Brussels is shaking off its reputation as a ‘businessman’s city’ and taking on design capitals like Copenhagen and Berlin at their own game with a growing collection of fashion-forward and design-daring boutiques, art shops, vintage shops and concept stores. Championing home grown brands as well as the best of Scandinavian design, vintage finds and classic pieces for the home, say hello to our favourite art shops, concept stores and vintage boutiques in Brussels.
One of the city’s foremost contemporary clothing stores for women, located just 3 minutes walk from The Hotel Brussels. This concept store’s collection includes Nordic and local labels like Theory, Won Hundred, Ganni and Nanushka. The industrial warehouse setting allows for spacious browsing and long rails of designer selections. The staff are knowledgeable, the collection is simple, current and authentic and the setting includes well-thought-out features like large skylights above the changing rooms for getting a natural-light look before you buy.
Saturday 10:30-19:00 and the 1st Sunday of the Month
This fashion brand and design house is one of Belgium’s best clothing exports and has grown to have 55 stores around the world from Madrid to South Korea. The designer pieces in the Essentiel Antwerp collection are within reach of most fashionistas wardrobe budget and have been designed with a philosophy of ‘battling boredom and dressing your emotions’. The beautiful construction, bold prints, strong lines and uniquely Essentiel take on some silhouettes allows them to live up to their philosophy. There is a number of Essentiel Antwerp clothing design stores in Brussels, some of which also stock a select choice of local and global brands such as Nike, Eastpak, Veja, Trickers and Paraboot.
Gabriele Vintage is home to some of the best hand-picked vintage fashion for men and women in Brussels. For two decades Gabriele Wolf and her vintage loving team have curated a collection of beautiful pieces dating from the twenties through to the eighties. This is a vintage store for those looking for a true one-of-a-kind, where craftmanship is more important than disposable fashion, and where defining your own style beats Instagram-imitations. It’s open throughout the week, but if you’re staying in Brussels on the first Sunday of the month, pop in at Gabriele Vintage (as well as several other vintage stores and concept stores in Brussels) and join the first Sunday shopping movement.
Wednesday to Saturday 11:00 – 19:00 and 12:00 – 17:00 on the first Sunday of the month.
Vintage furniture and décor from Eames and Gavina, as well as contemporary classics from French design companies Tolix and Surpil, lighting by Gras and Azimut and much more is available at this established vintage shop in Brussels. Whether you are looking for that perfect piece for your home or some design inspiration, a visit to Rue Darwin 33 is time well spent in the city. Owner Tim Dubus’ eye for the unique, quirky and collectible, as well as his collection of vintage storefront typography, make this an especially interesting destination.
With a catalogue that changes with what’s hot but pays respect to classic design pieces, InStore always seems to remain ahead of the curve when it comes to helping you choose the best décor and furniture at their 1500m2 multi-layered showroom. For flying-in visitors to the city, the temptation to purchase something far bigger than your luggage allowance will allow is a real danger. But with more than 30 years of experience and furnishings for every corner of your dream home, it deserves a spot on our list of favourites.
An alternative to InStore, with an equally well-chosen (if not as large) collection of interior design options (including brands like Muuto, Thames & Hudson and Normann Copenhagen) is La Fabrika on Rue Antoine Dansaert. You not only have a showroom to inspire you, but the design expertise of the owners to help you pick the perfect piece.
A permanent fixture on the Brussels design scene since 2010, this concept store founded by Niels Radtke and Aude Gribomont is the go-to destination for the city’s design aficionados. Hunting & Collecting lives up to its name by sourcing and stocking brands recognised and loved by those in-the-know and helping define the Brussels fashion scene. Menswear, ladieswear and even designer wear for the kids; pay a visit to this dynamic boutique and explore their experimental approach to shopping and design.