When it comes to updating your wardrobe for the new season, the well-known shopping meccas of London, Paris and Milan are usually first on the hit list for a bit of retail therapy. And, sure, these cities have earned their reputations as fashion capitals for a reason, but there are plenty of other places to discover if you’re looking for big labels or something a little bit out of the ordinary.
We’ve rounded up the top destinations you need to check out for vintage finds, designer labels and retro gear, right here.
Situated north of Brussels, Antwerp is the gem of northern Europe. Here you’ll find independent boutiques, designer consignment stores and the labels that just might be the big-time designers of tomorrow.
Diamonds, chocolate and Rubens aside, the city’s also famous for the Antwerp Six, a group of Antwerp Royal Academy grads who paved the way for progressive fashion. With names like Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester putting the city on the map, it’s not hard to see why the fashion world has welcomed the Flanders capital into the fold.
Make your way to Nationalestraat for the cream of the crop – from designer sample sales to second-hand treasure troves. It’s probably worth giving your bank the heads-up before you go.
After a pit-stop in Seoul, and just before your streetwear hunt in Tokyo, Fukuoka – the often overlooked fashion capital of Kyushu – is well worth a look-in.
Canal City, Fukuoka’s so-called ‘city within a city’, should be top of the list for veteran shoppers, while those not up for elbowing their way to bargains can swerve the droves for the inner city, where you can enjoy a more relaxed shopping experience amongst the area’s market squares and anything-but-designer dives.
Big-name brands – like Gucci, Fendi and Prada – all have a presence in Fukuoka’s Tenjin area, but if your budget doesn’t quite stretch, you can fall back on some familiar high street brands like H&M and Zara to keep you ticking over while you stay on that grind.
Between the ultra-sharp New Yorkers and laid-back cool of the West Coast natives, it’s not hard to see why those in the know head to the New World to top up their wardrobes.
Surprisingly, though, it’s not 5th Avenue or the Sunset Strip that’s the got shoppers tapping their plastic now, but the Texas stronghold of Dallas, home of the monolithic mall. Whether you’re heading to the 200+ store Galleria or 4-hectare Highland Park Village, you’ll find high-fashion brands sitting side-by-side with discount stores, making it a cinch to find swag to match the size of your wallet.
Although Luxembourg may be front-of-mind for tax havens and diamond deals, the sovereign nation’s also good for a sartorial pick-me-up.
For those looking for a one-stop shopping mall, Luxembourg boasts an abundance of food courts and high street thoroughfares, interspersed with independent stores and niche market stalls.
But for those more accustomed to a boutique experience, the post-‘Braderie’ bonanza has begun. Although the largest shopping weekend for the continent’s quaintest nation is over, discounts continue throughout the transitional season.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Malaysian shopping mall is a must-visit when venturing south of the Equator. But looking past the luxury shopping havens within the city’s go-to boroughs, KL boasts a host of hip stores that’d give East London a serious run for its money.
Besides Bangsar’s window-shopper mecca I Love Snackfood (a mash-up of fashion, homeware and general curiosities), you’ll also find Pattern Store, which has a host of pop-brands and cult labels (think Supreme) perfect for the internationally-inclined hypebeast, as well as independent designers and local brands such as Deciders and Obliq.
Home to an ancient marketplace and a thriving vintage fashion scene, the easterly city of Norwich has much more to deliver than Alan Partridge punchlines.
Aside from the two shopping malls that serve to satiate the area’s hunger for high street fashion, the true gems of Norwich will be found when taking a wander down the city’s lanes, which have got Brighton’s beat hands-down.
Head to Pottergate’s St Gregory’s church for a rummage through some of the best vintage labels and retro fashion the city has to offer, but if you’re looking to spend a bit more on something luxe, Goldfinches Vintage should be top of your to-visit list.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Situated at the heart of the South American shopping map is Buenos Aires. Once you leave behind the tourist trinket stalls and venture deeper into the Porteño city, the Argentinian capital doesn’t disappoint if you’re looking to push luggage allowance to its limit on the return flight.
Perhaps most famous for its output of leather goods and traditional fabrics, the market stalls of Buenos Aires are a treasure trove of accessories, wardrobe staples and surprising finds. If scouring the stalls for a genuine leather tote isn’t your bag, re-route to Palermo, where instantly recognisable high street and high-end names are waiting.