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Wellington’s compact geography makes for an easy shopping experience. The city is full of fashionable stores and boutiques, centred around Cuba, Willis, Victoria, Wakefield and Featherston Streets and, of course, the Golden Mile on Lambton Quay. Here are a few of our favourite stores stocking the hottest New Zealand and international designs, and stylish vintage wares.
For the ultimate shopping experience be sure to stop by the iconic Kirkcaldie & Stains department store. Their friendly commissionaire ushers you into a retail mecca established in 1863. All class. You’ll find everything from shoes to hats and egg beaters to boutique sweets. www.kirkcaldies.co.nz (165-177 Lambton Quay)
A small shop tucked away off the main shopping routes, this street boutique is well worth a detour. Keep an eye out for local labels such as twenty-seven names. www.goodasgold.co.nz (140 Victoria Street)
As the name suggests GOODNESS combines all that is good in designer clothing, giftware and homeware. Keep an eye out for local designers Julian Danger, Deryl Schmidt and Nicola Screen. www.goodness.co.nz (College Street)
Stocking all the best New Zealand fashion upstarts including Company of Strangers, Deadly Ponies, Deborah Sweeney, Gatoure, Jimmy D, Lela Jacobs, Lonely Hearts, Lou & Ash, Miss Crabb, Self Help, Stolen Girlfriends Club, and WELFE, The Service Depot is a must-visit for followers of fashion. www.theservicedepot.co.nz (126 Wakefield Street)
After two years of supplying beautiful quality handmade jewels to the nation, Claire Terry opened up the Madame Fancy Pants boutique in Cuba Street. Here you’ll find clothing jewellery, accessories and a range of homewares. www.madamefancypants.com (217 Cuba Street)
Mandatory is a swish menswear fashion label that can only be bought at the source in Wellington’s Cuba Mall. They’ve been designing favourites built to be worn to death since ’97. Mandatory has a reputation for quality, knowledge, honest assistance, and making flattering cuts of clothes that guys like. www.mandatory.co.nz (108 Cuba Mall)
For 14 years Iko Iko has sat in the heart of Cuba Street, bustling with creativity and excitement and offering a wide and enviable range of eclectic designer gifts, books, sunglasses and toys. Their international and locally sourced jewellery collection is not to be missed. www.ikoiko.co.nz (118 Cuba Mall)
Hunters and Collectors stock new and used vintage, modern, skate, street and punk clothing, footwear, leather, accessories and jewellery. They buy, sell and trade. (134 Cuba Street)
Karen Walker's flagship store in Wellington carries the Karen Walker label, KW jewellery and KW eyewear, as well as a select group of international labels including Viktor and Rolf and Servane. www.karenwalker.com (126 Wakefield Street)
The collections from this well established Kiwi-designer have a quirky sense of humour that belies the garments' simplicity of form. Above all else, the garments are infinitely wearable. Kate Sylvester's clean, minimalist approach to tailoring ensures that the clothes surpass seasons, age and fleeting notions of fashion. www.katesylvester.com (32 Cuba Street)
Kilt is a New Zealand made label dedicated to producing high quality women’s designer streetwear. New pieces are released in-store weekly to keep things fresh. www.kilt.co.nz (100 Victoria Street)
Swonderful is a boutique with a quirky mixture of fashion, art, jewellery and homeware. At Swonderful you will find a celebration of the handmade, unique tee-shirts, clothing and all things cute and crafty. www.swonderful.co.nz (95 Victoria Street)
Shoezies import and sell Italian, French and Spanish fashion shoes for women. Stock is sourced directly from manufacturers across Europe. Shoezies relocated to Wellington after the February 22 Christchurch earthquake which saw the shop destroyed in 2011. www.shoezies.co.nz (Cnr of Wakefield and Tory Streets)
"New Zealand’s little capital may be unprepossessing in size, but it packs a punch when it comes to food, fashion and style."
- Sunday Telegraph