When you think of high fashion and luxury brands, New York, Milan, London, and Paris probably come to mind. They are the fashion capitals of the world after all — cities where twice a year, the who’s who of the fashion set gather for several weeks of runway shows, elite parties, and, of course, access to the best shopping in the world. But for the rest of the year, when the catwalks are down and the in-crowd has disappeared, tourists and locals alike flock to the world’s chicest cities (and their fashionable streets) to window shop or splurge on big-ticket items.
From New York’s Fifth Avenue to Tokyo’s Ginza and Copenhagen’s Strøget, check out the 10 most stylish streets in the world.
5th Ave, New York: As one of the most expensive streets in the world, New York City’s Fifth Avenue is a haven for high-end designer stores, the majority of them sitting on a stretch from 49th to 60th street. With Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Prada, the Manhattan avenue is famous for its shopping — so famous that it even got a high-end department store named after it. Sak’s Fifth Avenue, anyone? And it’s not just the street’s retail that has huge price tags — some of the city’s glitziest penthouses have Fifth Avenue addresses.
Bond Street, London: Named after a late-1600s English landowner, Bond Street is prominently known for its art dealers and antique shops, and for being the home of the infamous Sotheby’s auction house. Today you can find Cartier, Mulberry, Anya Hindmarch, Miu Miu and Alexander McQueen stores on the major shopping street that spans from Oxford Street to Piccadilly.
Via Montenapoleone, Milan: Located in the city’s fashion district, or the “quadrilatero della moda” as locals call it, Via Montenapoleone houses many ready-to-wear designer shops, boutiques and jewelry stores. Aside from big-name Italian brands Versace and Prada, the country’s most exclusive Italian shoemakers also call the street home. Shopped ’til you dropped? Grab a pick-me-up at the nearly 300-year-old Caffè Cova.
Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles: For U.S. fashion destinations, New York’s Fifth Avenue and Los Angeles’s Rodeo Drive reign above the rest. With about 100 boutiques spanning three city blocks, Rodeo Drive offers everything from Fendi and Tom Ford to Saint Lauren Paris and Dior. While you’re walking, make sure to take a look down. The sidewalk is set with bronze plaques commemorating people who made contributions to fashion and design.
Avenue Montaigne, Paris: The City of Light is at the core of the world’s fashion industry, and Avenue Montaigne, named after a French Renaissance writer, is “la grande dame” of all things upscale. Though Champs-Élysées has the more famous name, and the larger crowds, it’s Avenue Montaigne that boasts the best shopping with a Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Fendi and Bulgari. Très chic!
Ginza, Tokyo: After a large fire destroyed part of Tokyo’s Chūō district in the late 1800s, Ginza was constructed and designated as a model of modernization, complete with shopping promenades, long streets and a European-style Wakō building (pictured above). Today, Ginza is home to leading fashion houses’ stores, including Carolina Herrera and Chanel.
Strøget, Copenhagen: As the longest pedestrian shopping area in Europe, the car-free Strøget is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every season, all there to gape at or step into shops of famous brands like Burberry, Gucci, famous Danish design store Illums Bolighus, and the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Factory.
Calle Serrano, Madrid: Located in the Salamanca district of Madrid, where the city’s rich and powerful live, Calle Serrano is breathtaking. Lined with trees, benches, a bicycle patch and beautiful Spanish architecture, it’s the perfect place to shop the world’s most stylish brands: Manolo Blahnik, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo, just to name a few.
Ku’damm, Berlin: Often considered to be the Champs-Élysées of Berlin, the Kurfürstendamm (Ku’damm) is a very long, broad boulevard full of high-end shops (think Mulberry, Escada, and Chopard), luxurious hotels, and top restaurants. Formerly, the Ku’damm was the leading commercial street in West Berlin, and the site of many student protests and demonstrations in the 1960s.
Bloor Street, Toronto: A popular and trendy shopping district in Toronto, Bloor Street is one of Canada’s most expensive streets. The area spanning from Yonge Street to Avenue Road is nicknamed the “Mink Mile” and houses luxury retailers Chanel, Cartier and Gucci. Don’t miss Roots, either — a moderately-priced Canadian brand selling clothing, leather goods and home furnishings.