Wondering what Buenos Aires shopping scene is famous for? Since Argentina is still very much a closed economy, very few international designers and brands can be found in the city and, if you do find them, the extortionate import taxes make them not even worth buying. Instead, focus on Buenos Aires' vibrant local design scene. There are a huge number of local up and coming designers that have all your wardrobe needs covered, offering one-of-a-kind designs in clothing, handbags, jewelry, shoes and other accessories, not to mention the country's talented artisans, who help keep Argentina's traditional crafts alive. If you want to take home a few special mementos of Buenos Aires, here are our top five must-buys when shopping in Argentina's cosmopolitan capital.
1. Leather Goods
It's true what they say about Argentine leather. And Buenos Aires shopping scene offers some of the world's finest hides, ranging from soft baby calf to buttery lambskin and goatskin, not forgetting carpincho, the leather of choice for the gauchos (that comes from Argentina's resident giant rodent, the capybara). Leather boutiques are in abundance in Buenos Aires but we'd suggest focusing on a bespoke leather jacket tailored to your precise specs and tastes (with a little style advice from us), a pair of handmade leather shoes from one of the city's emerging shoe designers and a limited edition leather purse from one of the city's secret leather showrooms.
2. Artisan Silver
We're not referring to plata 925 here but the local artisan silver: alpaca (also known as German silver). While it's not as precious as sterling silver (it's an alloy) it has the same shiny look and feel and is much more durable and stronger. The city's local artisans craft some beautiful tableware and other decorative pieces for the home in this traditional material as well as some striking jewelry pieces.
3. A Piece of Argentine Fashion
Buenos Aires has an edgy local fashion scene with a number of very promising emerging designers proposing different looks and aesthetics. Take home a statement piece from one of Buenos Aires' up-and-coming fashion designers safe in the knowledge that you won't see anyone else wearing it back home.
When you think of Buenos Aires shopping scene, you don't automatically think of textiles but when you consider the vast green plains, mountains and desert in the country and the abundance of sheep, llamas and alpacas that populate these landscapes then it's easy to see why the country's indigenous artisans and designers hand-weave and knit some beautiful textiles. Another unique material commonly used in the north of Argentina is chaguar, a thread spun from the chaguar plant by the indigenous Wichi communities and used to weave beautiful bags, cushion covers and other intricate crafts.
While you're limited in what you can take in your suitcase (and through customs), at least one bottle of fine Argentine Malbec wine is worth the extra weight, or a bottle of fresh and fruity Torrontes if you prefer white.
To save yourselves time and effort and access Buenos Aires' top shopping spots and the city's exclusive closed-door shopping scene, book a bespoke shopping trip with us. Contact us for more information by clicking on the button below.