Sorry, souvenir stores, but stylish travellers are through with you. Today the ultimate travel trophy is a one-off or vintage find – at a bargain price guaranteed to break the hearts of your friends back home. Stylist travel editor Anna Hart tells us how to shop the globe like a pro….

Vintage fashion in Florence

Vintage fashion in Florence

The rules of supply and demand are never more applicable than in the vintage or antique markets, where copious supply leads to much more palatable prices. Just as Denmark’s stock of native midcentury furniture is unsurpassed, Italy’s fashion dominance from the 1950s until the 1990s makes it a dream destination for vintage lovers. In both cases, you’re better off skipping the pricey capitals with sky-high overheads (Copenhagen and Rome) for more affordable sister cities like Aarhus and Florence.

Florence has been home to fashion houses Gianfranco Lotti, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Stefano Ricci, Patrizia Pepe and more, and you’ll find most Italian labels here for around 30% less than in London, Paris or New York. Wander the vintage boutiques of Via Fossi, such as Epoca where you’ll score Salvatore Ferragamo shoes from as little as €40, and A Ritroso for a plethora of Pucci prints, plus local favourites Recollection and Ceri Vintage along Via dei Serragli.

Affordable Art in Los Angeles

Affordable Art in Los Angeles

LA is not always associated with high culture, but those in the know are swiftly changing their minds. Gallerists spied opportunity in the vast warehouse spaces of its downtown Arts District, and today the city is in the throes of a creative resurgence, with over 50 galleries popping up over the past two years. As the experts say, those serious about collecting contemporary art should look no further.

Artspace Warehouse is a strong starting point, but it’s the increasingly vibrant Arts District downtown where you’ll strike gold. Hammer and Spear is a gorgeously curated collection of art, design and vintage goods; Matthew McCormick’s line of lights and chandeliers are showstoppers of souvenirs. Pro tip: visit during Art Los Angeles Contemporary at the end of January and make a beeline for fringe affordable art fairs such as StartUp, which hosts a pop-up at a gloriously retro motel every year.

Textiles in Lagos

Textiles in Lagos

As every dedicated follower of street-style knows, the African cities of Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi are trendsetters on the social media fashion scene. While Johannesburg has an edgy, energetic creative scene, it’s red-carpet-glamour-loving Lagos that is quickly on its way to becoming a fashion powerhouse.

Lagos has always had a reputation for quality textiles and vibrant prints, but today the capital of Nigeria (the largest and fastest-growing economy in Africa) is home to a new generation of moneyed, style-obsessed fashion consumers, and the local textiles scene has been elevated into an art form accordingly.

Search for inspiration in the glorious concept store Alara, which stocks local designers (and Vogue favourites) Maki Oh and Lisa Folawiyo. For menswear, the impossibly hip Post Imperial has printed silk ties and statement men’s shirts for much less than you might expect. Once you’ve honed your taste a little at the high-end stores, venture to Lekki Market for local handmade jewellery and organically-dyed textiles at knockdown prices. When you need a break from bargain-hunting, pop to Stranger for a recuperative and oh-so-on-trend cold-brew coffee. FYI, haggling is expected at Lekki Market and there’s only one rule: do it with a smile on your face.

Other treasure troves

Other treasure troves

Still got some pocket money left? Head to Lisbon for an unrivalled array of beautiful vintage and modern tiles (start with Cortiço & Netos), Helsinki for wallpaper and home décor (don’t miss the Marimekko outlet store) and Seoul to stock up on cult Korean beauty products (do your research at Soko Glam first). Istanbul is justly famous for its chic marbled blue and white ceramics (check out Grand Bazaar Shopping) and style-centre Berlin is brilliant for glasses and sunglasses (just look at the vintage array on Lunettes Selection). And for beautiful paintbrushes, art supplies and stationery, Hong Kong is still king; start at the fabulous old-school calligrapher’s den Man Luen Choon.

 
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