The best places to shop in Los Angeles, London and Paris
This week, Buro 24/7 Middle East makes your life a little easier and provides you with the 'It' list of the newest, hippest and most unique boutiques around three of the world's famed fashion hubs — Los Angeles, London and Paris.
Ever wondered where those Hollywood starlets get their style fix? Ever wondered why everyone in Tinseltown looks like those perfect style street pictures scattered all through Tumblr and Pinterest? Shopping in L.A is not a tedious dull activity; it's where you get those hard-to-find pieces from all over the world.
Prepare to converse with the celebs and covet the season's hottest sought after pieces, while mentally living out a true fashion fantasy. You can't miss this iconic boutique, its angular concrete exterior is a work of art alone, while inside lies a perfect mixture of couture, casual wear, and some furniture. Take your time browsing the Rick Owens leather jackets and Chanel floor length dresses for you may just bump into Kanye West or Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.
The owner, Tommy Perse, father of James Perse (famed for those expensive T-shirts), is legendary for being the first Los Angeles retailer to embrace the colour black, and those cutting-edge and futuristic looks from Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons. At Maxfield not only are you presented with the season's straight from the runway looks, but also you find vintage luxury goods, collected via Perse's personal connections with some of Europe's oldest and richest families.
Just One Eye
Paula Russo a Tunisian-born, French-bred, Los Angeles-based retailer, who coincidentally made her name as a fashion director for Maxfield, has appointed herself as the visionary force and owner of Just One Eye. This boutique, showroom, and gallery, housed in Howard Hughes's former headquarters in Hollywood, is recognised for the art covering its walls, like Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami.
Famed for forming astonishing partnerships between designers and artists to conspire, contort and re-imagine the idea of high art and fashion to live on through their collaborations. Like last year's collaboration between Damien Hirst and The Row on their 12, limited edition crocodile 'multicolored pills' backpacks. This one-of-a-kind concept store also stocks Bouchra Jarrar, Nicolas Ghesquière's former right hand, Gaultier alum Alexandre Vauthier, Proenza Schouler, and some hard to find, coveted antique Carlo Bugatti pieces.
"Where's my white collarless shirt from Fred Segal... It's my most capable looking outfit!" with this quote from the movie Clueless, Cher Horowitz cemented Fred Segal as 'a classic'. The first Fred Segal lies on Melrose Place and has been a hotspot since its opening in 1965. The Santa Monica destination opened later, twenty years later to be exact, in 1985. Originally a 400-square-foot outpost for Segal's own brand of high-end denim, the boutique evolved into a compound of individually owned stores each offering their own unique selection of clothing under the Fred Segal umbrella.
From the hard-to-find beauty items and fragrances at Apothia to the trendy sportswear at Ron Herman, this store has it all. The two stores have always been known as being the hangout spot for fresh-faced Hollywood starlets. They love spending hours a day browsing aimlessly, then grabbing lunch at Mauro's Cafe for 'over-sized' plates of salads while watching the stream of other celebrity shoppers get out of their tinted SUVs.
Jewellery and fashion designer, celebrity stylist and owner, Nevena Borissova, opened the original Curve boutique on Robertson Boulevard – one of the city's first high-end retail destinations – back in 1997. Obsessed with discovering and promoting new talent, Borissova launched the careers of numerous designers. By carefully hand selecting pieces from each collection as well as carrying her own, sold exclusively at Curve, the owner creates her own version of a dream closet as a boutique. It's no wonder that celebrities like Rihanna and Kanye West love Curve.
Managed by former Maxfield employees Rodney Burns and David Malvaney, Church is housed inside a 5,000‐square‐foot former upholstery shop built in 1946. To ready the avant-garde garage‐like space, a second floor was completely removed to reveal soaring, sky light ceilings and exposed wood beams. Couture like pieces from cutting edge designers hang from old pipes, rope and splintered wood. Church also offers exclusive accessories, jewellery, art and much more; it sells history!
Owner/stylist Jeannie Lee's 3rd store is considered as an inspiration hub for young designers-to-be. She stocks youthful sophisticated threads like Rag & Bone, Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno and Ksubi. This Venice boutique occupies a small bungalow with a bright and airy back sitting room. Known for featuring the best selection from young European and American talents, maybe it's the stylist in her – so expect the unexpected from this breathtaking shop and the way Lee constantly keeps her inventory fresh with her simple yet edgy approach to fashion.
Roseark was founded in 2003 by Kathy and Rick Rose. Originally called 'Kaviar and Kind', named after Kathy's jewellery line, the original location was on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. In 2008, the current flagship location was opened at Crescent Heights Boulevard. Set in a 5,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor bungalow surrounded by tranquil gardens, the store delivers a unique blend of jewellery brands, the kind that chic girls need to play up their look. You'll find gorgeous bling candy from Kathy Rose, Clare Vivier, and Roseark's innovative delicate in-house brand.
London has emerged as a shopping mecca for fashion lovers from all over the world. The fashion-forward city is filled with treasures, hunts, and designers who are miles ahead of the fashion curve.
Dover Street market
Hands down DSM is the quirkiest concept store you'll ever visit. Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo's six-storey space combines the edgy energy of London's markets and Tokyo's 'kuwaii-ness'. Every six months 'tachiagri', which means "new beginnings", takes place, during which the store is closed for a few days and designers come in to reconfigure the space and introduce new merchandise. As well as all the Comme des Garçons lines, numerous designer brands are available; the Azzedine Alaia collection is London's largest. Don't miss an afternoon lounging at the Rose Bakery at the Top Floor.
Recognised as one of the world's most important fashion destinations, Joan Burstein founded Browns with her late husband, Sidney, in 1970. Initially a small boutique housed on the ground floor at 27 South Molton Street, Browns grew rapidly expanding through five connecting Georgian townhouses. Offering everything from Dior to a Rodarte, Browns has always been a destination for the best 'it' pieces, from some of the world's most famous names to new emerging designers.
Famously credited with discovering talents such as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Christopher Kane, Browns has continued to support fashion designers over the last 43 years.
With pretty much every major British designer in stock, Matches Fashion's Marylebone store is the perfect spot to seek instant gratification after a long stroll in the city. Also in store: exclusive collaborations with the likes of Preen, Erdem, and Gianvito Rossi... Established in 1987 by Tom and Ruth Chapman, Matches Fashion prides itself as a modern luxury shopping destination for both men and women with 11 beautiful stores scattered amongst the stylish London neighbourhoods.
The Shop at Bluebird
In an art deco garage on the King's Road you'll find this chic one of a kind boutique. Owners John and Belle Robinson, the masterminds behind Jigsaw, may cite European concept stores such as Colette as inspiration. However you'll soon figure out that this doesn't resemble any other place. On display is a vast selection of designer clothing, shoes, accessories, books, music, and furniture. You'll find the heavyweight designers side by side with lesser-known labels, such as the rock-inspired Rika and Isabel Marant.
The shop also houses a spa offering a chance to unwind with a variety of treatments that stocks hard-to-find skincare brands, like New York's Bigelow, Ole Henriksen, DCL and Kaeline. Take afternoon tea or Sunday brunch, with a side order of people watching, at the Bluebird Café.
Wolf & Badger
In the center of Mayfair on Dover Street featuring some of the best designers of recent years including Jena Theo, Maria Black, Ekaterina Kukhareva, Serge DeNimes and Pyrrha. Alongside other hand picked luxury brands and a carefully curated selection of independent designer pieces from the innovative Wolf & Badger 'Lab' boutique in Notting Hill. The Gallery downstairs is a unique events space which houses music, food, and fashion and art installations.
This boutique was a crumbling old Lipton general store that got a facelift to unveil a stylish little wonderland. It's definitely a destination shop for both vintage and contemporary clothing, and takes pride of its place in the address books of many stylists, fashion designers and celebrities. Owner Sophie Merchant's selective eye manifests in the well-edited selection of beautiful one-off antique pieces, including vintage pieces from Lanvin, jumpsuits from the 1920s, and antique Victorian velvet jackets.
Cire Trudon, the oldest candle maker in the world — founded in 1643, opened its first independent boutique outside of France in London. The store's look is not an exact copy of the original Paris rue de Seine store, however the wall colors and coverings, including 'Directoire' shades of paintwork, antique French wallpapers and mirrors have been chosen to reflect the company's history.
New additions to the London candle collection, previously only available in Paris, include their historic taper candles 'Les Trudonnes', aptly named by one of their more famous former-clients Marie Antoinette; as well as dinner candles in every shade under the sun to suit any occasion.
Paris is always a good idea. If only for a couple of days, the city of lights will certainly make an impression on you. It will give you that a sense of French joie du vivre, not to mention it is and will always be a shopping heaven.
Founded in 1997 by Colette Roussaux and her daughter Sarah Andelman, Colette is the embodiment of Parisian cool; it is the concept store that changed the game years ago. It stocks modern hip labels from the likes of Gareth Pugh, Comme des Garçons and Lanvin; Colette also houses a bookshop, the infamous water bar, serving more than 100 types of water, and regularly hosts music shows, and art exhibitions. This store is definitely where you find everything, from toys to magazines, from furniture to jewellery and luxury apparel.
This boutique was established in 1988 by Maria Luisa and her husband Daniel Poumaillou. From the very beginning, it was a firecracker in the heart of the conservative Faubourg Saint Honoré luxurious neighbourhood. Maria Luisa offers an array of designers such as John Galliano, Viviane Westwood and Alexander McQueen, Olivier Theyskens, Rick Owens, Nicolas Ghesquière, and Christopher Kane... Maria Luisa has always been a trooper for young talents. Her choices reveal knowledge of real talents. A couple of years ago, they ditched the St. Honoré space to make a home in the legendary Printemps Haussmann Department store.
L'Eclaireur just celebrated its 30th birthday, for it is the first concept store to open in Paris. In 1980, Armand Hadida opened his first boutique in the basement of a gallery on the Champs Elysées. As its name reveals, L'Eclaireur is always ahead, pointing to the new fads, while gaining vision of what's next in the world of fashion, art and design.
The Rue de Sévigné boutique, opened in October 2009 by the futuristic vision of Arne Quinze, with more than 120 screens and sliding panels to showcase the clothes... "This is not just a shop, it's an experience. The project grew as a dream fed by emotions, history and memories. It is a fantasy in which I hope everyone will find a story for themselves." Arne Quinze about L'Eclaireur Rue de Sévigné. L'Eclaireur will always be known for being the first to introduce labels like Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester to the city, and focusing on new fashion forward labels...
Since 2005, Montaigne Market has been the Fashion hub on Avenue Montaigne in Paris. This shop which has been conceived by architect Joannes Zingerlé, is easy on the eyes due to its pale tones of greys, stunning blends of international labels, accessories and jewels selected by its founder Liliane Jossua, who's known for her eclectic taste. It was the first multibrand shop on the iconic Avenue to offer an innovative selection of young designers like Prabal Gurung, Hi Panda, Mastermind, Charles Anastase, Shamballa, and Alexander Wang. It's organic chicness and glamour is apparent from the moment you step in, it is where femininity and elegance are bred.
Merci was created in March 2009, in the heart of the historic Haut-Marais district. The founders, Bernard and Marie-France Cohen, realized that Paris lacked a place that mélange the fashion, design, and food. The historic building, which was a wallpaper factory for 150 years, has been transformed into a paved courtyard with 3 floors glass roof.
The architect Valérie Mazérat has brought new life to this old crumbling space, and even brought meaning to shopping. Merci's aim is to bring together, under one roof, customers who traditionally may not get the chance to rub shoulders with one another, browsing vintage furniture along with contemporary creations; emerging new fashion brands and household names; from affordable to ridiculous pricy pieces. Over 15 exhibitions a year, and three cafes to choose from, have transformed the place into a destination.
Since opening in September 2010, Valérie Hajage's jewellery concept store has become one of the most coveted addresses in the Marais. Now, the gem queen is set to add her own collection of vintage rings and chains. Jewellery is literally dripping everywhere in this little boutique, hanging from the walls and laid out on display racks, even donned on the fingers of the sales lady.
A former Céline employee, Hajage has created a veritable treasure chest, becoming one of the first Paris boutiques to stock designers such as Pamela Love, Jacquie Aiche and Bare Bones. Valérie lavishly showcases the shimmering items in her store, alongside her own Hod Vintage range; pendants, bracelets and rings collected during her travels across India and Mexico.