Antwerp

Much of Antwerp's reputation for edgy chic comes from its clothing designers; dedicated followers of fashion consider the city in a league with Milan and Paris, and Antwerp-based couturiers regularly appear in the international glossies. Credit for this development goes to the so-called Antwerp Six (students of Linda Loppa from
Much of Antwerp's reputation for edgy chic comes from its clothing designers; dedicated followers of fashion consider the city in a league with Milan and Paris, and Antwerp-based couturiers regularly appear in the international glossies. Credit for this development goes
Much of Antwerp's reputation for edgy chic comes from its clothing designers; dedicated followers of fashion consider th

Much of Antwerp's reputation for edgy chic comes from its clothing designers; dedicated followers of fashion consider the city in a league with Milan and Paris, and Antwerp-based couturiers regularly appear in the international glossies. Credit for this development goes to the so-called Antwerp Six (students of Linda Loppa from the class of 1981 at Antwerp's Fashion Academy) and in equal measure to the new wave of talent that has more recently stormed the catwalks. Ready-to-wear by stalwarts Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dries Van Noten, Martin Margiela, and relative newcomers Raf Simons, Véronique Branquinho, and Wim Neels command high prices. However, in the shopping area south of Groenplaats, prices are less astronomical. And, of course, the Diamantwijk is prime territory for glittering precious stones. Bear in mind that pretty much everything grinds to a halt on most Sundays, but unlike the rest of Belgium, on the first Sunday of the month, retailers' shops doors are miraculously flung open and customers are welcomed inside. In January and July, these special shopping days signal the start of the sales.

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  • 1. Graanmarkt 13

    Kruidtuin | Clothing

    Tucked just off a lovely square in a 19th-century town house, Graanmarkt 13 offers a nicely edited selection of women's clothes, including pieces...Read More

  • 2. Ann Demeulemeester

    Het Zuid | Clothing

    Ann Demeulemeester sells her clothes in an elegant corner store not far from the MHKA (Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst). ...Read More

  • 3. Antwerp Diamond Jewellers Association

    Centraal Station | Jewelry/Accessories

    For advice on buying diamonds at the retail level (and details of the essential four Cs: carat, color, clarity, and cut) you can contact the...Read More

  • 4. Bakkerij Goossens

    Oude Stad | Food/Candy

    Founded in 1884, Bakkerij Goossens is a popular old favorite with locals. Try their classic roggeverdommeke —a rye bread stuffed with raisins. ...Read More

  • 5. Burie

    Oude Stad | Food/Candy

    The traditional handmade confections at this shop include delectable creations like chocolates filled with honey caramel and almond paste, whipped...Read More

  • 6. Closing Date

    Kruidtuin | Clothing

    Closing Date stocks pieces by Vivienne Westwood, McQ by Alexander McQueen, Dsquared², JeanPaulKnott, and Low Brand. ...Read More

  • 7. Diamond High Council

    Centraal Station | Jewelry/Accessories

    The Diamond High Council, also known by the acronym HRD, provides a directory of diamond-related businesses—but their core function is to scrutinize...Read More

  • 8. Fish&Chips

    Sint-Andries | Clothing

    After nearly 20 years in the same building, this well-known streetwear store has moved its retro decor, DJs, snacks, hairdresser's, and designer...Read More

  • 9. FNAC

    Oude Stad | Books/Stationery

    FNAC, an all-purpose media shop, is a staple in many large Belgian cities; Antwerp's version stocks a good selection of English-language books...Read More

  • 10. Ganterie A. Boon

    Oude Stad | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    For a fascinating glimpse of how shopping used to be, stop by Ganterie A. Boon, which stocks old-fashioned leather gloves that appeal to grandparents...Read More

  • 11. Het Modepaleis: Dries Van Norton

    Sint-Andries | Clothing

    Dries Van Noten collections for men and women can be found in the splendid Modepaleis, a five-storey Belle Epoque building that he bought in 1989. ...Read More

  • 12. Kaashandel Vervloet

    Oude Stad | Food/Candy

    Kaashandel Vervloet is the best address for regional, award-winning cheeses and other culinary delicacies. Try the Achelse Blauwe. ...Read More

  • 13. Louis

    Sint-Andries | Clothing

    Louis was one of the first places to sell the work of Antwerp's top designers in the late 1980s. Today, it sells the collections of the city...Read More

  • 14. Maison Anna Heylen

    Oude Stad | Clothing

    Designer Anna Heylen's clothes aren't too stern. They're lightened with lace, an occasional decorative trim, or perhaps a thought-provoking...Read More

  • 15. Philip's Biscuits

    Oude Stad | Food/Candy

    If you're after an edible souvenir from Antwerp, head for the old-fashioned biscuit and cake store Philip's Biscuits. Speculaas (spiced cookies...Read More

  • 16. SN3

    Meir | Clothing

    SN3, in a former cinema, is worth a look for women's wear by Balmain, Alexander Wang, Christian Dior, and Emilio Pucci. ...Read More

  • 17. Stadsfeestzaal

    Oude Stad | Clothing

    Built in 1908 as an exhibitions and events space, the Stadsfeestzaal was gutted by a major fire in 2000. Now fully restored, it houses a lively...Read More

  • 18. Stephan Schneider

    Oude Stad | Clothing

    Stephan Schneider designs many of his own fabrics and uses them in both men's and women's collections. His boutique is sharply designed, with...Read More

  • 19. Sweertvaegher

    Kruidtuin | Food/Candy

    If only chocolate will do, try family-run Sweertvaegher, which has been selling the stuff since the 1930s. You'll find all the traditional ...Read More

  • 20. The Chocolate Line

    Meir | Food/Candy

    For chocolate filled with unusual flavors like Japanese wasabi, Coca-Cola, or crisp fried onion, head to this self-proclaimed "shock-o-latier...Read More

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