Some people travel for the landscape, others for the night scene. If you’re the type of traveler though who can’t go home empty-handed because you simply must add something to your collection, whatever it may be, then you shouldn’t miss out on these collector’s havens. These cities will certainly satisfy all of your cravings.

Photography and San Francisco


Without a doubt, San Francisco is home to the most valuable collections of photography. The galleries here are neither overpriced nor intimidating, so even if you’re just starting a small collection at home, you’ll surely cozy up to the idea of scouring the collections here.
If you’re a newcomer in SF trying to take the unbeaten path, you should go straight to Gallery 291. Interesting printing techniques using gums, gelatin and platinum are showcased in this joint. You can even take a look at the gallery owner’s office to see works by Jock Sturges and Ansel Adams.

Down Geary Street, on the other hand, you’ll see Torogon’s which showcases the chromogenics (water color-like photography technique) of Jessica Skloven and the “fragmented landscapes” of Hiroyo Kaneco from Japan. Both galleries are pay homage to some of the most innovative photography works in this era.

While you’re there, don’t hesitate to ask the gallery owners about the photographer’s career, background, and technique. While they may seem high strung from a distance, they’re actually quite friendly, and they’ll accommodate your queries even if you’re not a sure buyer. Also, if a particular photograph catches your attention, don’t be afraid to ask the gallery owner if there are more photographs which aren’t on display.

Most of the collections in San Francisco are also published online. You might want to get a head start on your window shopping. When it comes to asking for discounts, there are always a proper way of doing it. Make sure that you ask politely. Most galleries take 10% off of the price tag simply because these prints aren’t taxed.

Paris for the Bauble


Need we explain? For the fashion crazy, Paris is short for paradise, and you’ll certainly never be short on any accessory while you’re here. You can find anything here, from the costume jewelry of the 20th century to the most avant-garde designs in the today’s runways.

If you’ve booked a trip to the City of Lights on a weekend, you should explore the Puces de St.-Ouen (St. Ouen’s flea market) which welcomes customers from Saturdays through Mondays. It sits at the northern portion of the Peripherique Ring Road and the Porte de Clignancourt Metro Station comprising of thousands of stalls selling chic fashion accessories at bargain prices.

On the other hand, you may also want to take a look at the Au Grenier de Lucie market which is located at the Marche Vernaison. This is a pretty eclectic and doubtlessly oldest flea market in Paris, selling interesting fashion items including Yves Laurent earring sets and necklaces. Sparking collections made by the American designer Miriam Haskell can also be found here.

For vintage couture, don’t forget to visit the boutique of Didier Ludot. The main boutique, just under the Palais Royal arcades, is almost a fashion museum. Designer labeled dresses from the 1930s through the 1970s are displayed (and sold) here. While the collection is quite impeccable, you won’t see any price tags on the items themselves. Just be prepared to spend quite a lot of money if you wish to take home anything.

Shoe Collecting in Buenos Aires


There are a lot of footwear fanatics around the globe, and if you share the same passion, you should definitely visit the city of Buenos Aires. Whether your budget is for the likes of Pierre Hardy or Gap, you’ll definitely enjoy the vast collection of footwear in this district. Designers even say that Buenos Aires is such a shoe-lover’s city that the next year’s trend is born here. If you like being the trendsetter, this is the right fashion stop for you.

From the border, the first shop you should visit is the Lucila Iotti which is in Palermo. The flamingo displayed on the shop’s wall says everything—the designs here are nothing short of exhibitionist. Lucila knows her fashion, and she’s definitely royalty when it comes to Buenos Aires’ long line of footwear designers. This fashion season, she’s using bright, clashing colors on her shoe designs, oddly reminiscent of graffiti.

In this current collection, the Diana is a standout, which has a shocking pink heel. However, if you’re feeling modest, Iotti also has these designs in more muted cream, forest green, navy and black.

Another unusual designer you should see in Buenos Aires is Josefina Ferroni. Her luxe footwear also has a very limited production of 15 pairs, so once they’re sold, they’ll never be available again. Now, if you’re all for being unique, this is probably the best boutique to go to.

A few blocks away, you’ll also find Mishka whose collection is for the modern day princesses. Prepare to see the most graceful and colorful looking flats you’ll ever lay your eyes on. High heels in buttery leather are also sold here.

For the more conservative footwear aficionado, you may want to visit the La Casa de las Botas in Paraguay. They sell elegant and understated flats which are perfect for riding, and playing polo. You can also find dress boots here. The house of boots prides itself for making comfortable but graceful footwear. Just have your feet measured and choose among mahogany, oak, or black leather.

If you’re looking for dance shoes, a cab ride to Recoleta is worth your dime. Look for the Comme Il Faut which sits on the second floor of a small apartment building. They have quite a collection of dancing shoes with interesting ankle straps designed by the dancer Alicia Muniz herself. ‘

Just perch yourself in one of the boutique’s velvet benches and tell them your shoe size. Despite the crude $200 price tag, the shoes here will have you feeling like Cinderella on her glass slippers. Only thirty pairs per design are produced, so if you fall in love with one, go ahead and grab it.

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