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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Discover Fresh Fashion in Florence

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3. What to Do


Chic new shops like Marie Antoinette mix vintage and new design in Florence.  

Search for an Italian heritage-brand gem among Florence’s growing number of vintage- and concept-shops. A Florentine stylist and her friend opened Marie Antoinette in April, with a well-edited selection of architectural and avant-garde second-hand finds like an Acne crop top ($107) or Celine clutch ($805), plus statement accessories by Florentine designers, like an Elizabethan-collar-inspired necklace made of pleated-and-gilded gauze (from $168). Head to Boutique Nadine for romantic dresses, heels, toys, and home accessories from the 1940s to ’70s, along with the owner’s reworked-vintage line Odette, which includes a Chanel-style jacket made of vintage Prada fabric ($188). Walk down the street to Flo, a concept shop focused on eco-friendly and socially-conscious fashion; its Acqua-Terra-Fuoco line of bathing suits ($255), silk scarves and sandals use dreamy watercolors painted by prisoners.

Mingle with the young creatives of Florence at a concert, wine tasting or launch party hosted by Unusual Florence, a group of 16 Florentine artisans who collaborate to cross-promote their edgy shops and cafes set within the city’s historic center. Vogue hosted a Fashion’s Night Out at the studio of one of its members, painter and handbag designer Michele Chiocciolini, known for his colorful clutches ($335). Art gallery member Aria hosts regular openings in its leafy, gated courtyard with fashion photography, sculpture and other contemporary art. Kindred-spirited group Creative People in Florence runs monthly studio visits (from $20, with aperitivo included); if you’re feeling inspired, stop by co-founder Sarah Amrhein’s studio for a jewelry, sewing or claymaking class (from $54).

Cross the Ponte Santa Trinita bridge to seek out bespoke goods in the quiet Oltrarno neighborhood. The traditional artisan quarter has fewer tourists and plenty of emerging designer studios and shops. Get lost in the curated collection of fashion, graphic design and architecture magazines from around the world at Bjork. The one-and-a-half year-old concept shop has a Nordic sensibility and products from an international roster of up-and-coming designers--many working in Florence--like Gentleman’s Choice men’s bathing shorts ($174) or New Kid black patent-leather platform sandals ($215). Four blocks down Via di Santo Spirito, pick from the piles of shoes in the showroom of second-generation shoemaker Francesco da Firenze (Via Santo Spirito 62r; +39 055 212428). Arrive before noon to have a pair of traditional, Caprese-style leather sandals custom made and ready the next day, or choose from the selection of strappy womens’ sandals (from $86) and men’s wing-tip dress shoes (from $376). At the corner, head left two blocks along Via dei Serragli to find vintage workwear, military uniforms, textiles and Victorian corsets at Ceri Vintage and Factory , where owner Danilo Ceri also sells his own line of reworked, patchwork denim and offers tailoring classes at night (clothes from $220; classes from $260/day). Closer to the Pitti Palace, about five blocks away, visit the quaint calligraphy and design studio And Company for sweet paper art, ceramics, vintage furniture and street-scenes of Florence rendered in mini mixed-media dioramas ($1,946).


Published on Sep 18, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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