In this guide we’ve listed fourteen unique shopping destinations from around the world, offering just about everything you could possibly want to buy and covering all budgets.
The world’s attention turns to the UK next week for the biannual London Fashion Week – one of four major fashion events in capitals around the world, following hotly on the heels of New York and preceding Paris and Milan. But, why not look beyond the ‘Big Four’ and discover some of the world’s lesser-known shopping destinations worth travelling for?
Vintage District – Kyushu, Japan
A city bursting with life and charisma, Fukuoka City is a must-hit spot for any fashion-savvy visitors. The Daimyo shopping district offers a wide variety of styles, with outlets including Pearl and Nobo featuring unique 19th Century European couture. Stores such as Kimagureya and YT clothing showcase pieces ranging from retro looks of the 60s to grunge fashion of the 90s – with most items costing less than a tenner. For more information visit welcomekyushu.com.
Arden Fair – Sacramento, California
Arden Fair is Sacramento’s premier shopping destination with over 165 speciality stores, such as Apple, Godiva, lululemon, Michael Kors and True Religion. Showcasing the city’s vibrant arts scene, visitors should keep their eyes peeled for immersive installations present throughout the mall, courtesy of UnchARTed – Arden Fair’s local community initiative featuring takeovers by local artists. For more information head to visitsacramento.com.
Portland Flea + Food – Portland, Oregon
On the last Sunday of every month, some of the best designers, crafters and collectors come together to showcase and sell their goods at the Portland Flea + Food market. Find one-of-a-kind vintage goods, beautifully hand-painted pottery and carefully collected antiques, created or sourced by the people of Portland. If all that shopping makes you work up an appetite, the city is known for its incredible food trucks, which all flock to the market to entice wandering shoppers with their delicacies. For more information visit travelportland.com.
Tahiti Fashion Week – The Islands of Tahiti
One of the world’s most far-flung fashion weeks, Tahiti Fashion Week takes place 10-12 June, paying homage to the rich cultural traditions of Polynesia. The islands draw inspiration from their surroundings, with pearl corsets, leaf dresses and coconut accessories the norm. Be sure to pick up a sarong (pareo) in the popular Pape’ete Market – visited by half a million people a year. For more information visit tahititourisme.uk/en-gb.
La Arcada – Santa Barbara, California
La Arcada in Santa Barbara offers shopping and dining in a historic art-lined square dating back to 1926. Featuring Spanish Colonial Revival-style architecture and an array of independent boutiques and galleries, this unique shopping destination is tucked away in downtown Santa Barbara. Tile-lined walkways, fountains, sidewalk cafés and beautiful sculptures decorate the colourful surroundings. For more information visit santabarbaraca.com.
Tokushima Prefecture – Japan
The Japanese production of indigo dates back to the 6th or 7th century and is memorialised in Tokushima. During the Edo era, the Shogun imposed laws that outlined the quality, type of fabric and colours that people could wear depending on their class and status. Indigo was one of the few bright colours that common people were allowed to wear, and it became very popular. Today, with the aim of preserving the age-old skill, visitors can purchase products made using this traditional handcrafted method, or even learn about the process of creating indigo dye by practice, by dyeing scarfs, handkerchiefs or washcloths. For more information visit setouchitrip.com.
Naples, Florida – Florida’s Paradise Coast
A luxe-lifestyle haven with sugar-sand beaches, Naples natives have a taste for the finer things in life and shopping is one of the city’s most enticing draws. From rustic boutiques to chic shops, Naples has something for every taste and style. With high-end labels including Gucci, Hermès and Louis Vuitton sitting alongside locally-owned beach-chic boutiques, very few small cities offer such a diverse variety of shops. For more information visit paradisecoast.com.