In the ever-evolving fashion industry, sartorial game changers come from the most unexpected places. While New York, Paris, London and Milan still dominate the style narrative, avant-garde designers and street-style influencers increasingly come from cities where the fashion scene is more experimental than established. Thanks to the rise of e-commerce and social media, niche brands and local trendsetters have seen their audiences expand – just look at the influence of K-pop in hip-hop fashion and the Soviet legacy on streetwear (see our favourite K-pop Street Style Star here). It’s time to move on from the Big Four and focus on the new fashion capitals.

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top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring los angeles LA street fashion

Los Angeles

The style:

Los Angeles is known as the sunny, beach-fun, pressed-juice-loving capital of the US, but it is also becoming a fashion hub to rival New York. Local labels such as Fear of God, Stampd and Anti Social Social Club have been responsible for spreading LA’s laid-back, streetwise aesthetic, with oversized hoodies, tongue-in-cheek graphic tees and trainers its official uniform. On the other hand, Los Angeles isn’t lacking in ostentatious celebrity style either, with stars like the Kardashians pushing their unique brand of Calabasas cool. The resulting style brings together streetwear and sex appeal, like pairing an Off-White sweatshirt with a bodycon skirt and stiletto boots. Well played.

Where to go:

With its infinite sprawl and almost non-existent public transport, LA can be difficult to navigate for the average sightseer, so you’d better be a good driver. Although West Hollywood and Santa Monica are the traditional hotspots for shoppers, there has been a shift of late to more rent-friendly areas like Downtown Los Angeles and Silver Lake. Whatever you do, don’t head to Melrose: it’s but a shell of its former shopping-haven self. Head Downtown to shop for exclusive trainers at The Holy Grail and Blends; for some artsy vintage finds and home décor items check out Alchemy. And if you want to know what modern American dining is really all about, go to Bestia, a former warehouse turned hip restaurant that’s extremely Instagrammable.

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top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring seoul korea shopping mall
top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring seoul korea street fashion

Seoul

The style:

Tokyo and Hong Kong might be big players in the fashion world, but Seoul snatches the title of Asia’s most progressive fashion capital. In the city where streetwear reigns supreme, Seoul’s fashion influencers aren’t afraid to mix couture with contemporary brands and bring hip-hop drama from MVs to the streets. On any given day, you’ll find K-pop stars and models pairing glamorous furs with the latest trainers, or boldly flaunting logo-saturated sweatshirts alongside Chanel. Homegrown brands like Charm’s, Nonagon, Push Button and Gentle Monster have also become de rigueur in local tastemakers’ wardrobes. And Seoul isn’t just about style; it’s equally as impressive as a garment manufacturer, which is how the city churns out updated, trendy fashion so quickly. The see now, buy now model has been happening in Seoul for quite some time now.

Where to go:

No self-respecting fashion maven can go to Seoul without paying a visit to Dongdaemun Market, the city’s 24-hour commercial district. Encompassing 26 shopping malls, the stores within are perfect for indulging your after-hours cravings for fast fashion, from oversized sweatshirts to denim. For those seeking a more curated experience, head to the Hannam-dong district, where emerging designers are making their mark. If you’re craving a quick bite between shopping stints, the century-old Gwangjang Market has scores of Korean delicacies on offer, from fresh kimbap rice rolls to sizzling bindaetteok pancakes. And if you’re looking for a classy joint with stiff drinks on offer, go to Still in Gangnam, where cocktails are a multi-sensory experience.

 

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top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring moscow russia boutique store
top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring moscow russia street fashion

Moscow

The style:

Muscovites are masters of the art of high-low dressing. Due to Russia’s volatile economy, young fashionistas in Moscow have been forced to get sartorially creative, mixing designer pieces and contemporary streetwear with clothes from their parents’ closets. The result is a gritty, irreverent, utilitarian style that references everything from 90s skaters to Soviet athletes. Think vintage leather jackets, oversized bombers and sweats, supplemented by a liberal dose of Supreme and Gosha Rubchinskiy. The latter, the enfant terrible of Moscow’s fashion world, has been instrumental in getting Soviet-inspired style into the fashion mainstream, proving that Russia isn’t all fur coats and kitsch.

Where to go:

With its newly thriving fashion scene, Moscow is home to some of the best-curated streetwear stores in the world. Start at KM20 for a taste of what Russian youth are wearing right now, from local standouts Gosha Rubchinskiy and Tigran Avetisyan to stateside collabs like Fenty x Puma (find out more about the top fashion collaborations). Aside from fashion, the Russian capital is renowned for its underground rave culture in former industrial spaces. Arma17, a club housed in a decommissioned natural-gas factory, is the city’s techno ground zero.

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top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring antwerp belgium museum aan de stroom
top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring antwerp belgium street fashion

Antwerp

The style:

Home of the Antwerp Six, the Belgian city is known for its radical, avant-garde approach to style. Anchored by its Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp has long been an incubator of game-changing designers, including Vetements’ Demna Gvasalia, who shook up the couture world with his provocative, disproportionate, street-ready designs. Even though the city’s denizens have a penchant for monochromatic dressing, no doubt influenced by local tastemakers like Ann Demeulemeester, they aren’t afraid to be experimental, embracing androgynous styles and cutting-edge silhouettes that play with proportion.

Where to go:

If you’re running short on time, Antwerp has several concept stores that are half-boutique half-restaurant, enabling you to check out its design and dining scenes simultaneously. Head to Graanmarkt 13, located in the fashionable Wilde Zee district, for unique Belgian cuisine and a range of local brands, including the award-winning Christian Wijnants. If art and culture are more your scene, check out the Museum aan de Stroom, an impressive feat of modern architecture dedicated to Antwerp history that also houses one of the city’s most talked about cafes.

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top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring copenhagen denmark cute restaurant
top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring copenhagen denmark street fashion

Copenhagen

The style:

Most fashion capitals are known for embracing a maximalist aesthetic that attracts the street-style cameras, but Copenhagen is an exception. The Danish capital has managed to cultivate an effortless sense of fashion defined by clean silhouettes, laid-back styling and a focus on well-made basics: a typical outfit consists of a statement coat paired with an oversized sweater and skinny jeans in neutral tones. With Copenhagen-based brands like Norse Projects leading the minimalist revolution, the locals embrace a style that merges fashion with function.

Where to go:

Head to Wood Wood, a boutique synonymous with Copenhagen style, for clean, contemporary silhouettes with a dash of street flair. Of course, the Norse Store, home to Norse Projects and classic streetwear brands like Henrik Vibskov, is also a must-visit. If all this shopping makes you hungry, explore the fashionable Meatpacking District for dining options in former slaughterhouses. And if you’re feeling fancy, Copenhagen is home to internationally acclaimed, two-Michelin-starred Noma, renowned for its modern interpretations of Nordic cuisine – but hurry, before chef René Redzepi closes the restaurant on New Year’s Eve 2016.

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Los Angeles

The style:

Los Angeles is known as the sunny, beach-fun, pressed-juice-loving capital of the US, but it is also becoming a fashion hub to rival New York. Local labels such as Fear of God, Stampd and Anti Social Social Club have been responsible for spreading LA’s laid-back, streetwise aesthetic, with oversized hoodies, tongue-in-cheek graphic tees and trainers its official uniform. On the other hand, Los Angeles isn’t lacking in ostentatious celebrity style either, with stars like the Kardashians pushing their unique brand of Calabasas cool. The resulting style brings together streetwear and sex appeal, like pairing an Off-White sweatshirt with a bodycon skirt and stiletto boots. Well played.

top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring los angeles LA street fashion

Where to go:

With its infinite sprawl and almost non-existent public transport, LA can be difficult to navigate for the average sightseer, so you’d better be a good driver. Although West Hollywood and Santa Monica are the traditional hotspots for shoppers, there has been a shift of late to more rent-friendly areas like Downtown Los Angeles and Silver Lake. Whatever you do, don’t head to Melrose: it’s but a shell of its former shopping-haven self. Head Downtown to shop for exclusive trainers at The Holy Grail and Blends; for some artsy vintage finds and home décor items check out Alchemy. And if you want to know what modern American dining is really all about, go to Bestia, a former warehouse turned hip restaurant that’s extremely Instagrammable.

Gold Underline small (600)
top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring seoul korea shopping mall

Seoul

The style:

Tokyo and Hong Kong might be big players in the fashion world, but Seoul snatches the title of Asia’s most progressive fashion capital. In the city where streetwear reigns supreme, Seoul’s fashion influencers aren’t afraid to mix couture with contemporary brands and bring hip-hop drama from MVs to the streets. On any given day, you’ll find K-pop stars and models pairing glamorous furs with the latest trainers, or boldly flaunting logo-saturated sweatshirts alongside Chanel. Homegrown brands like Charm’s, Nonagon, Push Button and Gentle Monster have also become de rigueur in local tastemakers’ wardrobes. And Seoul isn’t just about style; it’s equally as impressive as a garment manufacturer, which is how the city churns out updated, trendy fashion so quickly. The see now, buy now model has been happening in Seoul for quite some time now.

top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring seoul korea street fashion

Where to go:

No self-respecting fashion maven can go to Seoul without paying a visit to Dongdaemun Market, the city’s 24-hour commercial district. Encompassing 26 shopping malls, the stores within are perfect for indulging your after-hours cravings for fast fashion, from oversized sweatshirts to denim. For those seeking a more curated experience, head to the Hannam-dong district, where emerging designers are making their mark. If you’re craving a quick bite between shopping stints, the century-old Gwangjang Market has scores of Korean delicacies on offer, from fresh kimbap rice rolls to sizzling bindaetteok pancakes. And if you’re looking for a classy joint with stiff drinks on offer, go to Still in Gangnam, where cocktails are a multi-sensory experience.

Gold Underline small (600)
top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring moscow russia boutique store

Moscow

The style:

Muscovites are masters of the art of high-low dressing. Due to Russia’s volatile economy, young fashionistas in Moscow have been forced to get sartorially creative, mixing designer pieces and contemporary streetwear with clothes from their parents’ closets. The result is a gritty, irreverent, utilitarian style that references everything from 90s skaters to Soviet athletes. Think vintage leather jackets, oversized bombers and sweats, supplemented by a liberal dose of Supreme and Gosha Rubchinskiy. The latter, the enfant terrible of Moscow’s fashion world, has been instrumental in getting Soviet-inspired style into the fashion mainstream, proving that Russia isn’t all fur coats and kitsch.

top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring moscow russia street fashion

Where to go:

With its newly thriving fashion scene, Moscow is home to some of the best-curated streetwear stores in the world. Start at KM20 for a taste of what Russian youth are wearing right now, from local standouts Gosha Rubchinskiy and Tigran Avetisyan to stateside collabs like Fenty x Puma (find out more about the top fashion collaborations). Aside from fashion, the Russian capital is renowned for its underground rave culture in former industrial spaces. Arma17, a club housed in a decommissioned natural-gas factory, is the city’s techno ground zero.

Gold Underline small (600)
top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring antwerp belgium museum aan de stroom

Antwerp

The style:

Home of the Antwerp Six, the Belgian city is known for its radical, avant-garde approach to style. Anchored by its Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp has long been an incubator of game-changing designers, including Vetements’ Demna Gvasalia, who shook up the couture world with his provocative, disproportionate, street-ready designs. Even though the city’s denizens have a penchant for monochromatic dressing, no doubt influenced by local tastemakers like Ann Demeulemeester, they aren’t afraid to be experimental, embracing androgynous styles and cutting-edge silhouettes that play with proportion.

top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring antwerp belgium street fashion

Where to go:

If you’re running short on time, Antwerp has several concept stores that are half-boutique half-restaurant, enabling you to check out its design and dining scenes simultaneously. Head to Graanmarkt 13, located in the fashionable Wilde Zee district, for unique Belgian cuisine and a range of local brands, including the award-winning Christian Wijnants. If art and culture are more your scene, check out the Museum aan de Stroom, an impressive feat of modern architecture dedicated to Antwerp history that also houses one of the city’s most talked about cafes.

Gold Underline small (600)
top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring copenhagen denmark cute restaurant

Copenhagen

The style:

Most fashion capitals are known for embracing a maximalist aesthetic that attracts the street-style cameras, but Copenhagen is an exception. The Danish capital has managed to cultivate an effortless sense of fashion defined by clean silhouettes, laid-back styling and a focus on well-made basics: a typical outfit consists of a statement coat paired with an oversized sweater and skinny jeans in neutral tones. With Copenhagen-based brands like Norse Projects leading the minimalist revolution, the locals embrace a style that merges fashion with function.

top 5 emerging fashion cities featuring copenhagen denmark street fashion

Where to go:

Head to Wood Wood, a boutique synonymous with Copenhagen style, for clean, contemporary silhouettes with a dash of street flair. Of course, the Norse Store, home to Norse Projects and classic streetwear brands like Henrik Vibskov, is also a must-visit. If all this shopping makes you hungry, explore the fashionable Meatpacking District for dining options in former slaughterhouses. And if you’re feeling fancy, Copenhagen is home to internationally acclaimed, two-Michelin-starred Noma, renowned for its modern interpretations of Nordic cuisine – but hurry, before chef René Redzepi closes the restaurant on New Year’s Eve 2016.

 

Gold Underline small (600)

If you want to find more fashion destinations, read our article on the traditional capitals of fashion at Fashion’s Five Most Important Capitals

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