If you look around carefully, they’re everywhere: dotted around the Vrijdagmarkt square, next-door to landmark houses of culture, popping up in the eclectic Onderbergen street or in one of the city’s inconspicuous historic alleys – a wonderful array of fashion-forward boutiques have chosen Ghent
for their home. Here is our pick of the best fashion boutiques in Ghent.
Rewind, Rewind Men, and Rewind B.L.C.K.
Fashion-conscious guys and gals in Ghent are well aware of the Rewind family, radiating Scandinavian comfort and cool from two hubs on the Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat. Founder Christophe Urbain originally nestled his multi-brand clothing haven in one building a stone’s throw from cultural temple De Vooruit a decade ago, but the need for expertly curated basics soon proved too big for one venue. A Rewind Men opened up across the street in 2011, effectively splitting the undertaking into separate men’s and women’s shops. Art-fuelled events alongside sober garments from brands like Won Hundred and Libertine-Libertine have made the Rewind name a Ghent staple, with a shop-in-shop men’s boutique – the high-end Rewind B.L.C.K – as an extra suave surprise downstairs.
Rewind Women, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 44, 9000 Ghent, +32 9 324 84 04
Rewind Men, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 13, 9000 Ghent, +32 9 398 43 34
Rewind B.L.C.K., Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 13 (-1), 9000 Ghent, +32 9 398 43 34
Essential fall knits, pashmina scarves and the occasional cashmere jacket – Katrien Buyle’s A.Puur.A. is fabric heaven. Homebodies have flocked to Buyle’s warm Ghent space (recently joined by a sister store in fashion hub Antwerp) like bees to honey for decades now, unable to resist a good throw pillow, crazily patterned sock or eye-catching plaid. Buyle herself is known as a bit of a Jack of all trades, with both original stationary and sustainable fashion on her mind and hands. As she goes about picking and designing flowy feminine dresses and skirts, the term ‘Puur’ (meaning ‘pure’) in her shop’s name is held in high regard.
Onderbergen 56, 9000 Ghent, +32 9 223 02 41
A.PUUR.A | Courtesy of A.PUUR.A
A couturier’s atelier located in a gorgeous Art Deco building with stained-glass windows, Eva Bos is known throughout the land for her vintage collection, wedding dresses and overall made-to-measure elegance. A ‘special occasion’ type of establishment, Bos only opens her intimate, Parisian-style boudoir by appointment. Her and her sister Barbara’s next-door flower shop Bos Bloemen – a nifty wordplay on Bos’ last name and the Dutch word for ‘bouquet’ – allows wedding-oriented guests to kill two birds with one stone.
Vlaanderenstraat 66, 9000 Ghent, +32 495 49 61 64
A nice assortment of brands like Vans, Bellerose, American Vintage and Levi’s in a white-washed space, rounded out with pale wood and an affable owner-cum-stylist; it’s a recipe that works well for Illinois. Both men and women on the hunt for compelling basics or a good pair of jeans find a relaxed, pleasant scouring experience at this young shop in the lively Onderbergen neighbourhood. For a hint of the soundscape: Eline named her store after the eponymous 2005 album by singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens.
Onderbergen 35, 9000 Ghent, +32 494 63 41 37
La Fille d’O
Founded by Murielle Scherre, La Fille d’O is all about making the first things that touch your body when you get dressed the right ones. The wilful Belgian designer behind the brand has always been adamant in her principles and innovations: home-grown production and a gender-neutral collection in solely black – not many in the industry mirror the compromise-free guts that Scherre has displayed for well over a decade now. Sewn and produced in small Belgian factories, La Fille d’O bras are meant to last six or seven years and, according to the brand, are ‘avant-garde lingerie that supports your body, whilst empowering your attitude.’ The likes of Rihanna and Lady Gaga have already agreed.
Burgstraat 21, 9000 Ghent, +32 9 334 80 10
La Fille d’O | © Max Burg / Courtesy of La Fille d’O
‘All jeans all the time,’ is Movies’ implied tagline. Founded by Albrecht Steel and inspired by the life of legendary figure Howard Hughes, the iconic multi-brand store on the Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat started importing American denim over thirty years ago and has steadily evolved into the number one stop for any jeans-seeking Gentenaar. When it was taken over by Philippe and Nathalie de Hauwere two years ago, the interior got a thorough facelift. Now, a gleaming white canoe, ornate animal skulls and lots of other ‘stylish-but-tough’ decorations give the space extra character.
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 5, 9000 Ghent, +32 9 223 59 12
When it comes to the crème de la crème of Belgian design, there’s no place in Ghent like Het Oorcussen. Owner Caroline Naudts presents a wealth of local haute couture in a simple, streamlined boutique that aims to soothes and showcase. All eyes are guided towards statement pieces and a carefully selected assortment of heels by names like Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Christian Wijnants and A.F. Vandevorst.
Vrijdagmarkt 7, 9000 Ghent, +32 9 223 07 65
Another force majeure in the sophistication department, boutique Twiggy boasts a particularly lovely dwelling – a renovated 19th century bourgeois home, 450 square meters large and complete with thick hidden doors, fireplace and an idyllic courtyard garden that doubles as a coffee corner (particularly handy when shopping with an indecisive partner). Both men and women are treated to three floors of garments by Isabel Marant, Humanoid, Acne and Marc by Marc Jacobs, among others. Since 2016 eternal doubters can also rely on a personal stylist to help put together an outfit meant to last, including shoes, bags and accessories.
Notarisstraat 3, 9000 Ghent, +32 9 223 95 66