Shop like a Porteno in Buenos Aires

No vacation of mine is complete without some retail therapy. I am one of those OCD people that just HAVE to shop when I travel. A memento or {few} of good times had. After years of bringing back junk, and sometimes paying $$ for excess baggage, I have become more selective of what I spend my money on and where. Instead of trinkets found in touristy shops,  I have started to shop for unique collector items created by local designers. Shop where the locals shop.

For a style + budget conscious globetrotter like me, shopping in Buenos Aires was just what my wardrobe needed and wallet allowed. The portenos love sporting their local designers. Who wouldn’t? A stroll around the neighborhood of Palermo Soho and Belgrano will introduce to many lovely boutiques that until recently supplied to European fashion house. Many still do. Since it’s fall in Argentina right now the collections were mostly fall/winter ’09, I got mostly accessories. My fav store is Prune. I love their leather handbags and belts. Here is the line up of designers/ boutiques you must visit on your trip to BA.




Palermo Soho, Belgrano {neighborhoods} and Patio Bullrich {mall} house most of these fashion stores. Look for the “tax free” sign to save more $$.

Prune, Rapsodia, Tucci, Wanama, Chocolate, Ayres, Allo Martinez, Paula Cahen D’ Anvers, Kosiuko

images: MDH and stores


  1. Hi, looking into travelling to BA soon and seeking good leather factories who can manufacture my own designs and put my label on (brand it with my company logo). Can you give suggestions on who I can see when coming over. Please help.
    Thanking you in advance.

  2. I am going to be in BA in October. Would love to visit some of the independent small designers, not too edgy. Would you have a suggested list?

    Thank you

  3. hi kate, so happy to read that you liked the article. unfortunately no one i know knows about the sibyl vane shoes. i tried to contact them but didnt get a response. one time i asked a sales lady in palermo( i forgot the name) about having their stuff online but she laughed and said its too expensive to bother. i promise to keep looking for you.

  4. Loved reading your article about BA shopping – i totally loved it.
    I noticed a query about buying Sibyl Vane Shoes on line from someone else – do we know if it is possible??

  5. LOVE Sibyl Vane and Prune. If I had a closet big enough, and enough time in BA..I was on a FAM trip with a food focus so we only had two days in BA. I still made it a point to visit Palermo Soho and was thrilled I was able to find the Sibyl Vane store, which has a great sale room..I bought two gorgeous pairs of shoes there. I spent a little more on my shoes from Prune, but they have been my go-to dress shoes since I got back to the U.S.

  6. Hi Manvi, I just wanto to share with you and your readers a book I was given some days ago. I am sure that it will be of interest if you like/love Buenos Aires or have the inner desire to re-visit our amazing city. The book is a small (in size) great piece of art by TASCHEN. I had not time to translete the post into English but I promise to do so, anyway, there is a transalator available in the Home page:ç

    Hope you like it and enjoy it. Kind regars, Monica

  7. thanks so much for the NICE comments. I absolutely love the city and hope to live there sometime in the future. @mar -i bought sooo many mags from there, and am still not even half way done. which one is your best? i like living, and also elledecor, plandeco- i wish i spoke spanish so i could enjoy them more 😉

  8. Also helps buying some magazines (like Living, Para Tí Deco, or Oh La La) and check out their Adress book at the end. this it´s my modus opernadi when i visit a larger city outside my country. If it´s good for the locals, then it´s good for me!

  9. First thing each morning when I arrived at the office is have a look to Design Sponge. What surprisingly this one when I see a clear “shopping resumè” of one of my favorite cities – may I say the most – where I was born and lived for 38 years. Now I live in Spain, but my heart urgently summons me to come back to the city. Love & The City is my slogan to define counter-exposed feelings. Thank you very much for including such a great article of the city of my dreams. Thank you Design Sponge for making me meet you in this way I wish we can share. THANK YOU! Love, Mónica

  10. I went to BA in April and had the most amazing time. Beautiful city. I bought a pair of Sibyl Vane boots and love them. does anyone know of a way I can get them online (shipped to Canada?)

  11. Hi there, I am about to leave in 4 days…for 2 weeks in Argentina, and about 6 days in BA. I will be staying in Recoleta, but will certainly check out Palermo Soho and Viejo. Can you also send me some suggestions for some smaller, independent designers. Thanks, from Melbourne, Australia

  12. Annie, I am working on a mini guide. i had been really busy but will have it ready in the next few days. I will also email you the list. You’re going to LOVE BA!!

  13. I will be visiting BA in August 2009 and am very interested to see and buy clothing and leather ware there. I am particularly interested in the smaller, unique, independent designers. Is there any chance that you can give me names and some location in Palermo? I would be most appreciative. Regards, Annie, South Africa

  14. Thanks Alix, I didnt go to Galeria Pacifica only to the ones in Palermo and Patio Bullrich {both had decent sized collections}. I dont remember Sibly Vane, I stay clear of most shoe stores to avoid disappointment. I can never find my size. 🙁

  15. I do love Rapsodia, but I think the one at Galeria Pacifica carries less interesting pieces than the one in Palermo Soho. Also, beautiful shoes and boots from Sibyl Vane also in Palermo Soho.

  16. Victoria, i agree about the noise, but you know after living in NY, I didnt mind it at all. You are right these are the big brands, I wanted to highlight some of the well known labels in Argentina. I saw sooo many independent designers and stopped at their stores also. Only problem I had was lot of them didnt have websites. For ones that do, I am working on compiling them in a post. I cant wait to visit BA again.
    Beatriz, you are right. leather IS much nicer and far more economical in Argentina. The quality seems to be higher too.

  17. Oh…how beautiful! I visited some of the sites and they had beautiful clothes and leather products. Leather is supposed to be cheaper in Argentina…it seemed to be true in Prune.

    Thank you for sharing your adventures!

  18. I live in buenos aires, argentina….
    is a great city, a nice one… quite busy and noisy but my city….
    all the brands you talk about in this post are big brands….
    Haven´t you visit some independent designers in palermo….
    There you can find great and unique stuff.

    enjoy your stay in my city….

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