6 Retailers From Around the World that are Worth Basing a Holiday Around
The online revolution has well and truly run it's course in the retail sector these days, and it achieved a staggering victory. We now live in era of four-hour delivery and, like everything else that's internet-based, the kind of instant gratification that simply can't be achieved with a traditional trip to the shops. However, a select few retailers around the globe are restoring our faith in bricks and mortar – and changing the way we think about shopping in the process.
Gentle Monster, Shanghai
The high-end South Korean retailer launched in 2011 and is credited with bringing hype to the eyewear industry. Just look at the queues lined up outside, waiting for the latest sunglass drop. A favourite of the country’s enormously popular K-Pop stars, its stores – which began in South Korea, but have since expanded to Shanghai, New York, LA and Singapore – feel more like surreal art galleries than anything resembling a typical retail space. Yes, the eyewear is great, but by providing a retail experience that goes well beyond the ordinary, Gentle Monster has managed to stand out from the pack. And in the optical industry, that’s no small feat.
Hidden off an alleyway in London’s Shacklewell Lane, LN-CC is not so much a shop, as an experience. The concept store has become as well known for its totally quirky interior as it has for its curated product range of big-name and specialist designers. Divided into different themed rooms, the space features collections from everyone from Raf Simons and Prada to Saint Laurent and Gucci. It also has an impressive selection of hard-to-find music and coffee table books.
Dover Street Market, New York City
Named after its original location on London’s Dover Street, the New York outpost opened its doors in 2013. Developed by Comme Des Garçons’ founders Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe, the entire space was designed by Kawakubo, with the New York store divided into eight, differently themed floors. As well as their own label, DSM features Vetements, Alyx, Off-White, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Gucci and more, as well as an on-site cafe and homewares space.
Opening in 2003 in Vancouver, Livestock has since opened stores in Toronto and Winnipeg. Today, it’s the go-to place for specialty sneaker and streetwear drops, and often partners with the likes of Nike, Adidas and BAPE to create one-off pop-up stores. With its clean, almost gallery-like set-up, Livestock is known for it rolling release calendar of sneaker drops that include super-limited collaborations coveted by even the most hardcore sneakerheads. It’s a savvy strategy for taking fashion- hungry customers and turning them into devoted Livestock fans.
Established in 2011, Belief has a cool, rock-n- roll vibe and despite its location, focuses on mostly Japanese labels. Think Neighborhood, Wtaps and Visvim, as well as artwork by the likes of American graffiti artist Futura and KAWS. The store has also built a name for itself with exclusive collabs and collections – including Nike’s first Russia-specific capsule range that arrived here in June.
Andreas Murkudis, Berlin
The cavernous German concept store was founded in 2003, and has garnered a reputation for its range – everything from clothes and accessories, to grooming products and homewares – as well as its unique collaborations. In addition to working with specific brands, the store has presented new store-in-store concepts, such as the 10Soul designer platform earlier this year. The special installation highlighted South Korean brands, from a range of well-known and niche designers