Argentina (Buenos Aires, specifically)! - Page 4
Sorry to bump such an old thread, but I think it's the most complete thread on BA and is worth an update.
I've been coming to Bs Aires pretty much on a monthly basis since 2005, and have lived here for a while during these year (about 2 years). I now find myself back for a couple of months and have been digging deeper into the sartorial side of town. This is mostly due to the fact that the market for dollars makes it very cheap for travellers to spend money here. Official dollar is currently around AR$5 vs the "blue" price being around AR$8. Quite the difference there.
This dollar situation and other protectionist measures do not help importers; hence big international brands have mostly disappeared from Argentina during the last few years. As a matter of fact, the salesperson of Salvatore Ferragamo (at Patio Bullrich) mentioned they currently have their branded bags stuck in Customs… and apparently this has been going on for a while. Largely, these name-brands have gone to Sao Paulo and to a lesser degree to Santiago, Chile.
Ok now to the basics. There are at least 6 shopping malls in Capital (plus Unicenter in the province). None of these is really worth mentioning to be honest. Several local brands that carry standard jeans and t-shirt, some polo apparel (La Dolfina, nothing to write home about) and rugby (awful, ugly, Kevingstone). Some have mentioned in other threads brands like Felix (which can now be found everywhere) and it’s not really my cup of tea. The exception is Patio Bullrich. You can find Ermenegildo Zegna and Salvatore Ferragamo there… unfortunately fully priced.
Florida street (where Galerías Pacífico is located) is a well-known tourist trap. Stay away from there if at all possible. For the same quality of leather jackets (albeit, not very good) you can go to Murillo street. Same stores, but half the price. You can find something “good” if you comb the stores enough.
Another local brand worth mentioning is Etiqueta Negra. A bit too flamboyant in some regards, but the stores are eye candy. I wouldn’t know the quality of the suits, but have bought several other things over the years. Quality has been awful in some pieces and some incredibly good. My latest sin is a gorgeous leather jacket that exudes quality (very expensive for all standards though AR$6k… again a sin). Also mentioned elsewhere here is Balthazar (in Palermo). I bought a shirt there and some socks there, but it was a mess. Couldn’t find anything worth mentioning and there were some strange sizing. Clothing appeared to have been left there for too long (dusty even!).
Some people have mentioned Rossi & Carusso, Cardon and Casa Lopez for leather goods. Must say I found their shoes awful, but will give them another shot for accessories and perhaps a bespoke leather jacket (don’t know if they offer).
From a shoes perspective, thanks to SF, I found a Zapatos Correa (goodyear welt, handmade). Probably the best you can find in this side of the world. Bought a pair off the rack, incredible fit, and ordered two pairs. I shouldn’t add more than a link to the thread where I got the recommendation: http://www.styleforum.net/t/335140/santoni-double-monks
I’m still looking for a good place for bespoke leather and a solid tailor. I’ve heard good things about tailor Cheverny (will go and have a look on Monday, as I want to order a suit) and Gautto for shirts. I’ll update if I find anything worth mentioning.
Sorry for the late reply. I ended up having 2 suits made at Cheverny. They have a decent choice of wools, though most were Italian Super 120's. You must imagine that the situation in Argentina doesn't help imports these days. I ended up with a 2-button navy suit with double vent, and another 2 button, light gray, with a single vent.
They tend to prefer by default the more "classic" (read excesive cloth, loose fitting) style, which I'm guessing suits, ahem, their standard patron better... (think fat people in their 60s). It took some discussion to get them to do a a slimmer figure (not skinny in any case, but you know... single leg break, slimmer legs, etc). I was somewhat happy with the result. I do think it's in the limit of "looseness/excess fabric" particularly in the jacket. The most worrying problem is a small neck roll, which they never cleaned up though I requested it after my first (and only) fitting.
Their pricing is competitive, though not too much. Take advantage of the dollar market situation and pay in pesos. They won't do any discounts for cash though.