Fly, Shop, Repeat: Travel for Fashion Lovers
When making a list of travel destinations for fashion lovers, one could probably just go with the following list and be done with it:
Photo by Chris Waits
Paris truly remains the fashion capital of the world. No matter how many times you visit, or how long you stay, there will always be another fashionable nook or cranny to explore. Mademoiselle Chanel's original boutique remains at 31 rue Cambon; today a retail space that looks like any other Chanel store, but Mme.'s haute couture fitting area, personal apartments, and workrooms still occupy the floors above.
Who cares about the Louvre when you can visit Place Vendôme? Why spend an hour wandering Notre Dame when you could be shopping the pharmacie, snapping up Parisian drugstore favorites like NUXE Huile Prodigieuse, Caudalie, and La Roche-Posay?
Of course Paris isn't the only destination for fashion lovers, even if it is the most exciting. We have a few more suggestions for you.
New York City
NYC is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of place, but when it comes to fashion it's a "love it" for all of us who love fashion--high and low. Sure, you can do the whole Fifth Avenue and Breakfast at Tiffany's tour--and you should--but people watching here is almost as fun (maybe more so) than peeping the mannequins in your favorite designers' windows.
Take to the streets, where the real-life Carrie Bradshaws of the world make New York come to life. Spend your money on tickets to a great Broadway show, and buy your upmarket labels in vintage shops. Anyone can score a new Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, but finding one in a consignment shop is very Sex and the City. But hey, if you're more of a Charlotte, by all means--off to Fifth for you.
The Missoni family helped put Milan on the fashion map. Where Paris' fashion history runs deep, Milan is quite modern--a brash younger sister. All the big Italian names are present and accounted for--Gucci, Versace, Valentino--but everyone is squeezed pretty close together so don't count on walking off the pasta just gazing at the heavy-hitters. Just like in New York, wander off the main fashion thoroughfare to shop smaller, local retailers and score good deals. To clarify this means saying yes to no-label or small-label stores, and no to knockoffs. NO KNOCKOFFS.
Abu Dhabi and/or Dubai
Pardon the second Sex and the City reference, but is there anyone who suffered through SATC 2 who, after wishing she hadn't, still couldn't wait to add "Abu Dhabi" to their travel wish list? The film was crass and (at best) culturally tone-deaf, but the market scenes were divine.
And then there's Dubai, just two short hours away. A city with its own fashion week, and a growing reputation for its fashion chops and shopping opportunities, Dubai is a mere 20 hours away. Another plus: flying to oil-rich destinations from Houston is often a steal, and you can find flights for well under $1,500.