So I often find myself shopping when traveling…partially because I feel as if I don’t have enough choice in Istanbul. Well having recently spent some time looking for two cocktail dresses, I’ve realized that there is a lot of choice if you know where to look.
So here are my tips for fashionistas either who live here or who are visiting Istanbul…many of you will probably know all of these but I wanted to share incase you’ve overlooked something or if you have something to add to the list!!
- Polar Moda $$$$ in Macka. This is my most recent find. Apparently it is known very well by the uber-fashionistas (which I am not) and is THE place to go if you need a formal gown or a special occasion outfit…They carry lines such as: Andrew GN, Monique Lhuillier, Victoria Beckham…and many more. Check it out if you are looking for something fancy.
- Beymen $$$$ Nisantasi and/or Istinye Park…each store carries a slightly different number of lines and models so check out both for designer wear and shoes. Istinye Park has the best “Blender” store which has all of the hip “young” brands. Also check out Beymen’s own line Academia which several of my fashionista friends claim have really good cuts. I own and enjoy a few pieces from Academia which I find to be fairly reasonably priced (exceptional value when 50% off).
- Brandroom $$$-$$$$ Nisantasi is a smaller much calmer, more managable store than it’s older way larger sister Harvey Nicks in Kanyon. Catch off season deals during sales. I have gotten amazing bargains at 50% +40% off sales at Brandroom.
- If you are looking for “fairly” inexpensive formal/party wear then please check out BCBG $$$ in Istinye Park, Bebe $$-$$$ in Kanyon or Adolfo Dominguez $$$ at Akmerkez. You can also check out Vakkorama/V2K $$-$$$.
- Looking for a Turkish brands for workwear, cocktail dresses?…Mapa $$$, Machka $$-$$$, Network, $$-$$$ Ipekyol $$…looking for fun, young stylish Turkish brands…Twist $$, Koton $ (the latter has kids clothing too).
- Nursace $$ is a turkish shoe brand which has models “almost” identical to YSL, Prada and Valentino…for 1/5 of the price of course…
- Istinye Park is by far the best shopping mall with the greatest number of choices…everything from H&M, Stradivarius and Pull and Bear for fun affordable fashion to Dolce and Gabbana and Chanel. I have just discovered Pull and Bear and really like some of their fun very inexpensive pieces.
- Here are some labels that you will recognize from your travels that have just come into the Turkish market…All Saints (in Harvey Nichols Kanyon)…LK Bennet Shoes (in Beymen)…Aeropostale (“teen” fashion in Kanyon)…Hartford (in Kanyon and Nisantasi)…Zadig and Voltaire (on Abdi İpekci, Nisantasi)…French Connection (A few stores down from the previous in Nisantasi)
- If you are looking for jeans or casual weekend wear…MAVI $$, LTB $$ and Yargici $$…Mavi is now an international brand with amazing denim wear and several stores in Paris were carrying LTB jeans. Yargici is like Club Monaco or a more romantic J Crew.
- If you are looking for very fancy lingere/sleepwear check out Turkish brand Ipek Kıramer $$$…but if you want the comfortable cheap stuff you must, must take look at OYSHO $-$$(part of the Zara family). I found great nightgowns for the hospital for my second daughter’s birth and recently I found very, very inexpensive swimwear (separates to boot!) there…
- Last but not least, I am not even going to mention the Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga knock-offs at the Istanbul Grand Bazaar. You will also find every type of jewelry imaginable (fake and real). I am not promoting FAKES…I’m just saying it’s worth a visit to the grand bazaar for touristic purposes
Dear fashionista friends what would you like to add?