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Nov 13 2017

Philadelphia's Shopping Scene Is Proudly Independent

A Guide To Owner-Operated Retailers Throughout The City Of Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, owner-operated shops are a way of life—and have been since the 17th century. Independent storefronts fit naturally into the city’s fabric; their size and spirit thrive amid similarly independent restaurants, bars and cafes in close-knit neighborhoods.

It’s perhaps no surprise that college-filled, athletics-obsessed Philadelphia is the birthplace of iconoclastic retailer Urban Outfitters (and stylish spawn Anthropologie, Free People and Terrain) and throwback pro sports apparel phenom Mitchell & Ness. Also not too surprising: The city’s recent surge of upscale boutiques and haberdasheries that have followed Philly’s surge of stylish residents and visitors. Certainly pleasantly surprising to shoppers: Philadelphia levies no sales tax on apparel or shoes.

In time for the holiday shopping season, here are some standout, sought-after, Philly-proud indie shops:

Philly-Made:

  • 323 Arch Street Fashion Collective – This intimate Old City workshop boutique features in-house designers actively sewing on the shop floor—when they’re not waiting on clients. The collection includes locally made womenswear, accessories and jewelry. 323 Arch Street, (856) 883-9083, 323arch.com
  • Bario-Neal – Bella Vista atelier where skilled jewelers and a knowledgeable sales and design crew use ethically-sourced materials and progressive manufacturing processes to create custom and collection-based fine jewelry with an artisan, modern feel. 700 S. 6th Street, (215) 454-2164, bario-neal.com
  • Commonwealth Proper – Men find modern suiting and outerwear, both custom and ready-to-wear, as envisioned by former attorney Craig Arthur von Schroeder, at this by-appointment-only showroom. 1839 Chestnut Street, 2nd floor, (267) 319-1741, commonwealthproper.com
  • Damari Savile – The Eagles’ own Malcolm Jenkins and business partner Jay Amin are responsible for this natty Jewelers’ Row shop for bespoke, made-to-measure and off-the-rack men’s suits, each one named for a Philly street. 709 Walnut Street, (267) 218-5760, damarisavile.com
  • Henry A. Davidsen – Custom clothing—with some made-to-measure, for good, well, you know—is the gentlemanly purpose of this studio for men’s suits, shirts, formalwear, accessories and image makeovers. Appointments highly recommended. 1701 Spruce Street, 2nd floor, (215) 253-5905, henrydavidsen.com
  • M Concept Shop – Gallery-like retailer of over 50 area designers, artisans and small brands delivers an elevated approach to shopping locally. 1540 South Street, (215) 839-9154, mconceptshop.com
  • Moon + Arrow – With tagline “Handmade + Vintage + Apothecary,” Fabric Row’s eco-conscious shop sells their own line of jewelry, plus body products, handmade gifts, vintage and locally made clothing, leather bags, paper goods and more—including a thoughtful selection of handmade baby and children’s toys, clothes, books and gifts at nearby Little Moon + Arrow. Moon + Arrow: 754 S. 4th Street, Little: 729 S. 4th Street, (215) 469-1448, moonandarrow.com
  • NinoBrand – In her by-appointment-only atelier, Bela Shehu designs future classic, monochromatic street-to-opera wear for women. 333 S. 20th Street, (267) 761-9388, ninobrand.com
  • Philadelphia Independents – Adorable Old City shop for made-in-Philly totes, ceramics, buttons, cards, T-shirts, accessories and home décor—the next level of souvenir sourcing. 35 N. 3rd Street, (267) 773-7316, philadelphiaindependents.com
  • Smak Parlour – Take fun and flirty, and blend in a little quirky chic, and that’s the look of the original, made-in-L.A. designs by fashion mavens Abby Kessler and Katie Lubieski. 219 Market Street, (215) 625-4551, smakparlour.com

High-End Fashion:

  • Boyds – For nearly 80 years, this family-owned Philadelphia retail icon has provided its customers with luxury merchandise, impeccable service, complimentary valet parking and over 40 onsite European tailors. Boyds’ regional exclusivity on many coveted labels translates to one of the country’s largest selections of women’s and men’s designer clothing, shoes and accessories. 1818 Chestnut Street, (215) 564-9000, boydsphila.com
  • Cultured Couture Vintage – Style-setting Erik Honesty helms this in-the-know designer vintage (mostly) menswear gallery in Mount Airy, a source of rare Hermes scarves, ties, coats and shirts, Louis Vuitton and Gucci luggage, and, most recently, his own line of truly royal, sui generis printed capes. 6379 Germantown Avenue, culturedcouturegallery.com
  • Erdon – Recherché international designers such as Ivan Grundahl, Closed, Sofie D’hoore, Trippen, Linda Farrow, Dries Van Noten and Phillip Lim mix in a spare space that feels right at home amid Old City’s art galleries. 162 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-0300, erdon.co
  • Joan Shepp – Philadelphia fashion destination for over 45 years for avant-garde, eminently wearable women’s designer clothing, accessories and shoes by Maison Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Yohji Yamamoto, Marni, Balenciaga, Ann Demeulemeester, Issey Miyake and others. 1811 Chestnut Street, (215) 735-2666, joanshepp.com
  • Shop Sixty Five – A Bucks County émigré serves up cosmopolitan denim, knitwear, going-out dresses, bags and jewelry via labels such as Michelle Mason, Burning Torch, Hudson, Haute Hippie and more. 128 S. 17th Street, (267) 239-5488, shopsixtyfive.com
  • Skirt – Main Line mainstay brought a battalion of personal stylists to Rittenhouse Square to better meet Philly’s demand for IRO, Frame, Pam & Gela, Ulla Johnson, Zadig & Voltaire, Mother Denim, Smythe, Autumn Cashmere and See by Chloé. 212 S. 17th Street, (215) 309-8419, shop-skirt.com
  • Sophy Curson – Elegant Rittenhouse Square boutique, where the owners are the niece and great-nephew of the shop’s eponymous founder—the inventor of women’s petites—has serviced debutants and doyennes since 1929. On decorous display: ball gowns to blue jeans, although shoppers here make requests, rather than browse racks. 19th & Sansom Streets, (215) 567-4662, sophycurson.com

Indie Clothiers:

  • Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction – A curated home bar supply and tasting room catering to both amateur home bartenders seasoned mixologists offers seasonal spirits from their test kitchen in Tamworth, New Hampshire and bottles from local distillers New Liberty. Also carries a variety of housewares, bar tools, bitters and mixers alongside Pennsylvania-made beer and cider. 116 N. 3rd Street, (215) 922-2600, artintheage.com
  • Charlie’s Jeans – At this one-stop shop for designer men’s and women’s denim, the employees are fit experts. Home of the American-made, premium denim Sebastian McCall Jeans. 233 Market Street, (215) 923-9681, charliesjeans.net
  • Franklin & Poe – This hardworking, vet-owned, ruggedly hip Fishtown shop esteems its American-made, nonsense-free men’s and women’s denim, clothing, accessories, house, office and personal wares—and the places their makers come from. 1817 Frankford Avenue, (215) 821-9402, franklinandpoe.com
  • Lapstone & Hammer – Showpiece gallery shop for sneakerheads and city gents offers streetwear, designer menswear, Philly-made jeans, leather jackets, limited-edition sneakers—and serious style cred. 1106 Chestnut Street, (215) 592-9166, lapstoneandhammer.com
  • Lost + Found – Those who snag the indie men’s and women’s duds at this Old City stalwart get great looks at affordable prices. Accessories, jewelry and vintage pieces round out a successful shopping trip. 133 N. 3rd Street, (215) 928-1311
  • Meadowsweet Mercantile – Soft yet industrial charm is the hallmark of this Instagrammable Old City specialist in vintage denim, shelter finds and artful women’s clothing. 47 N. 2nd Street, (215) 756-4802, @meadowsweetmercantile
  • Metro Men’s – South Philly shop offers casual to dressy-casual menswear by Ben Sherman, Scotch & Soda and Penguin, among others, plus colorful socks and beer koozies. 1600 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 324-5172, metromensclothing.com
  • Nutz & Boltz – Clients frequent this Gayborhood newcomer for fancy underwear, loungewear, T-shirts, swimsuits and more. 1220 Spruce Street, (267) 639-5958, nutzandboltzfashion.com
  • Ps & Qs – Sought-out for its eponymous, made-in-Philly clothing, plus heritage brands Herschel Supply Co. and Pendleton, on-trend Norse Projects, Penfield and Saturdays NYC—and, more recently, women’s wear. Also on offer: classic Tretorns, rugged candles, kids’ style essentials. 820 South Street, (215) 592-0888; For Her: 1018 Pine Street, (215) 279-7523, psandqs.com
  • Shibe Vintage Sports – Busy, hip find sells vintage Philly sports-inspired gear for diehards—in a store named after an old Philadelphia stadium, naturally. 137 S. 13th Street, (215) 566-2511, shibevintagesports.com
  • Sugarcube – Old City stalwart is known for its thoughtful American and multinational collection of men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and visual art. Known for U.S.A.-sewn denim and American-milled socks to after-dark styles. 124 N. 3rd Street, (215) 238-0825, sugarcube.us
  • The Geisha House – Named the “Best Women’s Boutique for Brands You Don’t Know” by Philadelphia magazine, this spot does not disappoint. The dresses are trendy but wearable, and the jewelry is just funky enough. 149 N. 3rd Street, (267) 886-8110, hellogeisha.com
  • Totem Brand Co. – Stockist of outdoorsy, made-in-the-U.S. men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and lifestyle goods by Patagonia, Arc’teryx, Canada Goose, Red Wing, Alden, Barbour, Filson and more. Three stores away, the shop’s first location now houses the collaboration between rugged Swedish outdoors brand Fjallraven, maker of the famed Kanken backpack. Totem: 535 South Street, (215) 440-9922, totembrandco.com; Fjallraven: 529 South Street, @totemxfjallraven
  • United By Blue (UBB) – Responsibly crafted clothing, accessories and cabin goods—and, in UBB’s Old City flagship, lattes and camp-inspired meals from the in-store cafe—are the house specialty of this nature-driven company. For every product sold, UBB removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways, now tallying over 1 million pounds. The University City location plans an expansion in early 2018. 205 Race Street, (215) 278-7746; 3421 Walnut Street, (215) 222-1617, unitedbyblue.com
  • Vagabond – A pioneering Old City women’s boutique, Vagabond draws regulars for its Philly-knit sweaters and on-point, affordable to splurge-worthy clothing by Lauren Manoogian, Black Crane, Brandy Melville, Caron Callahan, plus shoes, jewelry and gifts. 37 N. 3rd Street, (267) 671-0737, vagabondboutique.com

Gifts:

  • The Conversion Shop – A rustic, nostalgic relative newcomer to Old City carries vintage, new and handmade gifts, furnishings and home accessories that include the owner’s custom-made repurposed wooden tables, benches and shelving. 38 S. 3rd Street, (215) 627-2777, cnvrsn.co
  • Division IV – Gifts for hosts—and yourself—with an emphasis on locally made finds, gracefully fill each surface in this ultra cute Fairmount shelter shop, known for carrying essentials for the stylish home. 1623 Fairmount Avenue, (267) 886-8336, division-iv.com
  • Egan Rittenhouse – Possibly the world’s smallest department store (by the creators of Egan Day; see jewelry section) offers good taste for the whole family: classic shaving brushes and bowls, great books, pretty clutches and caftans, cool roadsters for chic city children and gorgeous flowers for every occasion. Rittenhouse Hotel, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, (215) 433-1632, eganrittenhouse.com
  • Eye’s Gallery – Julia Zagar, spouse of prolific mosaic muralist Isaiah, opened this must-shop South Street destination for exotic South American folk art back in 1968. Floor to ceiling religious iconography, sterling-silver jewelry, hand-woven blankets and folk art fill three stories. 402 South Street, (215) 925-0193, eyesgallery.com
  • The Museum Store at PAFA – Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ store offers handcrafted wares, distinctive jewelry, educational children’s toys and other extraordinary presents for discerning gift recipients. 128 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-7600, pafa.org/store
  • Occasionette – Etsy darling Sara Villari, creator of Girls Can Tell gift co., runs this Pinterest-worthy emporium of note-perfect gifts and goodies, including hand-drawn silkscreened tea towels and bags, plus loads of cards, candles, gift wrap, baby presents, handmade jewelry and tabletop beauty. 1825 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 465-1704, occasionette.com
  • Omoi Zakka – Shoppers hit these Japan-inspired lifestyle shops for thoughtful gifts, handpicked books and stationery and excellent small home goods. Rittenhouse: 1608 Pine Street, (215) 545-0963; Old City: 41 S. 3rd Street, (215) 454-6910, omoionline.com
  • Open House – Packed with merchandise, this popular Midtown Village shop specializes in casually modern homewares, furnishings, jewelry, baby goods—and great Philly-splashed gifts. 107 S. 13th Street, (215) 922-1415, openhouseliving.com
  • Rikumo – This serene Midtown Village concept store serves as a destination for Japanese craft and design: ceramic matcha bowls, charcoal towels, beech baby toys, gauze bedding, kitchen and office wares, jewelry and more. 1216 Walnut Street, (215) 609-4972, rikumo.com
  • Scarlett Alley – Old City’s pre-occasion destination stocks elegant, approachable tableware, candles, jewelry, cozy clothing and accessories, personalized gifts, baby gifts and wedding gifts. (215) 592-7898, 241 Race Street, scarlettalley.com
  • stadler-Khan – Below-ground Rittenhouse shelter shop features fine and decorative arts, new and vintage jewelry, glassware and ceramics—and the scarves and design works of designer-owner Alexander Stadler. 1724 Sansom Street, (267) 242-7154, stadler-kahn.com
  • South Fellini – South Philly newcomer offering Philly themed gear like T-shirts, pins, and accessories that rep city neighborhoods, commemorate bygone landmarks, and play on regional brands. 1507 E. Passyunk Avenue, (267) 751-3667, southfellini.com
  • Verde – Open House’s younger sister and neighbor carries colorful jewelry and accessories—and site-made Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates. 108 S. 13th Street, (215) 546-8700, verdephiladelphia.com

Jewelry Shops:

  • Bella Turka – A rainbow of affordable and fine contemporary and antique-inspired pieces by a globe’s worth of talented designers occupy two brick-and-mortar shops and, through December 31, 2017, a pop-up in the Shops at Liberty Place. The Rittenhouse location also carries global home goods and gifts. 113 S. 13th Street, (215) 560-8733; 1700 Sansom Street, (215) 560-8734, bellaturka.com
  • Craiger Drake – Second-generation fine jeweler feels like a best-kept secret for custom, and estate pieces, especially engagement rings and wedding bands. 1701 Walnut Street, 5th floor, (215) 253-6507, craigerdrake.com
  • Egan Day – Kate Egan’s inimitable gallery of ethereal, wearable and exquisite jewelry is a must-see and must-shop. 260 S. 16th Street, (267) 773-8833, eganday.com
  • Halloween – In this hidden lair, repurposed altar boxes display pearls, silver, gold—heirlooms and original pieces by bon vivant owner and metalsmith Henri David. An orange business card serves as signage. 1329 Pine Street, (215) 732-7711
  • Jewelers’ Row – Some 300 wholesalers, repair shops and vendors of engagement rings, estate pieces and other glittering investments make up the nation’s oldest diamond district. Between 7th & 9th Streets and Walnut & Chestnut Streets
  • LAGOS – The Rittenhouse flagship of local artist and master jeweler Steven Lagos offers stylish, museum-quality jewelry created in Philadelphia. 1735 Walnut Street, (215) 567-0770, lagos.com
  • Ritual Ritual – A rotating roster of indie artists and six in-house designers furnish and burnish the wares at this glamorously spiritual Northern Liberties destination. 819 N. 2nd Street, (267) 606-6082, ritualritual.com
  • TownHome – For jewelry from such designers as Me&Ro, Jennifer Meyer, Dana Rebecca and Heather B. Moore, shoppers squeeze into this tiny Rittenhouse shop for customizable pieces. 1616 Walnut Street, (215) 972-5100, townhomeonline.com

Children’s Goods:

  • Ali’s Wagon – This family-friendly store sells fun, local and fair-trade adult and kids’ clothes and accessories, bath and body products and gifts for all ages. 2017 Fairmount Avenue, (215) 787-0611, aliswagon.com
  • Born Yesterday – This Rittenhouse Square boutique outfits newborns through tweens in Lili Gaufrette, Deux par Deux, Molo, Appaman, Splendid—and keeps them happywith an expansive selection of well-designed playthings by Hape, Kid O, Playsam, PlanToys, Manhattan Toy, Jellycat and more. 1901 Walnut Street, (215) 568-6556, bornyesterdaykids.com
  • The Children’s Boutique – Divine layette, knit-to-order rollneck letter sweaters, upscale togs, sized infant to 12, plus toys, books, stuffies and music time please discerning parents and their kiddos. The Shops at Liberty Place, 1625 Chestnut Street, (215) 732-2661, shopsatliberty.com
  • Minnow Lane – Organic and sustainable form the credo of this Fishtown apothecary and boutique of hip kids’ and baby clothing and toys. 2029 Frankford Avenue, (215) 291-1875, minnowlane.com
  • Momo’s Tree House – Old City’s friendly neighborhood toy store offers smart playthings, from baby’s first sensory toy to big-kid arts and crafts. 205 Arch Street, (267) 457-2803, momostreehouse.com
  • The Nesting House – Family-owned natural parenting stores offer supplies for cloth diapering, baby wearing, breastfeeding, bathing, playing and dressing—including oodles of affordable, gently used consignment goods. South Philly: 1605 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-1575; West Philly: 4501 Baltimore Avenue, (215) 222-7500; Mount Airy: 606 Carpenter Lane, (215) 438-1600, thenestinghouse.net
  • Tildie’s Toy Box – This brightly stocked South Philly toy shop opens early on Saturdays for the pre-birthday party rush (free gift wrap) on small-maker goodies: first scooters, soft puppets, smart games and more creative playthings, with personal shopping too. 1829 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 334-9831, tildiestoybox.com

Shoes:

  • Benjamin Lovell – Two stylish walking shoe shops for a city of walkers offer Birkenstocks, Naot, Dansko, Vionic, Earthies, Pikolinos and more comfortably chic choices for men and women. 1728 Chestnut Street, (215) 564-4655; 60 N. 3rd Street, (215) 238-1969, blshoes.com
  • Bus Stop – Brit-born Elena Brennan sources on-point kicks and accessories at this Fabric Row shop. She designs some of them, too. 727 S. 4th Street, (215) 627-2357, busstopboutique.com
  • Head Start Shoes – This shoe haven stops many Rittenhouse passersby who peer through windows at modern marvels of leather, as fashioned for women’s feet. Coveted brands include: Officine Creative, Del Carlo, Moma, Halmanera, Ixos and more. 126 S. 17th Street, (215) 567-3247, headstartshoes.com
  • ToBox – Frank Clegg, Noah Waxman, and other elite makers of wingtips, Chelsea boots, jackets, scarves and umbrellas fill Tung To’s homage to menswear. Shines and recoloring available. 1822 Chestnut Street, (215) 644-9435, @toboxshoes
  • UBIQ – At this former mansion, sneakerheads line up before limited-edition releases and exclusive collaborations and regulars are always in to check out the latest in Vans, Newbies, Nikes, Adidas and more. 1509 Walnut Street, (215) 988-0194, ubiqlife.com

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
 

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Tagged: Shopping

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