From Tokyo to Topeka, you can find guys and gals in identical Adidas sneakers, Levi cut-offs and H&M tees. The Western value of “individuality” is continuously undermined by these seasonal trends and popular culture fads. In a world of fast fashion, celebrity endorsements and mass production, finding unique products can be incredibly challenging and time-consuming. Because of this, one of the most delightful aspects of traveling is perusing local shops and concept stores in hopes of finding one-of-a-kind trinkets and treasures. From stumbling upon an up-and-coming Peruvian designer´s clothing line to spotting an unknown shoe label in a Swiss Alps´ window, the discovery of new brands and boutiques evokes an unequivocal sense of triumph.
But in the height of the internet age, you don´t need a 1,500€ plane ticket to find international clothiers and emerging fashion houses—many independent retailers now sell their products online. Because it´s difficult to pinpoint small stores and young designers abroad, we´ve done the research for you and selected eight brands or boutiques of note. With the click of a finger, you can captivate the cool, innovative style of Europe… maybe globalization isn´t that bad for the fashionable after all.
Photo via @growoldbcn
Charming Catalan cousins founded this coastal-inspired concept store in Spring 2015. With rustic vibes and effortless surfer style, Growold (pronounced grow old) showcases a refreshing mix of international labels, including Rhythm (Australia), We Moto Europe, Native Youth (England) and Fjällräven (Sweden). With hand-selected quality menswear and accessories, this Barcelona-based boutique begs you to join its aquatic adventure. You needn´t wait ´til September, when the e-shop launches, to accept this nautical invitation—shop Growold´s Instagram account right now by leaving a comment with your e-mail address or sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you include the code “PASTE2015” for a 10% discount.
Photo via @growoldbcn
Men, Women, and Children´s Footwear
CR2412 by Kit Souther, 104€
In need of vintage closed-toe shoe options for your inner badass? Look no further than Crime London, a label inspired by the rock ‘n’ roll history and punk vibes of Camden Town. Grab your Sid or Nancy, and start a riot all your own in new-wave Crime London kicks. If you sign up for the newsletter, you´ll receive 5% off your first order of sneakers.
CR2581 by Kit Souther, 70€
Richelieu Haline via Paper Dolls, 250€
If you covet the graceful glamour we brought you in French Ladies with French Cheeses, you´ll be delighted to discover Paper Dolls, a whimsical boutique that houses 20 independent Parisian designers. Paper Dolls adds a delirious dash of Alice and Wonderland madness to their frilly frocks, porcelain plates and sassy shoes. With their e-shop, you can now embrace the timeless grace and sensual femininity long associated with French women from the comforts of your couch. You´ll be très chic, très hip and très sexy in an estimated 10-14 shipping days.
Porte Monnaie Liberty via Paper Dolls, €19
Photo via @alohafromdeer
If Miley Cyrus and a unicorn had a bedazzled baby, that baby would be the poster child of Aloha from Deer, a Polish fashion label that´s seemingly influenced by just about everything. From Heinz ketchup to emojis to house cats, this bold independent brand specializes in screen-printed statement pieces that straddle the line between the beautiful and the bizarre—or, as Aloha from Deer puts it, “the craziest stuff on earth.” Love it or leave it, these eccentric and expressive patterns are definitely unique. Free worldwide shipping on orders over 150€.
Black Cat Hoodie via @alohafromdeer, 55€
Bag via Látomás, 8€ (2,500Ft)
Based in Budapest, Látomás was one of the first boutiques to open in post-Communist Hungary. Látomás prides itself on offering exclusive but affordable items and regularly restocks its limited inventory. With gold-plated necklaces, studded clutches and floral prints, the trendy e-shop fulfils this mission.
Shirt via Látomás, 12,50€ (3,900Ft)
Photo via Sandqvist
If you´re dreaming of Nordic landscapes and remote cabins, this uncomplicated line of functional and well-designed bags will strike your fancy. Inspired by the rural Swedish countryside, three lifelong friends created Sandqvist back in 2004. Adhering to the philosophy of “Do one thing right, and do it well,” Sandqvist is the Bubba Gump of bags: backpacks, weekenders, laptop bags, handbags, messenger bags, totes, bum bags—they make it all and they make it well. Sandqvist offers $15 flat-rate shipping to the States.
Izzy-Waxed Canvas via Sandqvist, 209€
Jimbob Art Plates via @wolfandbadger, 37€ each
With chic collections from over 400 independent designers, Wolf & Badger is the Boutique Capital of your couture dreams. Whether you´re looking for Home Décor to Inspire Your Next Adventure, high-fashioned threads to refresh your wardrobe, or delicate jewellery to dazzle your body, Wolf & Badger´s got your back, babe. This British boutique ups its e-shop game with free worldwide shipping.
The Seasons Hat, 429€, Whistle and Bango bangles, 101€ each, A + Em London mules, 291€, Alexa de Castilho necklace, 204€ via @wolfandbadger
Photo via Anna Led
Leading Lativian designer Anna Ledskalnina creates sophisticated, sustainable style in her studio-shop in Riga. The brand, known simply as Anna Led, combines traditional aspects of the Baltic region and contemporary fashion trends to make clothes as comfortable as they are chic—think stunning silhouettes, striking silk skirts, subtle shades of the sea. Visit the e-shop to embrace the immaculate cut and elegant designs of Anna Led.
Linen Shirt Ruddi SS15 via Anna Led, 135€