sander and Maison Margiela, along with a constant selection of up-and-coming labels, including Molly Goddard and Vetements, and exclusive collaborations with street brands, Puma and Nike.
18-22 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4DG (Entrance on Orange Street)
Haute Hotspot: HOSTEM STORE
This totally charming, thoroughly minimalistic boutique is housed in an old factory mews house, complete with large reclaimed wooden beams. Home to a small collective of designers, there’s fashion, footwear and jewellery for men and women. Designer Casey Casey creates simple utilitarian garments that are way ahead of the curve, and yet utterly wearable, namely Ma+, Visvim, Raag and Monad, while P.R Patterson draws on rich Scottish textiles, sourced from local mills to create elegant wardrobe staples, including suits and dress coats. Not to be missed are Alice Waese’s intricate, handcrafted jewellery pieces in sterling silver and gold.
28 Old Nichol Street, London E2 7JB
Global Hotspot: Stockholm
The world is obsessed with all things Nordic right now, stemming from Sweden’s illustrious design pedigree, and not least a penchant for dark and rather binge-worthy crime series. We love the country’s minimalist, chic signature style, as seen in Acne Studios and Our Legacy, both of which have served to champion the Nordic fashion movement. And Stockholm now has its own fashion week.
Haute Hotspot: Nitty Gritty
The store’s minimalist interior allows the clothes to breathe and be seen, presented on beautifully streamlined shelves and racks that lend the space a homely, yet gallery-like feel. Since the store opened in 1991, fashion lovers looking for something edgy and authentic have come here for labels like Common Projects, A.P.C., Preen, Jerome Dreyfuss, Gitman Vintage, Isabel Marant and Nanamica. This season, there are so many gorgeous brand pieces to get excited about, including Baglietto cord jackets, turtle knit sweaters, and hard-wearing Chelsea rainwalker boots by Massimo Alba, to thickly ribbed woollen sweaters from Margaret Howell and Sara Lanzi, and Nitty Gritty’s own Merino Cashmere hoods. Fend off the elements.
24 and 26 Krukmakargatan, 118 51 Stockholm
Haute Hotspot: Acne Studios
This is conceptual fashion in all its Nordic glory – and a celebration of the store’s own label clothing. It’s a cornucopia of materials, colours and styles, from peacock blue duffle coats with printed detailing on the shoulders, to fine merino turtleneck sweaters in soft greys, acid yellows and baby pinks. Oversized sheepskin jackets hang alongside leather shirts, patchwork belted dresses, and denim and hooded sweatshirts. This label makes winter look ‘hot’ and currently boasts eight Acne Studios stores in Stockholm, with the flagship on Norrmalmstorg.
2 Norrmalmstorg, 111 46 Stockholm
Haute Hotspot: Aplace
A fabulous showcase for progressive Scandinavian fashion, Aplace is so much more than its name suggests, housing as it does more than 50 renowned fashion brands that exemplify modern-day creativity, with plenty of space for up-and-coming, and smaller local designers. This season, look out for Peak Performance. The brand has plucked four of its men’s jackets from the archives and re-invented them for 2018-2019, courtesy of Swedish hip-hop artists Fricky and Jireel, who also front the brand’s new campaign. They’ve fused urban and sporty influences to perfection with their parka and shell jacket styles. Elsewhere, there are gorgeous gold-print coat dresses by Marimekko, faux-fur teddy coats in camouflage prints by Stand, and chunky knits and leopard-print blouses by Samsøe & Samsøe. Other labels to watch out for include Soulland, whose bold all-over print puffer jackets and tropical-style shirts could easily fend off a bout of the winter blues, and Henrik Vibskov, who makes oversized, slouchy knitwear coats look oh-so-stylish. Aplace also boasts its very own beautiful fashion magazine.
11 Norrlandsgatan, 111 43 Stockholm
Global Hotspot: New York
The Big Apple sets the world standard as a shopping destination, not least because it has so much to appeal to all budgets and styles. When it comes to fashion, New York’s kudos packs a punch, consistently spearheading innovation and creativity, and perennially drawing in the world’s fashion critics for Fashion Week. Aside from the established, classic designer brands on Fifth Avenue, there’s a wealth of smaller, confidential addresses that carry cutting-edge fashion labels with heaps of street-cred.
Haute Hotspot: The Webster
Laure Hériard Dubreuil’s fashion boutique originated in Miami and stocks over 200 luxury fashion brands, in five physical stores across the U.S. Laure personally edits The Webster’s collection and you can expect to find rare, limited-edition collections, and exclusive partnerships with labels such as Leandra Medine, Rosie Assoulin and Off-White, who are working the pearlescent puffer jacket, and oversized camel hair coat to perfection this season. Among such well-known labels as Balenciaga, Givenchy, Balmain and Gucci, are some hidden gems like Giuliva Heritage Collection - whose corduroy single-breasted coat in strawberry pink is an exquisite piece for smart winter outings – and Moncler Genius, who has brought tongue-in-cheek chic to the down jacket this season. Meanwhile, the top floor of the store is open to VIPs only, with a rooftop deck for parties, and there’s a fifth-floor hair salon to seal the pampering experience.
29 Greene Street, New York, NY 10013
Haute Hotspot: Dover Street Market New York
The contemporary fashion department store is renowned for its avant-garde visuals and stunning lifestyle accessories. Comme Des Garçons has carved a niche at Dover Street Market and we particularly love the brand’s hot new PLAY Comme des Garçons x Converse; a sure-fire way to brighten up your wardrobe with its colourful streetwear vibe. Hot and new in-store is Gosha Rubchinskiy’s collection of flag-adorned double sleeve sweatshirts to be paired with the brand’s collaborative X series of padded jackets with Adidas, patchwork pants, beanies and gloves for a Soviet-inspired street-style sports look. Other star labels include Noon Goons, Undercover Madstore and Walter Van Beirendonck. The lifestyle side of DSM never fails to please either, with natty purses and wallets by CDG X DSM - in candy stripes or embossed leather to seal the deal.
160 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Haute Hotspot: 10 Corso Como
The chicest fashion store in Milan has arrived in New York, and fashion lovers are treated to a visual feast that marries the aesthetic of a modern art gallery with a sumptuous range of curated fashion, design, art and books, as well as a café and restaurant. It really is a destination in its own right; a place where you want to linger and browse. When it comes to fashion, the brands are lining up just waiting to be savoured: Fiorucci, Comme des Garçons, Onitsuka Tiger, Salvatore Ferragamo, Azzedine Alaia, among many others. This autumn/winter season, get cosy with Gentry Portofino x 10 Corso Como’s series of cashmere sweaters, and Moncler x 10 Corso Como’s snood crossover asymmetric coats with detachable sleeves for warmer trans-seasonal days. Seal the deal with a spicy niche fragrance from The House of Oud, Matthew Miller or Vagabond Prince.
1 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038
Global Hotspot: Paris
The capital of the world’s most popular tourist destination is also the home of haute couture, and Haussman’s elegant buildings and boulevards. Small wonder then, that Paris is perhaps one of the finest places in the world to shop. Need a wardrobe upgrade? Then try these places…
Haute Hotspot: L’Eclaireur
The largest of the concept store’s spaces in Paris, this address showcases the most diverse of L'Eclaireur offerings, including the largest collection of Fornasetti ‘objets’, in the world. Fashion gems include Russian brand Delada, which draws on the Soviet era with a modern twist. Australian brand Song for the Mute, meanwhile, offers a cosy take on casual sportswear with soft velvet hoodies in slate grey, and elegant loose pants in cotton blend or wool-linen combinations that look great with trainers. You really are in cutting-edge designer heaven with the likes of Thom Browne whose embroidered trench coats and striped down coat brighten up a rainy day, while Poiret, Ann Demeulemeester and Maison Margiela’s range of coats add a dash of colourful chic.
10 rue Boissy d'Anglas, 75008 Paris
Haute Hotspot: Sonia Rykiel
If you want to experience a French designer who happens to be the guru of the ‘pull en laine’ – the woollen sweater for the winter - then head to Rykiel’s flagship store. The designer’s Left Bank showroom on Boulevard Saint-Germain is a haven for fashion connoisseurs. Her latest seasonal designs include zippered leather dresses, military wool coats, over-long puff sleeve ribbed sweaters, long cashmere ruffled dresses in multi-coloured stripe patterns, and, of course, stunning, vivid emerald green cashmere jumpers.
175 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris
Haute Hotspot: Bon Marché Rive Gauche
Designed by architect Louis-Charles Boileau and engineer Gustave Eiffel in 1852, Le Bon Marché is a vast glass-and-stone mecca of refined style, housing everything you need from Chanel, Stella McCartney, Tom Ford, Etro and Louis Vuitton to Mary Katrantzou, Erdem, Sofie d’Hoore and Yves Salomon, to name but a few. This season, 32 Paradis Sprung Frères have a beautiful range of Alpine hooded coats that go from cropped with woollen necklines, to long, hooded, and even reversible. Stylish accessories to go into the winter with include Dior’s gorgeous series of Surrealist silk scarves, Maison Michel’s felt cap in slate grey, and Max Mara’s cashmere scarves.
24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France
For information on benefits available to Quintessentially members in these cities and access to leading fashion stores, contact your Lifestyle Manager. For a styling consultation or personal shopping experience, contact Quintessentially's style specialists in the US: Jackie.Brander@quintessentially.com
or in the UK and the rest of Europe: firstname.lastname@example.org