A shop isn’t always just a shop, although most are merely a place of retail, here and there are shops that transcend the purely mercantile function of exchanging goods for money. Sometimes I come across shops that are something more. Either through a singular selection of goods, a design that is something beyond the norm, or maybe it’s the people behind it that elevate it. For whatever reason, they are the shops you make sure you visit if you are nearby, or even make the effort to travel to visit. They are the shops that have become destinations in their own right.
I’m no world authority in this respect, so the list that follows contains only the shops I have visited, either as a discovery of my own, or after having received a tip-off from someone that has been there before me.
I’ll provide just a brief summary on this page, follow the links if you’d like to read more. No doubt I will be adding to this list at opportune times as well, as I’m sure to unearth other gems.
So, just in time for you to plan your summer holidays, I provide you with my guide!
Copenhagen: Maritime & Antiques
Without a doubt the most singular and interesting shop in Copenhagen, providing a superb mix of maritime and shipping antiques, with a superb selection of menswear by Mister Freedom and Hansen Garments. The proprietor, Frans, is a friendly and chatty chap with an obvious passion for what his shop. Take note of the address though as it’s a little hard to find!
Copenhagen run-up: Wardrobe 19
Copenhagen is a fairly large city and there are other shops worth stopping by. One of these is Wardrobe 19, more of a hipster place with an interesting selection of quality brands, including their own. The website and shop share a fantastic design with a strange thing for pipes and moustaches.
Berlin: Fein und Ripp
Fein und Ripp is another one of those places that you could easily walk right by without noticing it. Situated in an old building in the hipster area of Berlin, it’s a father and son business with a clear focus on heritage clothing, either in the form of original deadstock or in modern reproductions. The shop itself is uniquely decorated in a vintage German style and the guys obviously love their jobs!
Berlin runner up 1: DC4
If you’re looking for hardcore Japanese denim in Berlin, DC4 is the place to be. Their selection is large and relevant, and hemming is available on-site.
London: Rivet & Hide
Rivet & Hide have recently opened a proper shop, after testing the water for a while in the form of a visitable-by-appointment showroom. While they stock a huge selection of denim and related garments, the enthusiasm and dedication of the dynamic denim dealers Danny and Junior is infectious. And Junior is a master of hemming on the Union Special!
London: SEH Kelly
The smallest of tiny shops on this list is the SEH Kelly workshop in Shoreditch. In a back yard filled with small workshops the world HQ and only UK retail outlet of this fine menswear brand can be found. Possibly only 10 square meters in all, it’s the perfect example of a company run by the truly dedicated. Unless they’re out and about chasing up new makers on the British Isles, it may be open, and well worth a visit for an inspiring chat about how to make things properly.
Oslo: Skomaker Dagestad
The only shop I can recommend visiting if you happen to find yourself in Oslo, and especially so if you’re in need of a new pair of really excellent shoes. Or even if you’d like to see what truly excellent shoes look and feel like, and receive a lesson in what makes them excellent. A rare opportunity and a select selection.
There will no doubt be more to come!