buenos aires shopping guide

san telmo

The birthplace of tango—and once home to Buenos Aires' bourgeois class—this formerly lovely barrio went to seed for most of the 20th century. But a motley mix of antique-filled arcades and emerging-label boutiques is bringing the romance back.

Un Buen Orden

Luis Miguel Parma and Horacio Campillo regularly traverse Argentina, from the southern Patagonian plains up to the dusty highlands near the Paraguayan border, in search of all types of antiques—army medals, swaths of old lace, elaborate chandeliers-then stock their store with the spoils. Despite the shop's name (it translates to "The Good Order"), the way in which the merchandise is displayed is gloriously chaotic.
Defensa 894, no phone
Products: Accessories, Decorative/Lighting, Linen, Tabletop, Gifts/Design
Type of Store: Consignment/ Resale

Pablo Ramirez

There's something mournful and dramatic about Ramirez's expertly tailored, gracefully understated garments—and it goes beyond the fact that nearly all of his designs come exclusively in white or black. A constant source of inspiration for Ramirez is the solemn look of nun's habits, and whatever the season, echoes of their simple lines and crisp details invariably turn up in his creations.
Ca 1190 1315, phone: 4815-5147, pabloramirez.com.ar

Products: Women's Clothing
Type of Store: Boutique

Pasaje la Defensa

Perhaps the most atmospheric shopping destination in the entire city, this antique-vendor-filled retail arcade, located in the 19th-century former Italianate townhouse of a once-prominent local family, is so stunning that you have to keep rubbing your eyes to make sure it's real: Beautiful crocheted bedspreads drape from curlicue iron railings; velvet-upholstered furniture is scattered through the many Portuguese-tiled, fountain-filled courtyards; and various salons and sitting rooms are occupied by dealers proffering everything from old silver flatware to semiprecious jewelry.
Defensa 1179, no phone

Products: Jewelry, Accessories, Antique, Furniture, Linens, Tabletop
Type of Store: Boutique

Puntos en el Espacio

One continuous rack snakes around the perimeter of this slick shop, and it's divvied up into dozens of separate sections, each one dedicated to the work of a different rising designer. It's difficult to spend more than $50 on any one piece; we were obsessed with Esoteria's batwing-sleeved jersey tunics and the bright, laminated-cotton rain jackets by Oveja Negra.
Perú 979, 4307-1742, puntosenelespacio.com.ar

Products: Women's Clothing
Type of Store: Boutique

Wussmann

It's impossible not to be impressed by this multidimensional stationery store. The soaring space combines grandiose old-fashioned elements (card-catalog-style drawers filled with luxe papers; a working antique in-store press) with witty, modern details, including a cutout in the floor that gives a peek of a cellar-level bookstore.
Venezuela 574, 4343-4707, Rodriguez Pena 1399, 4811-2444, wussmann.com

Products: Accessories, Books/Stationery, Gifts/Design
Type of Store: Boutique

Bazar La Luna

Walking into this old-school kitchen-goods retailer is like stepping 50 years into the past: The space is simple and rustic, weathered shelves heave with practical, well-designed cookware, and the pace of the sales help is unhurried to the point that you half expect them to take an espresso break between transactions. This store is so authentically Argentine, in fact, that it has been honored by the city for preserving the traditional way of business.
Tacuarí 601, 4334-0301

Products: Tabletop
Type of Store: Fair/Flea Market

Faustino Lopez

Right now Argentina is a hotbed of up-and-coming designers: It's inexpensive to start a business, the economy is rebounding, and due to the country's relative geographic isolation, there isn't a lot of competition from lines being imported from other parts of the globe. Former graphic designer Faustino Lopez is one of Buenos Aires' most promising new names, and his predilection for clean silhouettes, a stark palette, and mod details—like jumbo buttons—has made his first collection a standout.
Estados Unidos 756, 4300-6941, W - Sun 2:30 pm - 8 pm, faustinolopez.com.ar

Products: Women's Clothing
Type of Store: Boutique

Gil Antiguedades

Owned by a cantankerous yet ultimately endearing husband-and-wife team, this trilevel spot is best known for its antiques, but we only had eyes for its basement stash of vintage clothing. As you take in the floor-to-ceiling assortment of museum-quality clothing, hats, bags, and shawls (many pieces date from the Victorian era), you'll feel like you've been let in on some amazing secret.
Humberto I, 412-4361/5019, gilantiguedades.com.ar

Products: Women's Clothing, Jewelry, Accessories, Antiques, Furniture
Type of Store: Consignment

Guastavino

A family business for nearly a century, this dusty optical shop has a lockdown on vintage designer eyewear, and the selection is so charmingly haphazard—crazy, colorful, oversize no-name resin-frame sunglasses might be fastened onto a crumbling cardboard display next to ultra glam, highly collectible Gucci ones—that you'd swear all the stock was dragged straight from a long-forgotten trove in someone's attic.
Defensa 1066, Ste. 31, 4307-6820

Products: Accessories
Type of Store: Consignment/ Resale, Designer Discount

Materia Urbana

Created and run by a coterie of artists, this studio-shop showcases the work of more than 100 different names in the world of Buenos Aires design, from animators and architects to ceramicists and painters. The airy, second-floor spread is broken up into various gallery like rooms, and it all has the feel of a working studio, with exposed rafters, whitewashed walls, and wares unfussily displayed atop simple sawhorse tables.
Defensa 707, 4361-5265, materiaurbana.com

Products: Jewelry, Accessories, Furniture, Linens, Tabletop, Books/Stationery, Tabletop
Type of Store: Boutique
« 1 2 »