We're lucky that we have no lack of amazing retail here in the USA. But every once in a while it's good to step outside our borders for inspiration, and the internet makes that ridiculously easy. Small boutiques around the world are quickly becoming brands to watch in their own right, producing publications, lookbooks, and blogs that are good as anything out there. Here are a few of my favorites:
Sweden | Très Bien Shop
I respect Très Bien Shop not only for its tightly edited selections but also for the voice it's carved out with a damn good blog and relevant interviews with the best designers out there.
England | Oi Polloi
The guys behind this shop are geniuses—I've never seen anything on the site I don't like. Plus, I really enjoy following their ongoing styling series called "Deck-Out," which always gives me good ideas.
Amsterdam | Tenue de Nimes
I consider Tenue de Nimes a true renaissance store. Aside from maintaining a well-rounded inventory, they people behind the spot put out the Journal de Nimes, which is one of the best things produced by any store out there, and, from what I've heard, the events held in-store are equally well executed.
Japan | Bridge Tokyo
Bridge Tokyo caters to the Japanese street-style aesthetic with an eclectic range of brands from America and Japan. Thankfully, the website is easily navigable for Westerners, and they maintain a really great blog about the goings on in the store.
Canada | Neighbour
I consider Neighbour the sleeper-hit store of 2011. Completely unpretentiously, it's managed to collect some of the best brands from around the world under one roof, resulting an America-meets-England-meets-Sweden vibe. Its latest lookbook convinced me it is here to stay.
Australia | Incu
Incu is new to me, but one I'm checking in often. Australian brands like Vanishing Elephant are hard to find in the U.S. but are really making a name for themselves internationally, and this is a good place to find them.
France | French Trotters
If Odin and Opening Ceremony had a French baby, this is what it would look like. The brand is growing in leaps and bounds—the owners have opened two other locations—so I am curious to see how it will evolve and am particularly looking forward to its collaboration with Alden.
For more retail therapy courtesy of Marisa, check out her blog The Significant Other.