The USA’s best shopping streets

Laury Smith, Fashion editor, stylist and costumier

Photography by Tamim Afandi/Alamy

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April 2018

From high-end galleries to laid-back coffee shops, quirky gift stores to chic designer emporiums, America has some of the best shopping in the world. Stylist Laury Smith singles out the most exciting US streets for a spot of retail therapy.

Fulton Street, Seaport District, New York

The lowdown: Leave the brands of Fifth Avenue behind and head downtown to the Seaport District, close to New York’s financial centre. After suffering significant damage during 2012’s Hurricane Sandy the area has bounced back to life, giving hipster areas like NoLita, Soho, and the West Village a run for their money. And Fulton Street has seen the biggest change. Big chains have been replaced with a refined mix of retailers including Brother Vellies, which specialises in products handcrafted in South Africa, Kenya and Morocco; while former Vanity Fair photo editor Judith Puckett-Rinella’s Whisper Editions sells original artworks in limited quantities.

Plan a New York holiday

NW 2nd Avenue, Wynwood, Miami

Wynwood has enjoyed a resurgence of late and it’s here you’ll find ever-booming NW 2nd Avenue. Once known as the Museum of Streets, it was a mecca for art galleries but now it’s home to some of the best independent shops, vibrant street art and murals. D-Koncept is an avant-garde concept store with entrepreneur Deborah Kerchache curating a great selection of fresh new designers. For men looking to spruce up their wardrobe, Basico offers the best menswear brands in a chic, concept store setting, while Marie Saint Pierre, a leading pioneer in the Canadian fashion industry, has a store with a collaborative art space and incredible creations of highly enviable style. Finish up with a beverage at the unpretentious Panther Coffee.

Discover Miami

Heading east, skip past Echo Park and Silverlake to the Los Angeles’ hottest new area, Highland Park. This radical, bohemian district is teeming with creatives.

  • Stop by Acrimony for contemporary clothing and minimalist chic.
  • For fashion from emerging designers, head to D-Koncept in Miami.

    After hours

    Starting at 18.00 every second Saturday, you’ll find the Wynwood Art Walk featuring gallery openings, late-night foodie options and business selling their artisanal fare.£417 pp

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  • Pick up handcrafted African products at serene store, Brother Veille.

    Located in the historic Seaport area of Manhattan, Brother Veilles is open Monday to Friday (11.00-19.00) and Sunday (12.00-18.00) – perfect for alternative gifts.£371 pp

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Hayes Street, San Francisco

Leave the crowds of Union Square behind and head to the Hayes District – now giving the hip Mission District a run for its money with a mix of cute independent and high-end designer stores. First up, head to Acrimony, a fantastical, white-walled minimalist store with hard-to-find-elsewhere contemporary fashion, including brands such as Henrik Vibskov and Yeezy. For accessories, wander up to Warby Parker for cool eyewear. Finish up with a visit to Reliquary, with its eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary women’s clothing, antique jewellery, rugs and much more.

Plan your San Francisco trip

York Boulevard, Los Angeles

Heading east, skip past Echo Park and Silverlake to the city’s hottest new area, Highland Park. This radical, bohemian district is teeming with creatives. In York Boulevard, you’ll find old-timer stores and restaurants have been joined by a host of newbies. With LA’s ever-present sunshine, it’s a good idea to start out at Society of the Spectacle with its eclectic selection of eyewear all housed in a cosy 1920s bungalow. Glasses sorted, book lovers should treat themselves with a visit to Pop Hop Books, with its carefully curated selection of new and used books, from children’s and ‘zines through to arts.

For boutique fashion, stroll up to Dotter (Swedish for ‘daughter’), where a mother and daughter team have put together some great brands, jewellery, shoes and children’s books. For sustenance, head to My Taco, which has graced Highland Park for 20 years.

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  • Wander down Hayes Street with its laid-back vibe © Alamy.

    Village life

    Hayes Valley is not just the place for shopping, it’s packed with artisan cafes, quaint bookshops and pretty green spaces and parks.£458 pp

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Newbury Street, Boston

The beautiful storefronts of Newbury Street offer a glimpse of mid 19th-century Boston. The top half of the street (towards Public Garden) is home to high-end designer boutiques including Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana, while the lower end has cutting-edge independent stores. Start your visit off at Alan Bilzerian. Established in 1967, this wonderfully curated store offers the best of European and Japanese design along with its own line. Be sure to stop in at fashion haven Serenella, named by Elle as one of the USA’s top 50 boutiques. Weighed down with your new purchases, head to iconic Newbury Comics for a browse before finishing off with a coffee at Trident Booksellers, an indie bookseller, coffee shop and all-round great place to while away a few hours.

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