Oh, shopping. How we love thee. With this in mind, we suggest you check out our round up of the coolest concept stores to peruse impeccable design and envy-inducing products.
The surge of e-commerce has spawned a new way of thinking about shopping. Cue the experience-based concept store. Wooing everyone from jet-setters and foodies to design aficionados and music snobs, the concept store offers inspiring one-of-a-kind experiences that can not be re-created online. Take that, Amazon.
These six cool retail addresses are jam-packed full of all the lifestyle merchandise you'll want and need. Read on for some serious inspiration, drool-worthy design items and a cool hotel near each one to make your visit a full-blown holiday.
1. Clerkenwell London
Hosting a range of designs from niche and established designers, craft-makers and artisans, Clerkenwell London's modern emporium evokes the creativity of the Clerkenwell's historic neighbourhood. With an ever-evolving collection of items, from an on-site perfumery and unique jewellery finds to hand-picked stationery and a collection of amazing art, everything showcased is carefully curated. With its top-notch 155 Bar and Kitchen and brand-spanking new wellness and beauty haven, The Well, it's truly a one-stop shop for literally everything you could ever want and more.
We recommend staying in the quirky, design-led The Zetter Hotel, conveniently located between Clerkenwell and Angel.
2. Souq, Bali, Indonesia
Peter Kemp, Sophie Gargett and Sigrid Gibson, the creative powerhouse behind SOUQ, have the intention to combine old-world crafts and materials with an avant-garde design creating a sophisticated style that is both traditional and modern. Working with local artisans, SOUQ provides a platform for the unique and inspiring Balinese traditional designs to access the global market. In an expansive warehouse-like space, they are packed to the rafters with the most covetable items such as artisan rattan chairs, hand-carved glass tumblers and an array of intricate Balinese jewellery, so you better get your credit card out. After all that shopping, nip into their cosy cafe, tucked away in a corner. Make sure you book the Alila Boutique Hotel, an upscale, sustainable architectural masterpiece, located close-by.
3. Colette, Paris
Nearly 20 years old, Colette might well be the original concept store. Located on the rue Saint Honoré, the striking store owned and curated by mother-daughter duo, Colette Roussaux and Sarah Lerfel, stocks everything from high-end fashion and rare perfumes to indie magazines and their chic yet quirky designer collaborations. Make sure you check out their water-bar restaurant downstairs, serving over 100 different brands of water from around the world. We recommend booking the elegant La Roch Boutique Hotel and Spa with its award-winning restaurant by rising star chef Arnaud Faye.
4. Nannie Inez, Austin, Texas
Partners in love and business, Deeyn Rhodes and Lonzo Jackson opened their Austin-based design lover's paradise, Nannie Inez, after years of working in the fashion industry. Inspired by the creative experiences in their lives, their lovely little enclave of whimsical pieces has a global focus, from Danish furniture, luxurious French textiles and thought-provoking Swedish art to refined Japanese office accessories and innovative American craftsmanship. You'll find it hard to leave without making a purchase or three. Lay your head down in the creative, easy-going and just downright cool Heywood Hotel, conveniently located nearby.
5. L'Usine, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Based on Ho Chi Minh City, L'Usine is the city's first truly international clothing and luxury lifestyle concept store. Nestled in an amazing restored 19th Century building, it's slap-bang in the centre of Ho Chi Minh's main shopping strip, The space houses everything from houseware and designer clothing by homegrown talent to a gallery space and the delicious Vietnamese eatery, Tib, where you can grab a strong brew of Vietnamese coffee and watch the hip set shop til they drop. Just don't forget your Dong because you'll not want to come out empty-handed. Book the Signature Boutique Hotel nearby to make the most of this cool area to the full.
6. STORY, New York City
Story, a Manhattan-based store, curates a collection of merchandise every four to eight weeks, with the concept that 'takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store.' Each time it reinvents its look and product offering, bringing a new theme to life, hence the name 'Story'. Their latest collaboration with Nickelodeon, 'Remember When', celebrates '90s nostalgia, featuring everything from a human sized hamster wheel to a slime-style photo booth. Dream big at the Dream Downtown Hotel, a short walk from STORY, with unparalleled views of the skyline, a rooftop lounge, an outdoor pool with private cabanas and an overall cool, modern aesthetic. Warning: you might not want to leave.