Perhaps it’s the chilly weather that keeps residents buttoned up to the nines or the influence of transplants that makes Bogotá oh-so stylish. Whatever the reason, one thing is true: you’ll be hard-pressed to find a higher concentration of quality shopping elsewhere in Latin America. Here’s a guide to some of the top shopping spots in Colombia’s capital city.
Opened as the first makers’ boutique in early 2017, Discrepante houses a colorful array of products that tell a story. Fall in love with heels that are covered with fabric that’s hand-dyed and woven in the Amazon; chic raincoats designed by a local city slicker; and darling baby clothes made by a young designer in another Colombian fashion metropolis, Medellín.
If you’re in the market for sleek jewels, handbags, and threads from established designers, go to Casa Santamaría for brands like Komono, Carolina Alba, and Divino Don. The downstairs café also has an art gallery with rotating exhibits. Artesanías de Colombia is your best bet for souvenirs with local flavor. Find ruanas (ponchos), sombreros vueltiaos (typical hats from the country’s savannah regions), and mochilas (backpacks) made by the folks who still use and wear them daily.
Bogotá supports national talent, which is why the capital reigns when it comes to designer shops offering pieces by the country’s hottest designers. Silvia Tcherassi’s casual-luxe dresses and handbags impress worldwide. Her first Bogotá locale debuted in 2001. Olga Piedrahita sells her irreverent party frocks in the nearby Zona Rosa neighborhood. Little Ramonas‘ atelier on Carrera 18, carries modern, upcycled designs inspired by ’80s rock queens. Papel de Punto is known for its classic needlepoint pieces updated with graphic prints. On Carrera 7—between 53rd and 54th—in Chapinero, you’ll find a handful of edgy designers, including La Rock N Rola and Ciudad Freak.
The Mercado de las Pulgas de Usaquén, open on Sundays, splits up into two areas—one around the square, where countryfolk sell traditional wares, and the Mercado Buendía, with stylish, handmade offerings. And it’s not just clothing and accessories you can find here. Le Marché’s roving Francophile market peddles a mix of organic goods imported or inspired by the founder’s native land, including delectable chocolates, oils, and cheeses.
Malls might seem generic, but in Bogotá they distinguish themselves with forward-thinking (or past-preserving) design and an abundance of locally-owned shops. The Centro Comercial Hacienda Santa Bárbara, located in an 1847 mansion, retains much of the original architecture—look for the courtyard with boutiques housed along the corridor. Two malls that opened in the past year—Multiplaza and Parque la Colina—are sprawling shopping centers with modern design where community is emphasized by sitting zones, play areas, and cafés.