There’s something so effortless about European and U.K. fashion, from the ever-chic French girl style to often retro-inspired looks rocked by Brits. And with London, Paris and Milan fashion weeks this month, we’re sure to get a whole new bevy of inspiration from fashion’s finest overseas.
To help kick off the start of the shows, FN has rounded up the best places to shop for fabulous footwear in those cities, plus a few more across the pond. Each selection transcends the traditional retail experience, offers a unique selection of goods or serves as the perfect marriage of both. The best part? Even if you can’t make it to a brick-and mortar abroad, they all have online sites for you to easily nab your favorite looks without having to use a passport.
Tucked away in an alleyway in East London, this discreet boutique‘s offerings are just as creative as its interior design. Once you pass through a wooden tunnel with neon, acrylic accents, you’ll enter the retailer’s shop floor, which houses a range of major brands like Gucci and Saint Laurent. Amidst the hard-to-find vinyls and magazines littering this area, you’ll also find eco-conscious labels and Japanese streetwear sure to earn you some major style points.
For chic pieces that only look expensive, Dorothy Perkins is your go-to. The retailer, which has been around since 1909, features a range of affordable goodies inspired by the season’s hottest trends (just take for example, their $49 alternative to Meghan Markle’s favorite Aquazzura pumps). Even better? Dorothy Perkins often has massive sales, so it’s not uncommon for shoppers to be able to nab a pair of flats for as little as $5.
Zadig & Voltaire
You may have heard of this insouciant French label, beloved by stars like Olivia Culpo and Ashlee Simpson. But for those of you who haven’t, or are simply looking for a one-of-a-kind experience beyond the brand’s New York storefronts, their massive flagship stores in Paris are definitely worth a visit. The largest of the two, which is located on the Rue de Cambon, spans over 9,000 square feet across three floors, in a space that closely resembles a modern art museum with its graphic perspectives and clean lines at every corner. Most styles — including their ultra-chic line of sneakers that debuted last year — start at around $350, but the high-quality construction makes them well worth the investment.
While Bottega Veneta storefronts now litter the U.S., the Italian brand’s flagship store in Milan can easily be considered the ultimate shopping mecca for devoted fans. Set in an elegant 18th-century building, the space covers more than 10,000 square feet, making it the largest Bottega Veneta boutique in the world. The first floor features an expanded selection of shoes and ready-to-wear styles for men and women, including exclusive pieces you won’t find anywhere else. As an added bonus, it’s the only location where you can shop the brand’s luxe home collection, which is showcased throughout the entire second floor.
Sneakerheads will instantly fall in love with Madrid’s new footwear store, Foot District. Debuting just last year in Malasaña, the futuristic space features basically every drop worth knowing as well as an entire room dedicated to Jordans. LED video screens and special cubes line the walls to display the offerings in unexpected ways while the inclusion of a 3D printer allows customers to see just exactly how many of the shop’s awe-inspiring features are made.
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