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Best shopping city in the world

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
After travelling so much, I'm wondering what everyones favorite/best city for shopping is. Make you selection based on variety of stores, availibility of merchandise, prices, overall feel of the shopping district, service, size of stores, specialized areas (Naples for suits, etc...), and quality of products. I chose New York, with London as a close second. Nothing beats the experience of walking down Madison and 5th avenues and having the wide variety of brand names so close to each other. You really can't beat the size and number of great department stores there either; Barney's, Sak's, Bergdorf Goodman, and Bloomingdales. The customer service is always exquisite and the stock is always current. Contrast the high brow, upper east side experience with the edgy downtown feel of SoHo. There you will find the worlds best designer boutiques on narrow cobblestone streets, in small shops beautifully decorated. Look for the shops of lesser know and hard to find designers. Also in New York, one of the best discount designer stores in the world; Century 21. While most of the stock there is unwearable junk, you will find a few gems that will be the deal of a lifetime. Almost everytime I go, I'll find at least one item at an unbelievable low price. This place is HUGE. The one thing I can't stand about NYC is the lack of european trends/fashions. I'm very skinny, so most of the clothes cut for americans dosn't fit me that well. In Europe I'll have no problem finding a proper fitting suit or shirt.
post #2 of 17
I have never once thought of Florence as a shopping city. Nor have I ever seen a list of top shopping cities that omitted Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, like New York, there's really only one trade: money. Once you have that, you can buy anything. And I do mean anything.
post #3 of 17
I agree with Hong Kong. Perhaps even more so, Singapore should be on this list. More upscale shopping there than in most of the cities listed.
post #4 of 17
Shanghai I think should also be listed. They have the shopping malls of which are full of high end stores. For example one such locale is Plaza 66 of is 6 stories of impotred boutiques. Included are Loewe, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Tod's, et al. The city even has a Stefano Ricci And again money can buy anything in this city too. Hence it's nickname of "Whore of the East."
post #5 of 17
I would say London is probably the greatest shopping city I have visited, by a fair margin over New York (although the only Asian city I have been to is Hong Kong, and I didn't get to do much shopping there). For one thing, I think the department stores are better in London - Selfridge's is probably my favorite store in the world, and Harvey Nichols isn't close behind.  Even Harrod's, to me, has a better selection than most NY department stores, despite the tacky atmosphere.   Of course, London also has areas world-renowned for suits (Saville Row) and shirts (Jermyn Street), as well as several great shoe-makers, and New York really can't compete in these areas.    There's also lots of great lesser-known, innovative designers if you know where to look. The only disadvantages of London vis-a-vis NY are that prices may be slightly higher in London (although a lot of the stuff I wear is actually cheaper in London, i.e. Paul Smith) and London doesn't really have any big discount stores like Century 21 (at least that I know of).   I don't know why LA is on the list at all - to me, Chicago and maybe even Dallas are better shopping cities in the US. I guess LA does have a lot of cool small, off-beat designer boutiques if that's what you're into. I would agree that Florence is not really a "shopping city" - Rome is much better for shopping, although not as good as Milan.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
I don't know why LA is on the list at all - to me, Chicago and maybe even Dallas are better shopping cities in the US. I guess LA does have a lot of cool small, off-beat designer boutiques if that's what you're into.
Having lived in L.A. for nearly six years, I have to disagree with you here. However, as in all things L.A., you have to know where to look. Apart from the major retail areas at Rodeo Drive and Melrose, which alone should qualify L.A. for membership in the above list, there are lots of boutiques in the Silverlake district, Robertson drive, the South Coast Plaza, the Beverly Center, and lots of one off boutiques scattered about. Moreover, L.A. has a number of designers and brands with national and international exposure (albeit mostly in the world of women's fashion,) including Rick Owens, Seven Jeans, Juicy Couture, James Perse, and Frankie B. (yes, L.A. is a fairly casual place,) and a definite "look" that originated from and is associated with the city. I think that both these are important if a city is to place on the fashion/style map. I would definitely rate L.A. above Chicago and Dallas, Shanghai and Hong Kong. While these cities all have fine retail areas, they have no distinctive fashion/style identity. That being said, I would rate New York as the best shopping destination in the world, although I haven't visited all the cities on the list.
post #7 of 17
Well, since Rodeo Drive is the real centerpiece of LA upscale shopping, can't we just say Beverly Hills instead? I would agree that Rodeo Drive is well-renowned as a world-class shopping spot.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Well, since Rodeo Drive is the real centerpiece of LA upscale shopping, can't we just say Beverly Hills instead?
Melrose is not Beverly Hills, though, and is arguably a more popular shopping destination than is Rodeo Drive. I would say that the best store in L.A. is Maxfield, which, imo, is on the same level as Colette, Corso Como 10, and Jeffrey.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Melrose is not Beverly Hills, though, and is arguably a more popular shopping destination than is Rodeo Drive.  I would say that the best store in L.A. is Maxfield, which, imo, is on the same level as Colette, Corso Como 10, and Jeffrey.
Actually, to be hyper-technical, Melrose is located in West Hollywood, leaving the Beverly Center and little else in L.A. proper.  Because Beverly Hills and West Hollywood are adjacent to L.A. (and quite close to each other), I consider all of it to be part of the greater L.A. area. Although Maxfield may have the greater reputation, I am partial to Fred Segal.  Maxfield is just too gloomy for me.  I have already booked a flight to L.A. for the Fred Segal end-of-summer sale in September.  Yes, I am a sick, sick man . . .
post #10 of 17
I haven't been overseas, so can only comment on the US. I'd definitely put NYC first, particularly if you consider the entire metro area, then probably LA and Chicago, depending on your tastes. Then Dallas and San Francisco. Yes I know I live in SF so I'm not objective....
post #11 of 17
I voted for NY because it's upscale shopping is so accessible. My runner up would be Tokyo - the Japanese are power shoppers and the malls and department stores of Ginza have to be seen to be belived. B
post #12 of 17
hmmm, tough quesiton, london and milan are both great, paris a good option as well with new york for second switzerland (geneve and zurich) actually offer a very good selection on par with some of the big cities (smaller stores of course) with better prices than milan or london
post #13 of 17
You might have to narrow down a little to get a fair result: for example which is the best city for designer clothes, high-end clothing, etc..  For designer clothes, every city you mention, particularly NY, Tokyo, Paris, etc. offers something different.   For high-end shopping, well, it's another thing.  For example, where do you find Borrelli in Paris?  Or Berluti in New York?  Or Lattanzi in London?  Or Charvet in Hong Kong?  There is still a lot of room for big representations (people like Bizzochi) in the high-end world.  While US offers a wide variety (yes, and we are all very proud of that), I feel that there is a lack of representation of smaller makers/labels.  For example, how many leather goods makers can you find in New York? --- other than Hermes and Vuitton, who are fashion-driven, I mean real makers like Bojola or Cellerini or Valextra.  There maybe about 4 models of Valextra briefcases in Bergdorf Goodman, and I suspect that's all there is in US.  Or shoemakers like Freccia Bestetti or Ludwig Reiter?  On the other hand, I doubt if you can find Turnbull & Asser in Milano. Not considering availability, I feel most comfortable shopping back home in Hong Kong where there is no sales tax at all.  Actually, import tax is among to lowest too.  I have seen Kiton cashmere coat for ~US$500.00 (there is no need to do your usual mental calculation of sales tax addition), and that's not a overstock outlet, but actual department store (Lane Crawford) sale.  I picked up a Zegna Napoli sportcoat last week for mere 10% of regualr US price.  My girlfriend has a Jimmy Choo for less than US$100. I wouldn't consider Savile Row as a shopping district (unless you mean Richard James or Gieves & Hawkes), though I could spend days on Jermyn Street and Burlington Arcade.  Tokyo and Osaka boost the best shopping in Japan --- department stores like Takashimaya and Isetan are amazing, and both these cities are littered with little stores that carry equally amazing merchandize from StefanoBi shoes to Caruso suits.  I guess most of you know Italy (and Italian outlets...) well; as well as Ritzy shopping in Paris.  I personally like smaller stores in Europe, especially those maker/owner shops.
post #14 of 17
naturlaut, Can you elaborate more on the Italian outlets? I have not yet been to Italy (been close though -- Monaco). Where are these outlets located? What are they like? What kind of deals can one find? Thanks.
post #15 of 17
the milan area is scattered with outlets, i should compile a list, there is a corporate etro outlet in milan, a corporate valexra, frette sheets outlet, to name a few there the gucci corporate outlet complex, located at "the mall", outside of florence, which has gucci, bottega, ysl and whatever else is under the gucci umbrella (there was a recent expansion going on) plus armani, ferragamo and a zegna i think - and there is the prada corporate outlet about 20 minutes from "the mall" which is very hit and miss and you have to get there by 8 am to stand in line to get in at sometimes slim pickings there is a huge outlet centre outside of milan on the way to turin where the prices are so ridiculously low it's like they're giving the stuff away sometimes - i cannot recall what it's called but it sort of sits on a hill and has everything from gucci to prada (called "space" which carries all prada stuff from lang to miu miu) to etro, samsonite black label, piana, zegna and just about anything else italian there is also just inside the swiss border, north of milan, a designer outlet mall called foxtown (town of mendrisio 15 minutes from the major city of chiasso)  i've bought loro piana and etro shirts and sweaters for the equal of $30-$50 canadian - it also has everything from space, gucci, malo, etro, the gff company, hanro, diesel, dolce&gabbana ..... prices are really good an in swiss francs which tends to make things cheaper with exchange
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