Inside Portland's Design-Forward Shopping Culture

Courtesy The Good Mod

Beyond flannel shirts and mountain bikes, Portland’s shopping scene has cemented the city as the design capital of the Northwest.

Portland, Oregon has cultivated major creative cred thanks to giants like Nike, Adidas, and the ad firm Wieden + Kennedy, as well as a host of independently owned businesses around town that capture the Pacific Northwest’s idiosyncratic aesthetic (raw yet modern, spare with an edge) to a T. To get that eclectic style, shop these boutiques for a mix of Native American crafts, Japanese imports, and regional goods.


The founders of this well-curated jewelry store “only carry things we really believe in,” says Paul Schneider, who first opened his showroom along with wife, Lauren Eulau, in 1994. The gleaming industrial space offers one-of-a-kind pieces like Harwell Godfrey’s 18-karat-gold inlaid-diamond pendants and Japanese ceramist Yuta Segawa’s whimsical glazed miniature pottery.


Owner Susan Tompkins gravitates toward quality pieces from sustainability-minded labels such as Gallego Desportes and Belgian designer Sofie D’Hoore. New finds include indigo-dyed bedding by Tensira and Sultan Wash, a company that repurposes vintage European military uniforms into chic workwear.


This downtown showroom housed in an early-1900s automotive building has an impressive collection of modern furniture and art, both international (a pair of Ubald Klug Terrazza sofas from the 1970s) and local (rustic sculptures by Orcas Island woodworker Aleph Geddis).


At its new location adjoining an outpost of Brooklyn’s In God We Trust, this boutique carries avant-garde fashion ranging from high-waisted Kamm pants to sculptural black dresses by Totême. The shop also carries its own Houseline collection, which features prints inspired by owner Pamela Baker-Miller’s Indigenous Karuk ancestry.


From left: Spartan Shop; porcelain canisters at Canoe. From left: Courtesy Spartan Shop; Courtesy Canoe

Simple, beautiful, and functional is the credo at this showroom selling natural, and often austere, artifacts with a Pacific Northwest aesthetic. Don’t miss the elegant handmade ceramics from Eso Etso, or the Spruce Apothecary, Canoe’s modern upscale beauty-shop-within-a-shop.


Set behind an unassuming façade on SE Ankeny Street, this is the place to pick up exceptional fashion and home finds from obscure Italian and Japanese brands. The shop has a loyal fan base that clamors for its timeless pieces, like a voluminous drop-waist dress in delicate ecru jacquard or a putty-colored, calf-leather handbag by Massimo Palomba.


This Eastside Industrial District boutique is beloved for its impeccably curated selection of home goods, furniture, lighting, and fine art. Browse among new additions like a curved white-oak chair made by local studio Campagna and vintage rugs from Morocco.