Don’t let the classic façade fool you: This shopping mall on the city’s main street, Karl Johans Gate, is home to some of Norway’s most high-concept style destinations. There’s YME, a three-floor, streetwear-focused shop designed by architecture firm Snøhetta that carries everything from sneakers by Kanye West’s fashion label Yeezy and perfumes by Maison Margiela to Oslo-based names like lifestyle brand Tom Wood and body-care line Sprekenhus.
Also set within a sprawling space is a collaborative shop that represents three of the city’s top contemporary labels: Norwegian Rain, an avant-garde rainwear company that makes unconventional but stylish trench coats from designer T-Michael; his namesake menswear brand, known for expertly tailored and hand-sewn suits, shirts, and kimonos; and Modern Tribute, which showcases restored Scandinavian furniture and lighting classics like Hans Wegner chairs and pendant lamps by Poul Henningsen.
One of the best spots to find high-end minimalist items in Oslo, F5 Concept Store, in the central Sentrum neighborhood, stocks both its own fashion line (F5) as well as cool-kid staples from a number of under-the-radar Norwegian brands, like Avenue, with its stylish knits; Holzweiler, which creates sharply cut outerwear; and Moe Oslo, who make basics with a twist, including a variety of button-down shirts and pullovers.
Looking to go a little dark? Head to the trendy Torggata street for Hevn, which sells the best in what’s called Nordic Noir (no, not the crime thrillers). It focuses on avant-garde labels that play with structure and texture and embodies an eclectic, monochromatic style. For statement pieces, check out Danish punk-meets-Goth line Barbara I Gongini, Swedish industrial chic Army of Me, and heavy-duty footwear from the Last Conspiracy, based in Denmark.