With online sales at an all-time high and the high street in a steady state of decline, bricks-and-mortar menswear stores are at risk of becoming relics of the past.
These spaces are the physical manifestations of our favourite brands; they’re hubs where like-minded people can come together; they’re the longstanding linchpins of the global menswear community. It’s up to us to keep them alive.
Seeing garments in the flesh and chatting to salespeople who are passionate about their wares will always trump reading a product description and clicking ‘add to cart’. So, before you embark on your next online shopping spree, first stop to consider whether the experience could be enriched by venturing out into the real world instead.
To help inspire you, we’ve rounded up a selection of some of our favourite menswear shops from around the world. From weird-and-wonderful high-fashion concepts to classic tailoring institutions, here’s Ape’s pick of the world’s finest menswear stores.
The Vintage Showroom – London
Covent Garden’s The Vintage Showroom isn’t just any old vintage store. In fact, it’s part of one of the biggest archives or rare and historic men’s clothing in the world.
Flick through the rails of weird and wonderful garments from decades gone by. Here you’ll find things like unusual army surplus pieces, vintage sailor’s smocks and much, much more.
20 Buspace Studios, Conlan Street, London, W10 5AP
Silver Deer – Mexico City, Mexico
The wooden lattice and lightbox facade of Mexico City’s Silver Deer wouldn’t look at all out of place on an episode of Grand Designs.
Inside, things are similarly aesthetically pleasing. Marble, wood and exposed brick create contrast while floor-to-ceiling mirrors generate a sense of openness. On the rails, a selection of upscale clothing and footwear ranging from casual classics to soft tailoring, courtesy of brands including Common Projects, Acne Studios, Thom Browne and Universal Works.
Av. Javier Barros Sierra 540, Santa Fe, Zedec Sta Fé, Álvaro Obregón, 01219 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Bodega – Boston, USA
Looks can be deceiving. That’s something you’ll find out firsthand should you happen to visit Bodega. A Boston sneaker store with a difference.
Masquerading as a simple convenience store, Bodega’s visitors must open a fake drinks machine at the back of the room to enter the shop itself, where they’ll find a selection of kicks and streetwear to satisfy even the most discerning of sneakerheads.
6 Clearway St, Boston, MA 02115, United States
AMI – Paris, France
There’s no shortage of chic menswear boutiques in the French capital. Still, AMI’s Parisian flagship is one of our favourites.
The minimalist menswear label actually has three locations in the city, but it’s the Boulevard Beaumarchais outpost that serves as the menswear flagship. Expect stylish, stripped-back decor and clothes to match.
109 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France
Beams – Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
The flagship store of the Japanese fashion franchise, Beams’ Harajuku store showcases the hottest new pieces from the brand alongside apparel and accessories from a carefully chosen selection of external labels.
Beams is a long-established trailblazer in Japanese fashion and the Harajuku outpost has been the brand’s HQ since 1976. Expect to find the latest collabs and exclusive pieces. Oh, and don’t forget to nip down the road and check out Beams Plus while you’re there.
1F/2F, 3-24-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Gieves & Hawkes – London
Situated at No.1 Savile Row, the global capital of tailoring, Gieves & Hawkes’ prime location on this Iconic London street is befitting a sartorial institution of its rank.
With a history that can be traced back to 1771, it is one of the oldest bespoke tailors in the world and has welcomed everyone from royalty to A-list celebrities through its doors.
1 Savile Row, Mayfair, London, W1S 3JR
Soto – Berlin, Germany
Playing host to some of the most exclusive and forward-thinking brands in the world, Soto is Berlin’s go-to spot for high-end, contemporary menswear.
With a highly Instagramable interior and a diverse yet tightly curated label roster that includes everything from Dries van Noten to Carhartt WIP, this den of cool is the natural byproduct of one of the most stylish cities on earth.
Torstraße 72, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Norse Store – Copenhagen, Denmark
Home of the eponymous Scandinavian label Norse Projects, Norse Store is a multi-brand retail space offering the best in minimalist menswear, sneakers and streetwear.
Displayed against the store’s stripped-back interior, shoppers will find a tightly curated selection of apparel, accessories and publications that adhere to Norse’s tagline, “Created for life – good for all seasons”. In other words, highly versatile garb that looks the part.
Pilestræde 39, 1112 København K, Denmark
Noah – New York City, USA
Noah’s trademark blend of preppiness, tailoring and streetwear has made it one of the most interesting and unique menswear brands in the world today.
The label’s New York flagship store is an embodiment of everything Noah represents. From the artfully mismatched decor to the eclectically stocked rails and shelves, where you’re as likely to find a double-breasted, Italian-made blazer as you are a logo hoodie.
195 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012, United States
END. – Newcastle, Glasgow & London
An international fashion-retail force to be reckoned with, END. is probably best known for its online exploits. Strangely enough, though, it actually started life down a Newcastle backstreet.
Today, the store has impressive shopfronts in Glasgow and London as well as its hometown, stocking everything from high-fashion classics to cutting-edge streetwear.
104 – 108 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6JG
Christian Kimber – Melbourne, Australia
Located in the coolest district of Australia’s coolest city, Fitzroy’s Christian Kimber has been on a mission to bring classy casualwear to Melbourne and beyond.
The store has a laid-back feel, with coffee and refreshments to enjoy while you browse the goods at your leisure. For the man who hates shopping, there is no better place to do it.
264 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne VIC 3065, Australia
Ralph Lauren Mansion – New York City, USA
Located in a French Renaissance revival mansion in Manhattan, RL’s NYC flagship is a masterclass in opulence.
Garments are displayed against a backdrop of oak-panelled walls, intricately detailed high ceilings and carved wood columns. In fact, it’s worth a visit for the architecture and interior design alone.
867 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021, United States
CHART – Koenji, Tokyo, Japan
It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to describe Tokyo’s Koenji district as the global capital of vintage menswear. Here, shoppers can spend hours going from door to door in the district’s arcades.
It’s hard to pick just one, but CHART is the most obvious choice. The store focuses on classic vintage American style and stocks a host of designer pieces from the 1960s to the 2000s. The huge collection of shoes is what separates it from Koenji’s other stores, though, with a whole floor dedicated to vintage Oxfords, loafers, boots and beyond.
4 Chome-30-8 Koenjiminami, Suginami City, Tokyo 166-0003, Japan