Destination: St. Barth's
An outpost of the well-known Italian boutique on that other island of indulgences, Capri. You’ll find exquisite clothes and sheets in the finest linens. You can order custom sets with edging, contrast and embroidery to your specifications; all will be made in Italy and shipped to you. But you can walk out with one of the finely cut jackets or shirts.
Located on the third level of the Carré d’Or above Chopard, Bahia feels like the airy attic room of a friend with great taste. The boutique carries a wonderful selection of clothes and accessories by Emilio Pucci, Bottega Veneta, Tomas Maier, Linde, Gilles Dufour, Rick Owens and 7 for all Mankind.
This store, a must-stop for men from around the world, offers a selection of linen shirts so fantastic that many international customers order new ones every year when they visit the island. The styles are classic, with mandarin collars or straight point collars, and are cut loose enough to be flattering to all shapes. Women’s clothing is more fitted and fashion-following, but it’s the array of colors and stripes that makes the shirts fly off the shelves. They also have men’s bathing trunks in fun, colorful patterns.
It’s rare to see men approach clothes shopping with the same enthusiasm as women, but in this slip of a boutique by the harbor, you’ll see them pondering the stacks of pressed cotton and linen shirts with relish. From striped and checked styles with French cuffs to casual linen cuts in a rainbow of colors, the selection is immense.
Crammed into this pastel painted cottage in St. Jean are dozens of surf brands for men, women and children, as well as beach accessories from water rings and snorkeling masks to sunglasses and beach chairs. The selection is more staple than high fashion, but if you forgot an essential beach toy, you’ll probably be able to replace it here. Surfboards and other water-sports equipment can also be rented.
Christiane Celle opened her first boutique on St. Barth’s under the name Calypso, and expanded with U.S. outposts under that name, later selling the rights to Calypso on the island. So here her shop is called Christiane Celle, but it’s a sister store to the stylish chain that now exists from New York to L.A. Located off the main road in St. Jean, the shop is reached by the road that bears right just after Villa Créole.
Filles des Îles
Beach wear and accessories, including the huge straw bags, or panniers, with leather handles that are an island classic.
Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France Boutique
Tucked into a corner off of the bar area at the Isle de France hotel is a tiny boutique packed with a woman’s fantasy array of beachy clothes and accessories, from strappy sandals and wedges and funky straw beach bags to Pucci bikinis and clingy crocheted cover-ups. Mandie vere Nicoll, who owns the hotel with her husband, scours showrooms in New York and Paris to find styles to seduce her well-traveled clientele. Each Tuesday evening there is a fashion show at the bar, which is a fun way to preview your shopping spree.
Upstairs in a nondescript building off the Rue de la République, Human Steps features the must-have pieces of the season for both men and women from Prada, Miu Miu, Paul Smith, Gucci and Jil Sander.
With four shops on the island, Laurent Effel has become a St. Barth’s favorite. The sign that hangs outside its main store in Gustavia on the Passage de la Crémaillière bears a crocodile that declares the boutique’s specialty: exotic skins. You’ll love the leather goods from wallets and bags to shoes in new and classic styles, including knockoff Birkins and Hermès H sandals—a great array of skins and colors at very good prices for those who don’t have to have the real thing. Everything is made in the company’s factory in Milan and can now be ordered online. (The driving moccasins in every color are perfect for island wear. There are two outposts on Rue du Général de Gaulle (one selling women’s shoes and the other for bags); a third shop, on nearby Rue Lafayette, features men’s linen shirts and pants.
Le Comptoir du Cigare
The name says it all: cigars and Panama hats are the specialties. The high-quality hats come in dozens of styles and colors, including ones with real flair, such as narrow-brimmed pale lavender with a red-colored band. Don’t miss the teak beach umbrellas that come in patterns like khaki with royal blue stripes.
One of the tiny boutiques near Nikki Beach, Lili Belle carries women’s fashions, while next door, Jules (same owner) stocks men’s clothing. The selection is trendy and attractive, including lines by Tara Jarmon, Hoss, Claudie Pierlot, Paul & Joe, Madame à Paris, American Retro and Intropia.
One of the prime places to pick up elegant resort fashions, including caftans with colorful embroidery and silk dresses, pants and tops in sophisticated tropical prints and hand-blocked cottons. Some of the silk-satin prints resemble slightly suped-up Pucci prints. Their Laura pants, which have drawstring cuffs at the ankles for a haremish look, are very popular, as are the silk kimonos.
Manuel Canovas is known for his bright, elegant prints, which change each year but often include nautical elements, such as coral and nautilus shells on popping color palettes. A hot print last year consisted of fuchsia and red starfish on a graphic gray background. Think of a more grown-up European take on Lilly Pulitzer. The prints appear on bathing suits, cover-ups and dresses, pareos, tote bags and shoes.
A terrific source for shoes and bags, this shop on the second level of the Carré d’Or carries such popular resort brands as Castaner espadrilles, plus trendy leather pieces by Minority and Boccaccini.
Colorful pom-pom trims are the Mia Zia trademark, but they really just symbolize the cheerful, easy aesthetic of designer V. Barkowski. Before you even enter the boutique, which is housed in a deep-purple cottage with a broad veranda and a large silver bull standing watch, it’s clearly a place for the bold and the not-too-serious. Winter collections feature knits in appealing stripes (another signature), and summer linen lines are trimmed with pom-poms or embroidered with polka dots. The thick terry-cloth towels (with pom-poms, of course) come in orange, fuchsia and electric green.
Pati de St. Barth
Parisian transplant Pati Guyot moved to St. Barth’s in the ’80s to work on her painting and ceramic arts. She developed her iconic island logo in her silk-screen workshop and now sells it on comfy clothes and easy accessories in two shops on the island and online. You’ll find the Thai wrap pants so popular with locals, plus lots of T-shirts.
Poupette St. Barth
The beach dresses and tops (from halters to crocheted wraps) here have a breezy, sexy style with a bohemian, flirty appeal.
This all-white boutique in Gustavia sells pretty knits and silks under its own label, as well as others like April May. The designs are not beachy, but more of a daytime casual for the working chic of the island, with some pieces resembling a French take on the Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress.
Mixed in with selections from Daslu and Antik Batik, 575 Denim and bathing suits by Milly and Pucci are the hotel’s own collection of filmy cover-ups as well as bags and sequined flip-flops. Rock stars and their spouses outfit themselves here for a day and night at the beach.
All of the clothes and accessories sold under the Sabina Zest label are made on St. Barth’s. The fine cotton and linen in an array of soft pastels and classic[4x] tones like chocolate brown are what unify the collection. Styles[15x] include pedal pushers and peasant blouses, long tiered skirts and children’s shirts with delicate ruffle trims and sleeveless dresses.
Saint Barth Caravan
If you need an instant St. Barth’s uniform, Caravan carries the casual island look for both men and women with an array of cotton and linen pants, shirts and dresses and loads of pareos in solids and stripes.
Stéphane & Bernard
Stéphane Lanson and Bernard Blancaneaux moved to St. Barth’s in 1982 years ago and decided to share their fashion sense with the paying public. This is the place on the island to find top designer names under one roof, including Emanuel Ungaro, Valentino, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Hervé Léger and Thierry Mugler.
One of the island’s tried-and-true sources for expensive fashion that shows just how effortless style can be. Top-selling items: white eyelet and crocheted trimmed dresses and tops. Among the brands they will carry this winter season: A Common Thread and Johnny Was.
In a lemon-yellow cottage with a red roof, this ten-year-old surf shack sells all of the gear for boarders, from Havaiana flip-flops to bathing trunks from O’Neill and Rip Curl, as well as equipment (for sale or rent) for surfing, snorkeling and kite sailing.
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