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Indagare Picks: 7 Top Shopping Cities

Not all shopping destinations deliver the eureka moment of discovering unique finds that will always remind you of the place where you found them—but there are still many places in the world where bringing an extra suitcase is recommended. Along with textile designer and Indagare Ambassador Lisa Fine, I recently hosted a member breakfast at our New York office to share our favorite places to hunt for special treasures around the globe. The conversation yielded some exciting shopping spots—here are seven of our favorites, and what to bring back from each.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a shopping- or design-focused trip. Our specialists can advise on the best destinations and plan guided shopping excursions, private visits to ateliers and private tours of museums.

Jaipur Shopping Guide

  • Why: Because Jaipur is the center of the woodblock printing industry and the place to load up on bed covers, pashminas and jewelry. Indagare member and textile designer Lisa Fine, who has been to India more than 50 times, loves the shops (Idli, Hot Pink and Aashka) at the Narain Niwas hotel.
  • What to Bring Back: Pashminas from Andraab; silk tops from Idli; cufflinks from Gem Palace; woodblock prints from Saurashtra Impex and Anokhi.

See Our Jaipur Shopping Guide

Marrakech Shopping Guide

  • Why: Because of the many wonderful artisans here, many of whom collaborate with European designers to create updated twists on classics.
  • What to Bring Back: Woven leather bags from the Jardin Majorelle boutique; vintage caftans from Beldi; spices and ceramics from Chabi Chic.

See Our Marrakech Shopping Guide 

Lisbon Shopping Guide

  • Why: Because not only are there fashion and houseware bargains to be had here—ranging from great beachwear to linens and eclectic housewares—but most boutiques are scattered around the picturesque Barrio Alto, where there are beautiful historic buildings and hip restaurants.
  • What to Bring Back: Bathing suits from Cantè; linens from Teresa Alecrim; gloves from Luvaria Ulisses.

See Our Lisbon Shopping Guide

Cape Town Shopping Guide

See Our Cape Town Shopping Guide

Tokyo Shopping Guide

  • Why: Because the Japanese reverence for beauty and every day ritual raises shopping there to an almost Zen endeavor. Whether you are in the department stores, many of which open with a morning ceremony, or browsing for kimonos or paper goods, the exquisite care that goes into the presentation of Japanese products will instill a renewed appreciation for craftsmanship in shoppers.
  • What to Bring Back: Hakuhodo makeup brushes from Mitsukoshi; specialty knives from Kiya or Sugimoto; green tea from Toraya or Yamamotoyama.

See Our Tokyo Shopping Guide

Lima Shopping Guide

  • Why: Because Lima’s designers draw deeply on their region’s heritage and history. In the past and the present, the focus here has been on natural materials, traditional techniques and vibrant colors, which you will see in everything from Indian weaving work to modern cotton fashions and ceramics.
  • What to Bring Back: Woven clutches and embroidered caftans from Bodega MATE; ceramics from Jallpa Nina.

See Our Lima Shopping Guide

Istanbul Shopping Guide

  • Why: Because Istanbul—which is located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia—has long been a mercantile center and the place where many of the best goods from the Silk Road cities have ended up. Today, it remains an incredible place to find vintage and original pieces by designers and jewelers such as Sevan Biçakçi, as well as fashion and housewares.
  • What to Bring Back: Turkish delight from Lokum; bespoke linens with embroidered nature motifs from Serenk; rings from Sevan Biçakçi.

See Our Istanbul Shopping Guide

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a shopping- or design-focused trip. Our specialists can advise on the best destinations and plan guided shopping excursions, private visits to ateliers and private tours of museums.

– Melissa Biggs Bradley on May 21, 2018

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Last spring, my daughter and I had a great time shopping in Lisbon because not only are there fashion and houseware bargains to be had, but most boutiques are scattered around the Barrio Alto neighborhood, where there are historic buildings and hip restaurants.
~ Melissa Biggs Bradley

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