This week’s Bucket List is for the fashionistas, window shoppers and trendsetters who travel not to add to their passport, but rather their closet. From New York and Milan to Paris and Singapore, these seven streets are home to stores bearing the names of world-renowned designers, high-end labels and more. They’re considered epicenters of luxury fashion, a reputation earned by names like Fendi, Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci who occupy real estate along them. You won’t likely score a great deal, but you will find the latest fashion trends straight off the runway.
Paste Travel’s Bucket List columnist Lauren Kilberg is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Her travels have found her camping near the Pakistani border of India and conquering volcanoes in the Philippines.
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Singapore's Orchard Road is undeniably one of the most, if not the most famous fashion streets in all of Asia. It's lined with luxury brand boutiques, mega-shopping centers and trendy shops, in addition to a variety of nightclubs, cafes and fast food restaurants. Many of the establishments are located within large shopping centers like ION Orchard, which is home to multiple flagship stores like Dior, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Giorgio Armani and more. The behemoth Ngee Ann City is the largest shopping center along the street and includes Burberry, Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton, to name a few. If you make it to Singapore around Christmas, you're in for an extra treat. This expansive one-way street goes all out for the holiday season with elaborate light displays and other holiday decorations.
Photo by Neil Howard, CC BY-NC 2.0
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Home to more than 450 shops, the stretch of Chicago's Michigan Avenue known as the Magnificent Mile is the Windy City's version of Rodeo Drive. Running from the Michigan Avenue Bridge to Oak Street, this strip is Chicago's retail mecca and includes more than 50 flagship shops, popular retail chains, department stores, multiple malls, luxury boutiques and more. Shopping options include Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Henri Bendel, Chanel, Cartier and a Bloomingdale's Home & Furniture Store housed in the historic Medinah Temple. The area is also home to the Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building and the iconic Water Tower and Pumping Station, which is one of the only structures to survive Chicago's infamous Great Fire of 1871. When all the shopping has left you hungry, there is no shortage of great places to eat nearby. Among the more than 275 restaurants in the area are The Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center, GreenRiver, NoMI Kitchen at the Park Hyatt, Beatrix, as well as the Chicago classic Lou Malnati's.
Photo by Shutter Runner, CC BY-NC 2.0
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Finding a luxury fashion brand that doesn't have an address on Avenue Montaigne is a difficult feat. Just off the Champs-Elysees in the eighth arrondissement of Paris, this stretch of world-famous retail real estate is home to names like Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and more. It's equal in reputation to Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore, another of Paris' fashion-forward thoroughfares. The iconic House of Dior opened its first office on Avenue Montaigne, housed in a private residence turned headquarters back in 1946. Today several luxury labels continue to have studios on the street where next runway's haute couture creations are born, not just sold.
Photo by Andrew, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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As far as fashion streets go, few are as famous as Rodeo Drive. The several-block strip, which runs from Wilshire to Santa Monica Boulevard, and the surrounding area known as the Golden Triangle are where the fashionable head for retail therapy in Beverly Hills. There you'll find more than 100 stores for popular brands and luxury labels in apparel, handbags, shoes, jewelry and more. Names include Hermes, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Harry Winston, Burberry, Dior, Jimmy Choo, MaxMara, Carolina Herrera, David Yurman and so many more. The street and its surrounding area are also home to a few of L.A.'s most iconic hotels, like the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Beverly Wilshire, made famous in Pretty Woman. Along Rodeo Drive you'll also find the fashion industry's own version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Known as the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style, the section of sidewalk commemorates fashion icons like Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino Garavani and Manolo Blahnik, to name a few.
Photo by Levi Sanford, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Fifth Avenue is the epicenter of New York fashion. Running from Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to West 143rd Street in Harlem, the avenue is home to some of the city's most famous landmarks and expensive real estate. This thoroughfare goes by many monikers, including the Diamond Avenue, Millionaire's Row, the Most Expensive Street in the World and Museum Mile and it's home to iconic New York properties like the Flatiron Building, Rockefeller Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Empire State Building, Guggenheim Museum, St. Patrick's Cathedral and the New York Public Library to name a few. The stretch between 49th and 60th streets in Midtown Manhattan is where you'll find the flagship stores, exclusive brands, department stores and more that make the Fifth Avenue world famous among fashionistas. The directory of luxury stores ranges from Prada and Piaget to Coach and Cole Hahn, as well as the historic Bergdorf Goodman, which has called Fifth Avenue home since the late 1800s.
Photo by Chris Todd, CC BY-NC 2.0
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Less than half a mile long, London's Bond Street packs an impressive number of names in luxury fashion into a considerably small stretch. For centuries the street has been a namesake among London's fashion scene. Running between Oxford Street and Piccadilly, Bond Street contains compact storefronts that read like a who's who in haute couture, including Bulgari, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, Cartier, Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton. The world-famous auction house Sotheby's also calls the street home.
Photo by Garry Knight, CC BY 2.0
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Milan is often cited as the fashion capital of the world. If it's not in first place, there's no denying it's among the top few. The epicenter of this fashion-forward city is the district known as Quadrilatero della moda and Via Monte Napoleone (Via Montenapoleone) is its main thoroughfare. The street leaves luxury fashion seekers wanting little. Among the high-end boutiques selling ready-to-wear items along Via Montenapoleone include Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Hermes, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, La Perla, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace and dozens more.
Photo by Slayer, CC BY 2.0