10 Destination Stores We’re Dying To Shop

Photo: Courtesy of Toga.
We know it sounds crazy, but some of us practically plan our vacations around shopping. We map out our tour routes based on which flagships we can pop into before seeing the (more historical) sights. We carve out whole days to wander from storied boutique to storied boutique (in our favorite flats, of course). We arrange our suitcases prior to departure knowing we'll need that extra space to accommodate new purchases. There’s something really special about stepping into our favorite brand's destination-only brick-and-mortar store — to not only better understand the mission of the label, but also to score the goods our friends back home definitely won't have.
From coast to coast and around the globe, ahead are our favorite must-see-to-believe retail experiences from the designers who truly epitomize their cities' unique style. So, take our lead and set aside at least one precious afternoon on your next vacation to make the pilgrimage to these limited-location posts. Whether your travel plan includes a quick jaunt to Los Angeles or a week-long excursion to Tokyo, it will be well worth the airline miles — and the extra baggage fees.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rachel Comey.
New York: Rachel Comey
Always one to veer slightly left of center, cult designer Rachel Comey opened her first shop on Crosby, a relatively quiet cobblestone street straddling the shopping areas of Soho and Noho in downtown New York City. Much like the designer’s clothing, which infuses unexpected yet wearable cuts with humor and humanness, the Manhattan boutique’s architecture mixes the signs of modern minimalism — concrete floors and white stone detailing — with Comey’s signature warmth and personality. How? With playful shag carpeting and salvaged elements from an antique barn. The resulting space, which houses the label’s full collection as well as special, boutique-only colorways of standout silhouettes, captures Comey’s distinct formula for cool-girl ease.

Rachel Comey, 95 Crosby Street (between Prince and Spring streets); New York, NY; 212-334-0455.
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Photo: Courtesy of Azzedine Alaïa/Ilvio Gallo
France: Azzedine Alaïa
For fashion history buffs, visiting revered designer Azzedine Alaïa’s shops in Paris is practically a religious experience. The original, by-appointment-only store on Rue de Moussy also houses the designer’s atelier and residence. It has operated on the Right Bank since 1990 and its red doors have welcomed supermodels, pop stars, and first ladies alike for private fittings. (Naomi Campbell, Tina Turner, and Michelle Obama are all famous fans.) And, just this year (in a bold and public move for the notoriously insider-y label) Azzedine Alaïa opened a futuristic-looking, three-story flagship in the “Golden Triangle” shopping district, off of Avenue Montaigne. While the Marais shop will eventually be converted into a foundation dedicated to the designer, the original location is still one of the city’s best-kept shopping secrets. And, the label’s under-the-radar stock store is located in the same building, around the corner.

Azzedine Alaïa, 5 Rue de Marignan, 75008, Paris, France; +33-1-7672-9111.

7 Rue de Moussy, 70004, Paris, France; +33-0-1-4272-1919.

Stock Store, 18 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004, Paris, France; +33-0-1-4272-1919.
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Photo: Courtesy of Roksanda Ilincic.
United Kingdom: Roksanda Ilincic
Located on Mayfair's prestigious Mount Street amongst London’s biggest fashion flagships (including Lanvin, Balenciaga, and Christian Louboutin), Roksanda Ilincic’s first store is fully deserving of its location. It's near not only the world’s major design houses but also some of the best art galleries in the city. Conceived with acclaimed architect David Adjaye, the Serbian designer’s shop is like stepping into a mod funhouse, complete with a houndstooth marble floor, pink carpeted staircases, and dizzying mirrored walls. The flagship fully illustrates Ilincic’s graphic tendencies and bold stance in British fashion.

Roksanda Ilincic, 9 Mount Street W1K 3NG, London, United Kingdom; +44-0-20-7613-0499.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Row.
Los Angeles: The Row
The Row could very well have opened its first location in New York City; it would have been comfortably positioned amidst fellow CFDA winners like Proenza Schouler and Alexander Wang. Instead, Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen decided to return to their hometown of Los Angeles to showcase their high-end label’s distinctly West Coast appeal. The mid-century-modern-inspired boutique clearly says: Shopping at The Row is not just about purchasing incredibly well-made and considered clothing. It's also about subscribing to a lifestyle that’s elegant, educated, and truly based on the Olsen’s immaculate personal taste. Beyond the full ready-to-wear collection, accessory offerings from Sidney Garber, and Manolo Blahnik shoes on display, there's also hand-picked fine art, furniture, and vintage objects for purchase in the boutique — making stepping into the designers' stylish shoes that much more attainable.

The Row, 8440 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, CA; 310-853-1900.
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Photo: Courtesy of Deflina Delettrez.
Italy: Delfina Delettrez
While Delfina Delettrez’s first flagship may be in one of the most trafficked areas of Rome — Centro Storico, home to Piazza Navona and the Pantheon — the jewelry designer’s store is truly one of the city’s best-kept secrets. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shop on the winding Via del Governo Vecchio is outfitted with antique furniture (taken from an old pharmacy) and decorated with esoteric ephemera that was personally collected by the Fendi heir herself. This mix of history, quirk, and a hint of magic perfectly captures the madcap spirit of Delettrez’s surrealist gems.

Delfina Delettrez, Via del Governo Vecchio, 67, Rome, Italy; +39-0-668-13-4105.
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Photo: Courtesy of Samuji.
Finland: Samuji
Scandinavian simplicity is the name of the game at Samuji’s two Helsinki flagships. The label’s sister shops, which are walking distance from one another in the heart of the Finnish capital, are as minimalist as the line's understated wares. Marble and leather detailing helps set the stage for the beautiful craftsmanship of the main collection — plus limited-edition accessories, unique-to-the-shop prints, and Cire Trudon perfumes.

Samuji, Pohjoisesplanadi 37, 00100, Helsinki, Finland; +358-40-140-3280.

Erottajankatu 9, 00130, Helsinki, Finland; +358-40-350-7976.
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Photo: Courtesy of Toga.
Japan: Toga
Brainchild of designer Yasuko Furuta, Japanese label Toga has operated its flagship out of Harajuku since 2003. While the line also has stores in Osaka and Kanazawa, the Tokyo location is the brand’s number one. Its wares are many: the Toga Archive label in its entirety; the Toga Picta collection of handmade, one-of-a-kind items; and the Toga Odds & Ends line of reconstructed garments. In a neighboring garage, the cult favorite also runs its XTC store, a satellite vintage shop that offers secondhand wares meant to be paired with the house’s current collection.

Toga, 6-31-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan; +81-0-3-6419-8136.
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Photo: Courtesy of Rodebjer.
Sweden: Rodebjer
Designer Carin Rodebjer started her eponymous label on New York City’s Lower East Side in 1999, and while the line is only now gaining fame stateside, it’s incredibly popular in her native Sweden. The now-New York-based designer has hinted that she may be looking for her first Manhattan retail space soon. But, until that location opens its doors, Rodebjer’s two Stockholm shops make the line’s home base, capturing its signature mix of offbeat cool and iconic Swedish minimalism.

Rodebjer, Regeringsgatan 50, Stockholm, Sweden; +46-8-206-614.

Jakobsbergsgatan 6, Stockholm, Sweden; +46-8-410-460-95.
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Photo: Courtesy of Karen Walker.
New Zealand: Karen Walker
Kiwis seem to have all the luck when it comes to easily scoring Karen Walker’s goods. The designer operates four stores in Auckland alone, as well as an outpost in Wellington and pop-ups in popular department stores Ballantyne and Smith & Caughey. And, even though it’s the oldest of the shops (having opened in 1993), the Newmarket location is still the address that most fully showcases the label’s world. It houses Walker’s Playland boutique and sells not only the label’s full line (ready-to-wear, fine jewelry, signature sunglasses, and accessories), but also the designer's personal favorite brands (including Saint James, Happy Socks, Joseph, and Benah).

Karen Walker, 6 Balm Street, Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand; +64-9-522-4286.

18 Te Ara Tahuhu Walking Street, Britomart, Auckland, New Zealand; +64-9-309-6299.

128A Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand; +64-9-361-6723.

10 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand; +64-9-489-6687.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wunderkind.
Germany: Wunderkind
Wolfgang Joop, one of Germany’s most famous fashion designers — who notably launched his namesake line Joop! in the 1980s — returned to the spotlight in 2003 with his label Wunderkind. The fashion house operates shops out of Munich, Potsdam, and Sylt, and plans to expand to Hamburg and Dubai in the coming year. But, the just-opened Berlin flagship is the label’s clearest brand manifesto in brick-and-mortar to date. Located in the fashion-conscious Ku'damm neighborhood, the boutique features handmade furniture by Lebanese design studio Bokja and sells Joop’s couture collection as well as his signature, madcap, ready-to-wear pieces in the slick, two-story space.

Wunderkind, Kurfürstendamm 46, 10707, Berlin, Germany; +49-0-30-280-418-17.
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