It’s Bananas

Whether you’re looking for designer duds or vintage treasures, here’s your guide to our bustling retail world

It is true that some of the world’s best fashion and luxury shopping is conveniently located in one hot spot: the Las Vegas Strip. However, there is more beyond the Boulevard. Pockets and capsules of great retail dot the Valley; one just needs guidance on where to look for the buried treasure. The even better news is that more shopping options are on their way, including an expansion at the Las Vegas Outlet Center, the highly anticipated Tivoli Village at Queensridge and the nine new stories at the Cosmopolitan. Here we break down the city into districts—your guide to where to shop till you drop!

The Strip

Character

Sophisticated and worldly, name any luxury brand and it exists on the Strip—and more than likely in multitude.

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The Wynn Esplanade offers a retail mix that makes our toes curl. In addition to boutiques such as Alexander McQueen, Ensemble, Outfit and Mojitos, there are impossible-to-find-in-Vegas designers such as Philipp Plein, DSquared, Moods of Norway and Nicholas Kirkwood. Fashion Show and Miracle Mile in Planet Hollywood offer a range of retailers to satisfy all tastes. In Fashion Show we recommend both Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus to snatch up the season’s best from well-priced designers such as Alice + Olivia, Robert Rodriguez and Thomas Wylde. Farther down the road, the Shoppes at the Palazzo and the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian are a spender’s delight. The Victoria’s Secret in the Palazzo is one of the city’s best and has convenient elevator access to the parking garage for a quick in-and-out. When you are ready to drop some serious coin, hit Barneys New York (also in the Palazzo), which carries the ultra-hip Rodarte as well as many exclusive cosmetic brands and fragrances not found elsewhere in the city.

Cool Stores

Carolina Herrera at Crystals (it also has a Forum Shops location) features bridal couture and sometimes holds sample sales. On the Euro side, Spanish retailers Desigual and Zara, both at Fashion Show, offer unique apparel for days when the order is to break the fashion mold. If you are into the action sports lifestyle, Volcom at Miracle Mile and its store at the Las Vegas Outlet Center are one-stop shops. Both stores sell popular brand Electric—great for sunglasses, bags and T-shirts.

What’s New

Tom Ford at Crystals is expanding to accommodate a much-coveted women’s collection launching in spring. Sephora at the Grand Canal Shoppes hosts one of three Make Up For Ever studios in the entire nation. The new Reed Krakoff in the Forum Shops is one of three in the world. The largest H&M in North America will open inside the Forum Shops in December. Make sure to be there opening day to snatch up the exclusive collection of couture house Lanvin, which will fly. The new Cosmopolitan (opening Dec. 15) will host a well-curated collection of retail, the likes of which has never been seen in Vegas. Super-trendy All Saints Spitalfields, carrying men’s and women’s clothing, and L.A. boutique Beckley will open their doors to hungry shoppers in search of hard-to-find items and exclusive designers. And because there is always room for more in Las Vegas, Crystals at CityCenter is adding Donna Karan and Stella McCartney next month and Philipp Plein in 2011; and Harrah’s plans to build a retail strip between its Flamingo and O’Sheas properties.

The Rest of the Boulevard

Character

A bargain hunter’s dream adjacent to a locals’ shopping hot spot.

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For those who like the thrill of the hunt, head down to the Las Vegas Outlet Center (7400 Las Vegas Blvd. South) and raid the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet Off 5th or Designer Fashion Clearance right next door for a fix of Brian Atwood, Marc Jacobs and L.A.M.B. apparel and shoes.

Cool Stores

In case you haven’t heard, the nearby Town Square is the hot spot for locals. This outdoor lifestyle complex covers all levels of taste, from chic home décor (Robb & Stucky and EQ3) to the sporty (Barre Las Vegas, Lucy and Puma). Techies rejoice in the only off-Strip Apple store while entertainment junkies pass the time at Rave Motion Pictures. Beauty and fashion addicts delight with the recent openings of Polish cosmetics brand Inglot’s third U.S. location, apparel and art boutique Phenom, and the eye-catching clothing store Paradigm.

What’s New

As Vegas Seven reported in the Sept. 2 issue, the outlet center is undergoing a major revamping, adding 70,000 square feet and 11 new stores.

Summerlin

Character

Moderate to upscale boutiques amid the big boxes.

Cool Stores

Shopping in the suburbs is not limited to Target, Gap and REI. For example, soccer moms can outfit their teens at affordable fashion boutique GlamSquadShop (5165 S. Fort Apache Road) and find some sophisticated shoes and accessories for themselves. Down the road, at the South Rampart Boulevard/South Fort Apache Avenue intersection, Boca Park Fashion Village gives fashion and beauty shoppers instant gratification with trendy shopping at Pink, C-Level, Mixt Cosmetics and the all new R+D Hipster Emporium featuring brands such as Haute Hippie.

What’s New

Look forward to March with the opening of Phase 1 of Tivoli Village (Rampart Boulevard and Alta Drive), which is slated to headline 370,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment venues, including Belle Gray, AG Jeans and Taro’s by Mikuni sushi.

The Wild Southwest

Character

The most memorable sensory shopping experience happens in this part of town.

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At 4011-4037 W. Sahara Ave. is a nameless plaza that has been affectionately nicknamed the “Strippers’ Strip Mall” by its merchants. Sex-industry professionals and those wishing to fulfill their costumed fantasies can easily dress themselves head to toe at Bare Essentials, Lady C Leather, Bad Attitude Boutique and Red Shoes. If there is such a thing as stripper shoes heaven, it’s Red Shoes. For folks who need a more conventional environment to shop for sexy gear, head across the street to Studio Lites, which features clubwear, a huge selection of quality wigs, corsets and fun costumes.

Cool Stores

Exotic means more than sex, and in the Westlake Center (4503 W. Sahara Ave.), Taj Indian Boutique offers respectably exotic, brilliant and ornate silk crepe Indian saris and gorgeous jewelry. For a taste of the exotic, visit Rani’s World Food in the same plaza. Not so exotic, yet definitely imported, is British Foods (3375 S. Decatur Blvd.). Pop into Du Barry Fashion for outlandish apparel and accessories and a dollar room that is to die for. After decorating the body and amusing the taste buds, invigorate the mind with collectible and hard-to-find literature at Greyhound’s Books (4704 W. Sahara Ave.). Nurture the soul and tantalize the ears at Zia Records (near Rani’s in Westlake Center) and receive an urban immersion at Knyew (3735 Spring Mountain Road) where DJs and urban scene citizens can shop for street apparel and sneakers.

Henderson

Character

Soccer-mom suburbia with a healthy dose of fun one-offs.

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In a city where the weather is always sunny, outdoor shopping is highly desirable. The District at Green Valley Ranch (Interstate 215 and Green Valley Parkway) beckons on an alluring day. This casino-adjacent retail and restaurant square features well-known favorites West Elm, Williams-Sonoma, REI and Anthropologie, as well as locally owned businesses such as Flea Bag’s Barkery & Bow-tique and women’s fashion boutique Sassy. Another reason this is a popular destination are the dining choices, which feature wonderful alfresco options at King’s Fish House and the new Presidio; the critics’ darling, Italian-style pizza at Settebello; and a quick-lunch favorite, the Chinese chicken salad from Rachel’s Kitchen. The District is pet- and kid-friendly, including complimentary carriage rides throughout the winter holiday season. Heading farther east, Stephanie Street presents ample neighborhood shopping, including Target, Ross, Old Navy and other chain retailers, as well as the Galleria at Sunset (1300 W. Sunset Road).

Cool Stores

Sticking to the strip-mall-lined corridor in Henderson makes shopping a cinch for hunters who know what they want and desire to get in and out effortlessly. The shopping here is as diverse as Las Vegas itself. Women revel at the city’s favorite easy-to-shop boutique Patty’s Closet (10271 S. Eastern Ave.) because of its organized-by-color shopping concept. Plus-size sister store Voluptuous is right next door. To make shopping easy on the budget, Under21 in the Silverado Ranch Plaza (9755 S. Eastern Ave.) stocks trendy clothes under $21, while Nordstrom Rack offers discount designer duds. In the same complex, Nothing Bundt Cake literally sells nothing but bundt cakes, in a variety of flavors, making shopping for dessert a simple assignment. For consignment buys and deals, visit Home Consignment Center (Eastern Beltway Center at Serene and Eastern avenues), which not only sells a variety of home furnishings but also showcases a small jewelry center with pre-owned, authentic diamond and luxury brands.

A few streets over, off Sunset Road on Eastern Avenue, is Antiques at the Market, which is a warehouse full of hundreds of different vendors. You can find anything from a Marie Antoinette-style egg chair to a 1950s wedding dress to a first-edition Edgar Allan Poe. They are also now serving high tea in their tea room for less than $20 a person.

What’s New

Off Pecos Road on Patrick Lane (behind Sonic) is Gypsy Junkies, an eclectic clothing boutique with an Anthropologie meets Alexander Wang aesthetic where you can create-your-own charm necklaces strung on either lace or chain and a new line of handmade home décor (price range is $10 to $75).

University District

Character

There’s nothing like skipping class and going shopping. Running alongside the UNLV campus, Maryland Parkway offers a ton of temptations.

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Buffalo Exchange (4110 S. Maryland Parkway) and Fruition (4139) have enough designer, rare and exclusive fashion to make any die-hard shopaholic squeal with pleasure. Because Hot Topic is not punk rock, Cash 4 Chaos, near Buffalo Exchange, features enough rebellion to last throughout one’s college years. And for even more retail distraction, Boulevard Mall (3528 S. Maryland Parkway), anchored by Macy’s and JCPenney, is a wall-to-wall hub of toys, technology, shoes and apparel.

Downtown

Character

Antiques, art, retro modern and designer furniture, vintage fashion and name-brand apparel are all situated in one hip area.

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At Las Vegas Design Center at World Market Center (495 S. Grand Central Parkway), the public is invited to shop like the pros and access a global selection of the industry’s finest home furnishings and gifts. Down the street, Las Vegas Premium Outlets draws crowds with stores such as 7 For All Mankind, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Catherine Malandrino, Joe’s Jeans and Nike Factory Store, plus a brand-new Kipling store.

Cool Stores

Take Grand Central to Charleston Avenue and head west to Charleston Antique Mall for treasures from the past. Move east to the Arts District and visit Funk House (1228 S. Casino Center Blvd.) and Retro Vegas (1211 S. Main St.) to hunt for cool home furnishings and décor. At the heart of the Arts District is the Arts Factory (101-109 E. Charleston Blvd.), which is more than art, it’s becoming a total experience. Across the street is Gaia Flowers, featuring art, jewelry and exclusive home accessories, not to mention enchanting floral creations. Vintage fashion fare is finally invading Las Vegas. Find it at The Attic (1025 S. Main St.), The Gypsy Den (213 E. Colorado Ave.) and inside Emergency Arts (520 Fremont St.) at Flockflockflock and Haute Thrif’Ture. Discover the thrill of upcycled fashion at Altered Nation Designs, also inside Emergency Arts.

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