Rua Garcia d’Aliva is strongly associated to quality and wealth, as is reflected in the brands on the street and the extortionate rental prices. Here, there’s a concentration of the best in shopping and restaurants, especially in the jewelry market. H.Stern, Amsterdam Sauer, and Brazilian brand Antonio Bernando are three of the main stores for stunning jewels. There are also several major fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton and fantastic restaurants such as Venga, a delicious and cozy Spanish tapas spot. A particularly wonderful shop is Aquim, a family owned chocolatier that sells chocolate made using only Brazilian cocoa. There are no artificial flavors or essences with its Q bars. They’re made simply from cocoa mass, cocoa butter and a tiny bit of sugar. What makes it even more special is that Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer designed the shape of the chocolates.
Rua Maria Quiteria is the main street in Ipanema for the big, national brand names. For streetwear there’s Redley, an outlet that’s dressing the youth throughout Ipanema and Leblon. Forum provides the best jeans whereas Shop 126 stocks contemporary and trendy styles for women. Brazilian Soul is great for modern, edgy pieces, Richards is the spot for more traditional and sophisticated cuts and HomeGrown is the place to go for alternative and skater clothing for both men and women. For a delicious caipirinha and hearty good food after a day of shopping, try Barthodomeu.
The Hippie Fair in Ipanema is one of the few places within the neighborhood where you can actually pick up some bargains and get unique and individual pieces. The market attracts dozens of stalls each Sunday that set up camp for the day displaying their offerings to the hundreds of tourists and locals that stop by. There are so many great products to buy here including clothes, leather bags, hand-carved wooden furniture, jewelry, paintings, shoes and ornaments, making it the ideal place to get souvenirs or some pieces to wear that you won’t find anywhere else.
This long avenue that runs from the beginning of Ipanema to Leblon is filled with wonderful shops and beautiful brands. The commercial center called Forum de Ipanema is the best spot for swimwear with Brazilian brands such as Blue Man, Salinas, Lenny and BumBum. These are the best stores in Rio to blend in with the crowd and buy the bikinis and trunks that are so famous on the Brazilian beaches. There are also some fashion stores that stock trendy and stylish clothes that you’ll wish were on the high streets outside of Brazil, such as Farm and Gilson Martins. The best plan of shopping action is to start at the General Osorio square and make your way to the very end to appreciate everything on offer on Rua Visconde de Piraja.
If the shops in Ipanema are upscale, then Leblon somehow takes that to another level. All along Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva are wonderful boutiques with modern and trendy clothes, bringing a concentration of incredible pieces that are truly one-of-a-kind. For those of you looking to escape the baking hot sun but still want to enjoy a shopping spree, head to Rio Design Leblon. This shopping mall is on Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva and houses some of the best in national designer brands such as Maria Filo, Lenny Niemeyer, Farm, FYI, Animale and Osklen.
Shopping Leblon on Avenida Afranio de Melo Franco is a mid to high-end shopping mall of modern, scented shops and delicious restaurants. The shopping center is spacious and creates a wonderful environment for shopping; just be prepared for a serious shopping spree as everything here is far from budget friendly yet irresistibly beautiful and of the highest quality. There’s a strong mix of international brands such as Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Diesel and Zara as well as national brands such as Farm and Animale.
By Sarah Brown