Spring 2015’s edition of ONE Life magazine shines a light on world trends, culture and design as the award-winning, proprietary lifestyle publication of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty. We’re blogging the unique content available in this exclusive publication. The fifth installation explores international destination boutiques that are playgrounds for couture enthusiasts.
What makes certain shopping meccas in some of the world’s greatest cities destinations in themselves? They’re where quirk meets class and entertainment meets merchandise—much more than just hip-and-honed fashion, art books and home wares but epicenters of attitude and lifestyle. The best-curated culture and couture shopping treasures in the world merit cult status and obsessive disciples. Here are six definitely worth the trip.
10 CORSO COMO, MILAN
Origami lanterns cascade above cubist frocks, surreal sofas and geometric rugs whose shapes, shades and textures form a confectionary of eye candy at Milan’s 10 Corso Como.
“This seems normal today,” says creator Carla Sozzani, former editor-in-chief of Italian Elle who has also worked at Italian Vogue. “But it wasn’t 25 years ago when I envisioned my living magazine, where you turn corners instead of pages.”
Sozzani chose an unlikely location for her endeavor—a windowless warehouse and garage far from the mode mating call of Milan’s cultural center. But she was determined to succeed, clinging to her collage of cool culled from favorite haunts in Tokyo, Marrakech, Paris and Seoul. “I wanted 10 Corso Como to be a destination where culture and commerce join,” she says.
Today, ultra-stylish dominoes, umbrellas and suitcases collide with art exhibits and books by Helmut Newton and Alexander Rodchenko; futuristic fashions by Comme des Garçons and Maison Martin Margiela; and contemporary home design by Arne Jacobsen and Fornasetti. The emporium has become a pilgrimage for visiting editors and retailers.
Says Sozzani: “It’s not about acquiring objects but living an experience of peace and beauty.”
Corso Como, 10, Milano, +39 02 2900 2674, 10corsocomo.com
CHOIX, SAO PAULO
On his way to work five years ago in the high-end Jar- dins district of São Paulo, Márcio Riba—creative director of Neogama/BBH, one of Brazil’s biggest ad agencies—fell in love with a vacant space. “I freaked out and rented it without a plan,” he says of the light-bathed 3,200-square- foot ground floor in a 14-story, Brutalist-style office tower erected in 1974 by Brazil’s Pedro Paulo de Melo Saraiva.
“I didn’t know if I wanted a restaurant, a fashion brand, a design studio or a music label,” says Riba. “Then I thought, Why not have all the things I love in one space? So I built a brand from a building.”
Naming the store Choix (French for choice) is apropos given its array of fashion, accessories, home decor, artwork, books and music.
“Choix’s choices are its strength,” Ribas says. “Our brands are loaded with style and personality, with small production for exclusivity and a quality level—from raw materials to finish—that’s rare today.”
From the Amapô fringed fanny packs, Robinson les Bains beachwear, Uslu Airlines nail polish and Lomo cameras to the Brunno Jahara lighting, Mauricio Arruda furniture and Bruno Cals photography, everything shares Riba’s distinct sleek, chic and bohemian “gypsetter” point of view.
But his biggest feat may be robbing nearby mega-malls of their hippest customers. “Consumers who look to us prefer not to buy in the pasteurized world of a mall,” he says.
You haven’t truly experienced Sampa—as the natives call this bustling metropolis—until you’ve checked Choix off your shopping list.
181 rua Professor Arthur Ramos, Jardim Paulistano, São Paulo, +55 11 3078 9475, lojachoix.com.br
THE WEBSTER, MIAMI
Imagine a couture cocktail of Paris’ subtle elegance and South Beach Miami’s overt sexiness. Thanks to inclement climes in the former city, cofounder Laure Heriard Dubreuil moved to the latter, where in 2009 she opened The Webster, a spacious temple to great taste.
“A very rainy winter day in Paris convinced us to move to a sunny place,” the Rémy-Martin heiress says of herself and fellow merchandising whiz and founding partner Frederic Dechnik (Milan Vukmirovic is also a founder). “Miami turned out to be the perfect fit.”
Not only is the multicultural metropolis having a Renaissance moment, thanks in part to Art Basel Miami, but also, “taste has no frontier,” says Heriard Dubreuil.
The former marketing exec incorporated Miami’s spiciness, her own wit and the Parisian chic she craved. Cutting- edge En Noir, The Elder Statesman and Hood by Air hold their own against classics Chanel and Dior, and flamingo- festooned fashion, jewelry and accessories by Suno, Piamita and Charlotte Olympia.
Adding to the balance of cultures within 20,000 square feet and three stories of a 1939 former hotel are shimmering brass rails and round mirrors lending the aura of a yacht. Spot-lit mannequins line up as if to stomp the runway, or perhaps gawk at the famous style globetrotters who surf the Webster—like Tilda Swinton, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West.
They, too, cannot resist the rad racks and rooftop lounge with unobstructed views of the ocean.
1220 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, 305.674.7899, thewebstermiami.com
LE BON MARCHE RIVE GAUCHE, PARIS
Le Bon Marché was one of the world’s first department stores when Aristide Boucicaut opened it in 1852, and it remains one of the very best.
The former dry-goods store—whose name translates to “the good deal” and which was acquired by LVMH Group in 1984—feels intimate even at 345,000 square feet. And unlike Paris’ other grands magasins on the Right Bank, Le Bon Marché isn’t clogged with tourists.
The store on the city’s less-uptight Left Bank lures moneyed, well-dressed natives with its well-edited ultra-luxe and cutting-edge clothing, jewelry, accessories, home decor, kitchenware, bed linens and exhibits, including one by famed artist Ai Weiwei this summer.
Exclusives include Thom Browne womenswear, Haider Ackermann menswear, 3×1 jeans, Francesco Russo shoes and a huge (and oft-imitated) La Grande Epicerie food hall and deli, where time-pressed Parisians grab meals, snacks and wine.
“Our customers are very tapped into trends and come to us to find out what will be hot in Paris,” says Anne-Catherine Grimal, director of communications at Le Bon Marché. The airy building itself is a monument to good taste, designed by architect Louis- Auguste Boileau and later updated by his son, Louis Charles Boileau, and Gustave Eiffel. “Everything that is the essence of Paris is nearby: a park, very good schools, the city’s best restaurants, designer boutiques and art galleries,” Grimal says.
That is, if you can bear to leave.
24, rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, +33 1 44 39 80 00, lebonmarche.com
Grab a map at Kuhl-Linscomb’s door, or do as Houstonians almost prefer to do: Get gloriously lost.
You never know what you’ll find within the sprawling labyrinth of artfully displayed eclectic, elusive and witty goods. But one thing’s certain: Products are made by major talents specializing in limited runs, such as John Derian home accessories, Moooi lighting, Bulthaup kitchens, Hästens beds, John Robshaw linens, Philippe Starck children’s furni- ture, Ila & I jewelry and Paul Smith men’s accessories. Add to that a Fred Segal–worthy apothecary of singular and natural skin care, fragrance, candles and cosmetics by Aesop, Tracie Martyn, Cire Trudon and Manready Mercantile.
To house it all, Kuhl-Linscomb has mushroomed to nearly 100,000 square feet, in an Upper Kirby neighborhood sandwiched between wealthy River Oaks and artsy Montrose. “If you devote a day to exploring our store, we’ve done our job,” says Pam Kuhl-Linscomb, who constantly “re-stages” merchandise vignettes. She opened the store’s current location with husband Dan Linscomb in 2001, originally to house her overflow stock as an award- winning ASID interior designer. “Now it’s not about home products but a lifestyle,” she says.
2424 West Alabama Street, Houston, 713.526.6000, kuhl-linscomb.com
MARISSA COLLECTIONS, NAPLES
You know the striking sylph who glides into a party and every woman covets her attire? Well, wandering through Marissa Collections in Naples, Florida is like shopping in her closet—only better.
Within a 10,000-square-foot pretty-in-pink villa in Naples’ historic district, you can choose from a vast arsenal of the hottest womenswear designers, including Stella Jean, Mary Katrantzou, Kenzo and Gianvito Rossi, along with classics Valentino, Lanvin, Oscar de la Renta and Michael Kors. Garnish with “wow” jewels by Irene Neuworth, Andrea Fohrman, Nicholas Liu and Stephen Webster.
Likewise, Brunello Cucinelli and Orlebar Brown menswear enables gents to stand out at the beach or yacht club.
Marissa Collections takes it further by suggesting head-to-toe ensembles. “We sell the majority of our fine jewelry in dressing rooms,” says co-owner Jay Hartington, whose parents, Marissa and Burt Hartington, opened the store 40 years ago. In the resort town where art, golf and beach converge like a well-mixed martini, Marissa Collections fits nicely in a palm-lined residential neighborhood, where Bentleys and Martone bicycles co-exist. “Given our position at the start of the historic section [of town],” Jay Hartington says, “we are almost like the welcoming committee.”
1167 Third Street South, Naples, 239.263.4333, marissa collections.com
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