There’s certainly a lot of brand name shops in the city and you won’t need our help to find them. But what about the boutiques stores run by local designers that are unique to the city? From glass jewelry to affordable leather shoes made by hand, here’s our list of the most special shops in the city.
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This spacious store in the middle of the San Marco district is bright and airy, with a stylish selection of women’s and children’s fashion. With the store full of color-blocked heels, silky maxi dresses and long trench coats, you’ll find boho chic taken to its most elegant conclusion.
Banco Lotto is a totally unique clothing store that features impeccably tailored women’s fashions, from 50s-style cocktail dresses to ruffled fall trenches. The materials are also decadent with rich colors and textures, incorporating fabrics donated by Bevilacqua and Fortuny. It’s run by a social cooperative called The Circle (Il Cerchio), which employs incarcerated people to equip them with useful skills and to carry on important traditional crafts such as tailoring. Everything sold here is handmade by the women at the penitentiary of Giudecca.
Fashionable eyeglasses are a basic staple of Italian fashion. This shop is special because it stocks an unusually whimsical collection of frames in shapes and colors you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Designed by the owner, Mariella Carlon, these frames will really steal the spotlight.
This is one of the best artisanal boutiques in the city, featuring Murano glass jewelry with a Senegalese twist. The artist behind the beads is Moulaye Niang, who trained with the Murano glass masters. He blows stunning beads with amazing colors right there in the shop and never makes the same bead twice. The necklaces are then designed and strung by Emmanuela Chimenton, a funny lady with a punk-rock edge. Together, they create truly one-of-a-kind pieces that are sure to make a bold statement.
This little secondhand clothing shop has been here since the 70s, and it’s always been run by the charismatic Aldo. “Strasse” is Venetian for rags, but you won’t find any rags here. All the clothes are of excellent vintage quality, from button-down shirts to cashmere sweaters to soft cotton tunics.
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The shoes here are all handmade with naturally-tanned Tuscan vachetta leather. Whereas many artisan shoemakers in the city go for opulence and high-fashion statements, Kalimala shoes are practical and stylish, in all kinds of reliable styles including sneakers. The prices are also on the sensible side, ranging from 90 to 180 euros.