buenos aires shopping

Find elegant and unique pieces for your home at Facon. (Photo: Facon)

Buenos Aires

6 Stores in Buenos Aires Every Fashion Lover Needs to Visit

Buenos Aires is known as the fashion capital of Latin America, and within its streets you’ll find lots of independent designer stores, high-quality craft markets and women who look like they’ve stepped straight out of the pages of a fashion magazine.

Argentinians say this is due in part to the economic crises that have defined the country, driving the need for creativity. However, immigration has also had an impact, with influences from the likes of Paris and Spain helping to foster a unique sense of style. Not to mention the country’s traditional industries, including leather making.

As such, Buenos Aires is filled with an amazing array of unique stores, so read on to find out where to go to get hold of the best local fashion and design.

A Modern Mall

In the Recoleta neighborhood, Galería Patio del Liceo occupies a building that previously housed the first girls’ school in Latin America. In recent years, artists and designers have started to take over this space, giving the traditional shopping experience a modern twist.

Here you’ll find the street artist Guille Pachelo’s gallery (his famous illustrations also adorn the building’s walls), basic pieces such as knitted sweaters at Greens, and crystals, oils and astrology books at Fé. Many of these spaces also function as workshops, where you can see artists at work, like Diego Palachi Cueros, a leatherworker who crafts bags and briefcases by hand.

An Independent Design Collective

Due to the economic ups and downs, entrepreneurs have had to be smart with their resources. To avoid the cost of having a commercial space, some have come together to create collectives like Casa Oz. The 15 artisans who run this small space in Palermo use indigenous materials and techniques to create modern products.

buenos aires shopping
Fifteen artisans run this small space in Palermo. (Photo: Casa Oz)

You’ll fall in love with the woven chaguar purses on offer (a textile made from a native Argentinian plant), Laurie Hanky’s collection of scarves featuring illustrations that promote women’s empowerment, and copper terrariums made by a brand called Zold. Most of the items here are handmade, and the designers themselves frequently serve customers.

A Secret Boutique

Another alternative for young designers and artists who can’t or don’t want to operate a traditional store, is to sell directly from their homes or workshops. These ‘showrooms’, as they’re known, have become all the rage in Buenos Aires, and there’s now several operating behind closed doors.

They aren’t the easiest to find, and only advertised by word of mouth, but they offer a personal experience and products produced in limited numbers. One of the best is Furba, a studio that showcases Argentine footwear at its best, with its romantic, vintage-inspired styles.

The designs follow the seasons, so in winter, it’s all about suede boots and dark-hued platforms, while summer brings backless mule loafers, and leather sandals in pastel colors.

A Contemporary Museum Store

If you love collectives, you also have to visit the store at the Recoleta Cultural Center. In January, the Recoleta building, a former convent that became a community center in the 1980s, began an extraordinary renovation with urban art as its focal point.

There are street art exhibitions, digital and interactive installations, and even spaces for hip hop competitions. Instead of a typical museum store, they created a contemporary design space with a variety of artisanal products on offer.

buenos aires shopping
Find a variety of artisanal products at this museum store. (Photo: Recoleta Cultural Center)

You’ll find books and dolls by children’s brand Miga de Pan, unique gifts that celebrate the local culture by daring brand Grupo Bondi, striking necklaces designed by the much-loved jewelry brand Perfect Dragons and, wallets by Modesta made out of recycled paper.

The Top Designer

In a factory in Villa Crespo that belonged to her grandfather, acclaimed designer Jessica Trosman set up a space for her avant-garde line, JT.

The garments, with their architectural silhouettes, are impressive, but what stands out most about the site is its workshop, visible through glass that separates the main store from the production area where the team creates new fabrics and collections.

After your shopping marathon, you can recharge with a slice of cake from the seasonal offerings at Yaite Café, the restaurant that shares the space.

Fashion for the Home

Those who prefer to dress their homes rather than themselves will find a treasure trove of unique ideas at Facon.

buenos aires shopping
The exterior of Facon, a store that sells treasures for the home. (Photo: Facon)

Located in a large house in Palermo, the artistic director Martín Bustamante travels the country to fill his store with elegant and unique pieces. Many of the gaucho knives, hand-woven wool carpets and framed paintings are made and bought in remote villages, so that each piece has social value.

In addition, Facon has a wine store that sells bottles from small bodegas, and a kitchen space where emerging chefs give classes using Argentine recipes.