When it comes to shopping, an in-store visit can sometimes be as much fun as the haul you take home. This is especially true when retail designers play with their interiors, blending fashion, design and even food into a multi-level experience that goes beyond browsing and handing over your credit card.
Step inside 13 shops that are worth visiting for their design alone.
One of the great things about Mint’s brick-and-mortar store is that it is constantly changing — you never know what to expect, and who doesn’t love surprises? The design shop has a constant influx of brilliantly-styled furniture and objects, including one-of-a-kind pieces by emerging artists and coveted lines from esteemed designers. A little bit experimental, a lot functional, Mint knows good interior design.
Cape Town is one of the world’s leading design cities and naturally, it’s home to an impressive roster of boutiques, including .
Situated in Woodstock, a walk through Crema feels like an afternoon of browsing an expertly-curated gallery. The industrialist space is the work of Cape Town-based , who renovated and redesigned the building to fit Crema’s needs and aesthetic. From the lighting fixtures to the handmade rugs, each and every piece of decor is special and an example of high-design (keep an eye out for work by , , and ).
A haven for collectable contemporary design, is housed inside a mid-century West Hollywood Hills home, originally designed by Korean-American architect David Hyun in 1957. The appointment-only showroom has four bedrooms and expansive outdoor space designed for visitors to freely explore and find inspiration. Inside, you’ll find avant-garde lighting, art, textiles, and furniture that you couldn’t fathom in even your wildest design dreams.
A design shop inspired by fashion, architecture, and modern living is a recipe for tasteful interiors. Consider the go-to for good design, boasting the work of both local and international designers. The stylish home furnishings are equally as inspiring as the space, a beacon of classic Scandinavian minimalism.
A staple in the Chicago design scene, is a local gem whose excellent assortment of furnishings and pronounced style is beloved across the country. If you have an affinity for quality antiques, contemporary statement pieces, or both — a stop by their West Town Design District location is a must. With a knack for styling decor, South Loop Loft even offers home styling consultations if you fall in love with their interiors (and we have no doubts you will!).
Whether you’re in the market for new clothes, beauty products, or home decor, is the perfect sunny, bohemian backdrop. Their West Hollywood location is set up just like an airy California home, spanning two adjoining spaces connected by a walkway of vibrant Moroccan tiles. Step inside and you’ll discover a carefully-crafted arrangement of furniture and artwork just waiting to come home with you — or at least inspire your latest design project!
This Manhattan takes inspiration from the idea of a print magazine, completely reinventing and redesigning the store every four to eight weeks. Each iteration represents a new cultural theme, be it the release of a new movie, or a brand, such as Pepsi. The design is often fun and interactive. Think: retro pinball machines you can actually use, or a vending machine that is activated through a simple tweet guests post to Twitter.
This Parisian changes its theme weekly, swapping out the entire design, which ranges from installations to wall art and custom mannequins. It's a favorite of both locals and tourists. The first floor has a wide selection of hard-to-find fashion, art, and design magazines, and the water bar on the lower level offers over 85 different varieties of bottled waters from around the world.
When the rising stars of the fashion world need a stop-you-in-your-tracks store interior, who do they turn to? , a 32-year-old decorator known for his embrace of marble, brass, and other luxe materials. Korban is blazing a trail across Manhattan's retail landscape: He has designed a stark black-and-white SoHo flagship for Alexander Wang, a spare but soulful showroom for Joseph Altuzarra, and, most recently, a shimmering gold-and-zebra-stripe outpost for cult shoe label . (His residential projects include Wang's loft in TriBeCa.)
Antwerp has a reputation for producing great designers (Margiela and Dries Van Noten, to name a few) so it's no surprise that the small city's concept store is stunning. The spacious location with its focus on minimalist design includes a restaurant, an apartment (which can be rented out), and a store that carries both fashion and design products. Cobblestone streets and lush trees surround the shop's exterior.
Designed by architect Rem Koolhaas, the Prada in New York City's SoHo neighborhood is considered a shop, public space, gallery and performance space. A giant wooden ramp fills the middle of the store, which has platforms that drop down to create a stage. Shoppers can walk down the stairs next to the ramp and enter a maze-like set of rooms filled with merchandise and h green velvet couches. A space age inspired round, glass elevator is located in the front of the store. Wall panels containing huge art prints are often updated to reflect the current season's collection.
Walking by , which is located on a small Milanese street, you'd never know that such a colorful paradise of fashion and design lies inside. The exterior of the building is covered in lush vines and flowers, and the courtyard serves as an outdoor café. Inside, multiple floors contain art-inspired fashion and design specific installations made of Comme des Garçons clothing or Raf Simons' pieces. The rooftop is a public space with a garden, tables and chairs, and there is also an art gallery on the top floor with changing exhibitions. The store is the brainchild of Carla Sozzani, the sister of Franca Sozzani, editor in chief of Vogue Italia.
Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo's is a fashion and design mecca. With locations in New York City, London and Ginza, the store sells Kawakubo's own lines in addition to brands like Prada and Thom Browne. Inside, each store has seasonally-changing, site-specific installations using clothing and art. At the New York location, a huge glass elevator is centered in the middle of the colorful store. The building was originally designed by architect Harvey Wiley Corbett, known for his skyscrapers in the 1930s.