A jetset lifestyle that takes us from London to Hong Kong or Milan to Paris can make us expert reductionists. With so many places to go and people to see, time for gift shopping can be understandably low, so we run the risk of coming home empty handed or settling for unoriginal duty-free solutions.
So we’ve devised a list of the top retail destinations around the globe that have the best their cities have to offer in the way of fashion, gift ideas and stylish souvenirs, all under one fabulous roof.
First stop, LONDON
Regent Street, main entrance located on Great Marlborough Street
Tel. +44 (0)20 7734 1234
An iconic location on Regent Street stocking the best British brands like Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, Paul Smith and John Smedley – Liberty is a champion amongst department stores. Outfitted with a café and spa, Liberty boasts collections that cover menswear, womenswear, accessories, beauty, home and stationery along with a dedicated gifts department and a to-die-for vintage boutique packed with inimitable brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès.
Find the perfect stocking stuffer here and order a special edition Liberty print piece exclusive to the store, pick up necklaces designed by Stella McCartney and actress Helena Bonham Carter, peruse the Assouline Literary Lounge for the perfect new book for your coffee table collection, or find that perfect something sweet in their chocolate shop.
Shopping in London's East End
Le Bon Marché
24 rue de Sevres
Tel.+33(0)14 4398 000
Located in the heart of Paris’ shopping district, Le Bon Marché’s ornate structure dates back to 1852, conceived by the architect behind the Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel himself. Hire one of their personal stylists to guide you through the various fashion, lingerie and cosmetics departments. If you’re planning to tie the knot, stop into their dedicated wedding boutique and bring home some tantalizing luggage-friendly morsels from their gourmet food market La Grande Epicerie.
Shopping highlights in Paris
Galleria Del Corso, 4
Tel. +39 02 7630 7301
A former movie theatre, Excelsior is the hot new kid on the block with a futuristic interior and exterior designed by revered French architect Jean Nouvel. Whether you’re in search of fashion, accessories or Italian eats, you’ll find it all within this luxury goods emporium.Shop exclusive brands like Manolo Blhanik, Haider Ackerman and Maison Martin Margiela, be the only one among your peers back home to own a special edition Borsalino hat designed solely for Excelsior, pick up some baubles at their very own Tiffany & Co. Boutique and grab some colourful macarons from their Ladurée Patisserie for a snack on your escalator ride.
Our favourite part to this venue is the basement level – a gourmet food market that carries premiere Italian eats with plenty of rare and intriguing gift ideas the foodie in your life would be more than glad to receive as a token of your visit to Milan.
Shopping Highlights in Milan
754 Fifth Avenue (near 58th street)
Tel. +001 212 753 7300
“Meet me at Bergdorf’s” a phrase you’ll often hear uttered from the lips of New York’s most glamorous residents. Oozing with uptown class, this insatiable eight-floor space resides in the epic Vanderbilt mansion.
Bergdorf Goodman has become more than just a place to shop, but the meeting place for Upper East Side socialites to spend an entire afternoon browsing through the latest designer collections from the likes of Michael Kors, Salvatore Ferragamo and Tory Burch. With four restaurants to choose from, a full spa, fur storage services, its own credit card and an army of personal shoppers ready to assist on your gift hunt – you’ll have the ultimate New Yorker experience in this Manhattan mecca.
AM1, AM2 & AM3
This wonderful world of innovative shopping is housed in not one, but three concept boutiques that are cleverly grouped within a courtyard in Berlin’s Mitte neighbourhood. Helmed by Andreas Murkudis, the brother of famous German fashion designer Kostas Murkudis (whose clothing is also sold here) – Murkudis is known for bringing hot new avant-garde brands to the city.
High fashion brands (both international and local) join other abundant product offerings in the beauty, fragrance, jewellery, leather, porcelain, music and home décor categories. Definitely a must shopping experience while in Berlin.
Berlin City Guide
Mall of the Emirates, Fashion Dome
Tel.+ 971 4 395 1200
One of the Middle East’s favourite luxury boutiques, the aptly named Boutique 1 is the fashion addict’s no. 1 stop for the hottest brands to land in the Emirates.
The boutique houses over 200 luxury brands from emerging and established designers as well as an art gallery, a café, and a specialized bookshop featuring beautiful editions of coffee table art and fashion books. With a personal stylist, makeup artists and chauffeur at your service, why shop anywhere else?
Boutiques in the UAE
El Corte Inglés
79, Raimundo Fernández Villaverde Street
Tel. +34 914 546 000
A classic among Spaniards with the lofty claim of being Spain’s only department store chain as well as the largest in Europe.The Madrid flagship carries the most complete collection of high end designer brands like Armani, Gucci, Dior, Ermenegildo Zegna and Lacoste as well as watch and jewellery brands like Boucheron, Blancpain and Bulgari. With music, books, gourmet, sporting goods and electronics on offer – there’s really no need to shop anywhere else when pressed for time.
Cartier opens at El Corte Inglés
G/F New World Tower, Central
Tel. +852 2810 1120
A multibrand haven founded by one Mrs. Joyce Ma in 1971, the Joyce flagship inside Hong Kong’s New World Tower is a staggering 28,000 square feet in size. In this space, customers can enjoy an unparalleled shopping experience. Theatrical intimacy and understated grandeur characterise the expanded space, while Mrs. Ma’s handpicked antique furniture adds a personal touch to the interiors.
With over 200 fashion brands including Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten, Balenciaga, Hugo Boss, Alexander McQueen, Etro and Oscar de la Renta, you are surely spoilt for choice at Joyce.
Hong Kong Shopping highlights