In the middle of one of the largest malls in the world is Symphony, a homegrown boutique that curates (and interprets) high fashion on a very local level. Now in a new, larger space, the shop is run by Salama Alabbar, who sought to create a place to serve her fellow young Emiratis high fashion that aligns with their cultural modesty.
Alabbar works with Western designers such as Zac Posen to amend existing pieces and also mentors local designers such as Razan Alazzouni, whose gowns are now a best seller. As is the custom, service is key: Each client is assigned a concierge, who’s on call 24/7.
Blue Mountain School, London
James Brown and Christie Fels put the once-gritty Shoreditch on the shopping map when they opened their fashion store Hostem in 2009. They cemented it as a cult destination this year with a six-story, minimalist temple devoted to craft and creativity.
Don’t miss one-off pieces by Texan weaver Amy Revier, furniture and ceramics from Tyler Hays of BDDW, and an open kitchen manned by chef Nuno Mendes, of Chiltern Firehouse fame.
Dover Street Market, Los Angeles
Founded by Comme des Garçons mastermind Rei Kawakubo and partner Adrian Joffe, Dover Street Market helped redefine the department store. This month Kawakubo opens a sixth outpost, in downtown Los Angeles.
The 20,000-squarefoot space is a series of individual in-shops, including Gucci, Balenciaga, and Nike x CDG. Angelenos are perhaps most excited about having the Parisian, vegetable-focused Rose Bakery.
Gordy & Sons Outfitters, Houston
Russell Gordy, a Texas oilman and land baron who bowhunts, fly-fishes, and bird-hunts, has a personal collection of rods, shotguns, and rifles so extensive that he no longer keeps count. But he does operate a 22,000-square-foot hunting-and-fishing emporium, which opened last year in Houston.
Gordy & Sons is more of a gentleman’s club than a sporting-goods store, with two floors of antique pine, an open-rafter ceiling with hand-coppered gilded panels, and deep leather club chairs where customers are offered a cigar or a glass of wine. in the sportswear section, a vicuña jacket retails for $17,000.
Out back, you can try out a $3,250 Thomas & Thomas bamboo fly rod at the shop’s casting pond, which is stocked with catfish and bass.
But what lies beyond the 1932 bankvault door distinguishes Gordy & Sons from any other hunting-and-fishing store on the planet: a vault with 275 of some of the sporting world’s rarest and most expensive shotguns, knives, and hunting rifles (below). Included: a pair of $550,000 his-and-hers shotguns for pheasant hunting by James Purdey & Sons.
Watches of Switzerland, Las Vegas
In a town filled with high-roller offerings, this new store at the Wynn Esplanade brings some wrist oomph to Vegas regulars. Expect rare and one-of-a-kind timepieces from Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, and other VIP names. 702-792-0669
Cutter Brooks, Stow-on-the-Wold, England
“I like finding secret things,” Amanda Cutter Brooks says. “I look for things that are not branded, that are not easily identifiable.”
At the new Cutter Brooks, in a small town in the Cotswolds about two hours from London, the former Barneys exec and expat has turned a 16th-century building into her long-dreamed-of home store. If the sensibility at the shop is resolutely British, the goods are sourced from all over the world. V
intage Fair Isle sweaters rub shoulders with exquisite Florentine silk nightgowns; elsewhere are Scandinavian scrunchies fashioned from repurposed Hermès scarves. Virtually the only local items, Brooks says with a laugh, are the English bulrush place mats she cannot keep in stock.
Brooks even has her own take on highlow: When it comes time to set the table, she suggests a spectacular porcelain floral sculpture by the artist Vladimir Kanevsky surrounded by humble dishware meant for a picnic on the moors.
More is Love, Tbilisi, Georgia
There’s no shortage of ambitious concept shops in Tbilisi, but the city’s newest (above) is an intimate shop focused on local designers. Look for Nina Zarqua’s neon feathered mules, Anouki embellished suiting, and hand-sewn lace caftans from TwoM.
The shop also features its own accessories label, 0711, which incorporates traditional Georgian handweaving.
Spazio 900, Milan
When Adriano Albini and Enza De Iuliis opened Spazio 900 in 1993, furniture from the 1980s was not quite vintage. Nevertheless, they amassed pieces that ranged from the recent past back to the 1950s and became two of Milan’s most revered collectors of outstanding modern antiques.
Albini and De Iuliis have since earned a loyal following even after relocating multiple times.The two recently moved yet again, to a spot in Milan’s Piazzale Susa—with more than 2,000 pieces: 1970s Panton chairs from Vitra, bookcases by Achille Castiglioni, and Ettore Sottsass Memphis-style consoles.
But the real gems are the rarities that the two source from local estate sales. You may get your hands on, say, a 1980 Gaetano Pesce “Sunset in New York” sofa for Cassina, that mimics, yes, a New York City sunset.
Perhaps the chicest waiting room in the world, the e-tailer’s new brick-and mortar store in the French-speaking city is where locals come to pick up, to try on, or to work with a stylist and try on more.
The David Chipperfield poured-concrete bunker—a bold juxtaposition to the 19th-century façade—is decorated only by sparse and of-the-moment fashion. And the 34 seats in the café (below) are the city’s hardest to nab.