One-of-a-kind boutiques make up an important part of the contemporary Charleston shopping experience. Long-established Christian Michi anchors the corner of Market and King; its window displays are like works of art, and its innovative and European designs are treasured by well-heeled, sophisticated clients. Some department stores cater to younger shoppers, and high-end shops sell either their own designer fashions, or carry names that are found in Paris, New York, and South Beach, like Kate Spade in the Shops at Belmond Charleston Place.
The number and quality of shoe stores on King Street is surprising for the city's size. Family-owned shops like Berlin's are city institutions. Newer shops like Sugar Snap Pea are popular with families.
The Upper King District is interspersed with clothing boutiques and restaurants. The revival of this neighborhood has sparked a new wave of home-fashion stores; long-term antiques hunters, accustomed to buying on Lower King, have been lured uptown as well. Charleston has more than 25 fine-art galleries, making it one of the top art towns in America. Local Lowcountry art, which includes both traditional landscapes of the region as well as more contemporary takes, is among the most prevalent styles here. Such innovative artists as Betty Anglin Smith and Fred Jamar, a Belgian known for his whimsical nighttime cityscapes, can give you a piece of Charleston to keep close until your next visit. Collectors will find nationally and internationally renowned work in such exquisite galleries as Ann Long Fine Art and the more contemporary Martin Gallery.