STYLISH SHORT-HAUL CITY BREAKS
By Chris Sayer, 29 May 2017
This year, bring home something a little more special from your vacation than a €3 novelty keyring. Here, we bring you five incredible European cities that happen to be home to some of Planet Earth’s finest fashion brands, all of which have garments and accessories that make for waaay better souvenirs.
Just touched down in Copenhagen town? Prepare to feel sorely unstylish, unless you’re wearing perfectly cropped trousers, pristine Nikes and all-black everything else like the city’s impeccably dressed and beautiful populace. Thankfully, you don’t have to work too hard to blend in with the crowd – the streets here are paved with Scandi brand gold, with flagship stores for home-grown heroes such as Won Hundred, Soulland and Norse Projects ready for you to splash your Danish krone on. Above all, though, be sure to visit the Wood Wood Museum near the Dronning Louises Bro bridge – a mecca for the brand’s past brilliance.
Let the boozed-up stag parties giggle their way around the famous Red Light District and the smoky-eyed stoners get sleepy in their coffee shops – if it’s an injection of Euro style you’re after, you’re treading the right canal-side streets here. Treat your feet to Holland’s mad respected sneaker brand Filling Pieces at its store in the Grachtengordel neighbourhood before making the 1.5km walk to the city’s streetwear pioneer Patta for a haul of its glorious garms. Then consider tacking an extra day onto your stay to tick off these must-hit ’Dam outposts: ETQ and its modern minimalist footwear, the affordable style staples of Daily Paper and Olaf Hussein’s designer menswear in the must-hit Nine Streets district.
Yes, your bank manager might have a heart attack when he sees your bank statements after your trip to the Swedish capital, but don’t let the 11-quid pints distract you from the fact that you’re staying in a super stylish shopping destination. The proof? It’s all around you. Between the world-beating coffee shops (Café Pascal), brunch spots (Oaxen Slip) and craft beer bars (Omnipollo’s Hatt) you’ll find brands head and shoulders above the rest in their field, such as Stutterheim and its raincoats, Sandqvist and its luggage, TRIWA and its affordable timepieces and Acne and its absolutely everything.
You thought Paris got its City Of Love nickname from all the romantic couples that descend upon it each Valentine’s Day? Nah. It’s from all the visitors falling head over heels for high-end fashion’s MVPs and leaving greasy imprints of faces on the windows of their flagship stores. Probably. Obviously, we can’t talk about Parisian fashion without tipping our hats to Dior, Louis Vuitton, Hermès and more, but for a slightly cooler style pilgrimage, fuel up on coffee and croissants and seek out the likes of Pigalle, APC, KENZO, Études and Maison Kitsuné, all of which call the French capital home.
Rejoice – you don’t need to pack a passport or suffer the eye-burning pain of staring at RyanAir’s garish colour schemes to experience a proper stylish European city. Step onto London’s well-trod pavements and experience one of the most exciting and varied menswear melting pots in the world. It’s got streetwear behemoths in the form of Palace, OG archetypes such as Fred Perry, new global players including JW Anderson and something to brilliantly cover every single shade in between. Worth being crammed onto a First Great Western train for? You bet your butt it is.