Shoppers’ stop: Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai

Classic shopping destinations like Paris, Dubai, and New York are well known for housing the biggest brands in fashion and satisfying the appetite of millions of luxury goods-seeking tourists. However, if you’re looking for something more original than the classic monogram brown bag, you will surely enjoy Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai for their exciting and diverse shopping experiences.


The Futurist’s Fashion Capital

If you truly love fashion, then you definitely have to visit Tokyo. Fashion trends start in Tokyo and can always be seen a couple of years later on the largest fashion runways. Tokyoites are not afraid to take their style to the next level and show it off in the streets. You can find a diverse selection of stores that will offer everything imaginable to satisfy your style needs. If you are in your teens, Takeshita Dori Street is a must-see destination. It offers a variety of styles from Gothic Lolita to punk and can even border on being a little costumey. You will surely find something special to remind you of Tokyo forever. The hipster and contemporary fashion shoppers should head to Cat Street - a hub for local trendsetters. You will find unique vintage shops, small stores, and designer brands. Visit the Opening Ceremony store to find that bold piece on your wish list. Check W Closet for great basics with unique style at a reasonable price. Finally, head to Ginza district for a serious shopping experience. It is well known to be the lavish district in Tokyo, with its luxury brands and tall skyscrapers. But this district offers a lot more. For affordable classics, head over to Uniqlo Ginza, a 12-floor shop with a variety of quality clothing for women, men and children. A trip to Ginza won’t be complete without experiencing their departmental stores. Two of the most popular are Mitsukoshi and Matsuya. Head to the seventh floor in Mitsubishi Ginza to see traditional Japanese Kimonos and beautiful exhibitions. And you might spend your whole day inside and not even realise it.


The Mecca of Korean Fashion

K-Pop and Korean TV shows have influenced most Asian countries and have even reached as far as the US. This love for their culture has developed a strong interest in Korean fashion and cosmetics among young women. Seoul Fashion Week is on the rise and Korean brands are gaining more awareness internationally. Seoul is a discreet fashion hub that deserves more recognition. To start your shopping here, just head to Myeongdong district where you will find all the international brands like Zara, Uniqlo and H&M among others. You will also find the most popular Korean brands like Bean Pole, Codes Combine, Banilab, Buckaroo (for denim), Spao (for teens) and more. You can visit the most popular cosmetic brands like Tony Moly, Etude House and Nature Republic. The Lotte department store is a good option for duty free shopping. If you want to experiment with Korean fashion at the next level, head to Doota Mall in Dongdaemun. This mall with its 540 stores is open from 10.30 a.m. to 5 a.m. It houses a large selection of products from casual wear and office wear to accessories for men and women. So if you wake up in the middle of the night with a shopping craving, this place has you covered. Price wise it tends to be on the lower side, so feel free to indulge. Finally for cutting edge fashion direction, visit Garosugil. This area is the shopping spot of many Korean models and actors. You can find great international and local brands like 8 Seconds, Theory, Kate Spade, Spicy Color as well as boutiques like Around the Corner, A-land and 9 Owls.


The Melting Pot Fashion Stop

Shanghai is one of the most exciting cities in China. It’s very cosmopolitan and attracts foreigners from all parts of the world. It is an emerging fashion capital with creative independent designers eager to showcase their talents. From luxury to high street, all the biggest brands can be found. Some luxury brands love to spoil their Chinese customers by creating limited collections. You might want to check Plaza 66 in Nanjing Road or IFC Pudong to get your luxury shopping fix (you will find Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Dior…). If you’re looking for unique designs, do visit the little boutiques in the French Concession. It is actually the creative hub of Shanghai where emerging designers and entrepreneurs let their creativity shine. If you want to know what talented young Chinese designers are about, go to Dong Liang Studio (184 Fumin Road). This beautiful three floor boutique offers select and quality designs from home-grown designers. Across the road you will find the funky boutique Madame Mao’s Dowry, which is a Shanghai staple for local souvenirs and has retro prints, propaganda posters and other original products. Then head to Triple Major on Shaoxing Lu, a concept store that is home to 20 different indie brands from around the world. Vintage lovers should visit Catie Lo boutique on Wukang road. In Jing’an Temple subway station check out Inshop. It’s an underground mall where local brands like Helen Lee, Where What Who, May J and Content find space. Men will find the perfect pair of shoes in Maison Charles Philip (101 Gaoan Road). Charles Philip is the perfect example of a foreigner succeeding in the city. He created his footwear brand in Shanghai, which is now distributed all around the world.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 8:39:27 AM |

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