With its incredible music heritage, you might think the shopping scene in Memphis, Tennessee, would be all about Elvis collectables and band tees. Of course, there are plenty of record stores and memorabilia outlets where you can engage your inner fan, but you’ll also find edgy vintage shops, trendy art galleries and surprising boutiques. We’ve rounded up some of the best to visit during your stay.
In the heart of midtown, near the arty Cooper-Young district, Fox + Cat has a sharp eye for statement accessories and sustainable fashion. Owner Katie Gore says her mission is to provide a safe space for people to express themselves through their clothes, so go big – there’s no judgement here. If you’re planning on attending Trolly Night, Memphis’s monthly street festival, this is a great place to find a daring new outfit.
From its store adjacent the National Civil Rights Museum, Stock and Belle sells clothes and homeware from Memphis’s brightest designers. Here, the city’s artistic essence can be felt (and purchased) in practically every locally sourced piece. It’s a one-stop shop for gift buying. Items are reasonably priced and capture the city’s creativity far more than an Elvis collectable ever could.
Named after a Bombay Bicycle Club track, Bad Timing is every bit as cool as you’d hope. Inside its midtown store, just across the street from the Crosstown Concourse, vintage tees sporting the TV shows, movies and bands you used to love hang on free-standing rails. Sneakerheads will adore their selection of retro runners and hard-to-find Nikes still in the box. Even if you don’t buy anything, Bad Timing is worth a visit – it’s like a museum dedicated to the things we’ve forgotten we adore.
Unsurprisingly – given that it’s the home of the blues – a creative life force flows through Memphis. Consume it in one big gulp at Arrow, where more than 60 local artists toil, chew the fat and display their works. The products on offer are wide-ranging, but it’s the chance to meet the artists that sets this place apart. Should you be inspired to craft something yourself, there are often creative classes taking place here too.
For a taste of old Memphis, head to the ramshackle vintage shop FOUND. Here you can riffle through charmingly loaded hanging rails, dancing through the fashion decades with the flick of a wrist. Forget going in with a plan – you never know what you might find. Instead, just see what catches your eye, and remember – Memphis is home to Elvis’s gyrating hips and Isaac Hayes’s gold-plated Cadillac, so perhaps big, bold and brash are best.
Founded in 2005, Mbabazi House of Style honors Mbabazi Loy Rujumba, the mother of founder Grace Byeitima. She used to tell her daughter, “With the proper skills and hard work, you can succeed in life.” Well, it seems Grace took that sage advice on board. Now the House of Style is a true highlight in the heart of the Broad Avenue Arts District, offering beautiful clothing and homeware fashioned from gorgeous African fabrics.
Liven up your day with a trip to Primas Bakery and Boutique. Bright, colorful and ever so inviting, the downtown store is actually two businesses under one roof. The hybrid outlet is owned by two cousins, Rachel and Angelique, who were eager to merge their twin loves: baked goods and fashion. RM Petit Cakes dishes out vibrant sweet treats, while Shop Mucho stocks colorful outfits with a focus on Latin designers.
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