New York shopaholics (and count us among them!) have plenty of fantastic fashion options right in their own backyard, ranging from uber-stylish department stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys to global brand boutiques representing the best in high-end design. But for many discerning stylistas, one city is never enough. When searching for the perfect new shoe, bag, or piece of jewelry, they’re willing to travel to just about any corner of the globe. And while we all like to rack up our Frequent Flyer miles, sometimes, well, we just can’t make it to Paris for les soldes or to London for some retail therapy along Calvert Avenue.
That’s why we love shoptiques.com, the site that allows you to destination shop without having to leave your keyboard. The company founded by Olga Vidisheva, a Harvard MBA and former model, in 2011 is a cool and fast-growing network linking independent fashion boutiques around the world. (They’ve just set out to conquer Australia and added their first Down Under boutiques–a total of 90 of them–but more about that below!)
So where are New Yorkers heading when they virtual shop abroad? Shoptiques gave us the low-down on the international spots preferred by Gothamites for finding that that perfect, one-of-a-kind piece. Three boutiques are in Canada (!), according to Vidisheva, who also serves as the firm’s CEO. Why Canada? Could it be the Justin Trudeau effect? (We’ve all been turning our eyes northward to see what this charming, empathetic, and hunky prime minister is up to, n’est-ce pas?) The good exchange rate? The latter is only part of it. “Canadian boutiques carry beautiful items at a great value,” says Vidisheva. “It really comes back to why Shoptiques was founded–to help shoppers discover small wonders from the best independent boutique shops around the world. From Toronto to Vancouver, we’ve had so much fun unearthing unique stores.”
Vidsheva says she and her team have just taken on not just a few new cities, but an entirely new continent–Australia–so that the fashion crowd can “gain access to a very distinct and vibrant designer and boutique scene.” Among the stores joining Shoptiques are some of the most sought-after indie shops like White Bohemian, Wolfe, and Ordnance and Kisskill. “From Day One, we considered ourselves a global company,” says Vidisheva. “With the expansion to Australia, this is even more true. Now New Yorkers can shop Australia hassle-free and jet-lag free.”
We’re sure in another month or so, an Aussie shop will make it onto the New York Shoptique customers’ top 5 list. But for now, check out the cool options below.