With e-tail and Instagram’s “swipe up to buy” option, the idea of shopping from anywhere other than under your duvet is becoming less appealing, but these brick-and-mortar stores across the world are giving you a reason to love shopping IRL again. Whether its their in-store art installations, philosophy of slow-shopping, unique concepts or decor so good you want to set up camp and live there, these concept stores are changing what it means to shop.
“I want to live here” is the most uttered phrase in this West Hollywood apartment-cum-store. The brainchild of stylist and Vogue France alumni Vanessa Train, The Apartment on Melrose Place is essentially a shoppable apartment complete with living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom, plus a very, very generous walk-in wardrobe. Instead of display cases or table arrangements you’ll find things exactly where you’d expect in a dream apartment come to life. Although the contextual space definitely errs on the minimalist side, alongside industrial lights and Scandi rugs you’ll find curiosities like Japanese-imported incense and mother-of-pearl lighters. As expected, the covetable space definitely caters to the 0.1% – but taking photos is free.
Rare Market has established itself as a major fashion address in Seoul, giving areas like Apgujeong-ro and Dosan-daero – home to mega-shops like Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton – a run for their money. Kwon Dami and Jeong Hye-jin, the duo behind the famed concept store, are predictably cool and impossibly chic – qualities that translates effortlessly into every facet of their store. From the vivacious decor (bright orange and gold) to their curated stock, which features smaller luxury brands like Jacquemus, Rosie Assoulin and an array of emerging young Korean designers, the store is a treasure trove of fashionable findand a go-to for moneyed millennials. While Rare Market has made it onto worldwide e-commerce, this store is worth a visit.
Bright and airy, although the hellish crowds of Oxford Street are still within earshot, The Alex Eagle Studio is the total antithesis. Billing itself as a “rejeuvenating 360 take on retail”, the light-filled space is home to an extensive array of stylish bits and bobs we didn’t know we needed and a host of statement objects that make us want to re-do our entire homes. Other than the atelier, the space on Lexington Street is also home to a large private event space and a wellness studio (shopping and a facial is an unfortunately rare combo). Whether you leave The Alex Eagle Studio with multiple heaving bags in tow or just with some inspiration to add to your Pinterest board, you’ll wince passing the big, heaving Topshop on your way home.
We wouldn’t expect anything less from Elvis Presley’s ex-home than this gloriously bizarre blend of Cali modernism with Hollywood regency. Although the King moved out a while ago, the property’s latest lodgers continue to do the place justice. One of the world’s foremost contemporary design galleries, The Future Perfect, made waves with the opening of their first Casa Perfect, a showroom which pried art from the white walls of galleries and placed it into a stunning WeHo home, allowing buyers to view it in-situ. Life and art blur in this LA home with its floor-to-ceiling windows looking onto a Hockneyeqsue pool and panoramic views of the city beyond. Beyond the walls is Trousdale Estates, a past star-studded enclave which attracted stars like Jane Fonda, Frank Sinatra and Groucho Marx – the cultural cachet of this place only grows more enticing the deeper you dig. While Casa Perfect has a wonderful New York iteration, it’s this sunny LA home-cum-gallery that will get you California dreamin’.
A “Made in Italy” clothing tag is covetable for a reason; from Prada to Armani, Milan has birthed some of the biggest and best fashion houses, and while 10 Corso Como, the concept store named after its address, is miniature by comparison, the same quality and standard is found in the products housed within its iconic walls. The sartorial baby of Carla Sozzani (whose sister runs Italian Vogue) is a glossy magazine come to life, its pages reflected in the curated edit across the floors. After you’ve browsed your dream wardrobe, made your way through the art gallery and revelled in your purchases in the enchanting ivy-laden courtyard, you’ll know the same discerning eye has pulled together all the different pieces in one eclectic but cohesive edit. The store’s philosophy of “slow shopping” has earned it a place in the hearts of fashion’s elite worldwide, with countless iterations in Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai and New York.
From South Beach to Soho, this iconic institution has made itself a name across state lines, but the flagship Miami store has won us over. The 20,000-square-foot shop in South Beach was opened in 2009 and provides much-needed reprieve from the endless tabs of online shopping. Everything is deliciously Miami, from The Webster’s flamingo logo to the store’s venue – an historic art-deco building designed by famed architect Henry Hohauser, finished with a lick of cotton-candy pink and blue. Despite its quintessential Miami energy, the store has an undeniable French touch courtesy of founder and Creative Director Laure Heriard Dubreuil. Throughout the space’s different rooms, all of which are host to a distinctly different vibe, you’ll find Gigi Burris Millinery woven hats, Lisa Marie Fernandez bikinis and HVN summer dresses among Givenchy flares and Fendi totes. Like any concept store worth its (extortionate) price tag, you’ll also find the best of beauty and books. With the 2019 launch of The Webster Home – a mix of modern and vintage pieces that do not lack in colour – it’s become a one-stop-shop for fashion’s glitterati.
Dover Street Market is possibly the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of concept stores, and with good reason – the multi-brand retailer opened in 2004 and has since reached astronomical levels of fame which have led to openings of DSM in Tokyo, New York, Singapore, Beijing, Los Angeles and a pop-up in Paris. Although the store has made a reputation for attracting achingly cool millennials in need of the latest Gosha Rubchinskiy collaboration, you’re just as likely to find a bright and ruffly Molly Goddard dress as you are a whole wall of on-trend sneakers. Vetements, Gucci and Dior sit alongside lesser-known emerging brands to provide that long touted mix of high-low (although be warned, at DVS this is more a case of extortionately high). The store closes twice a year for a three-day refit so every six months sees the store experience completely transformed, keeping shoppers on their toes, followers loyal and the store a mainstay on Instagram explore pages.