Elio Ferraro Gallery/Store
This concept store, located a bit off the beaten path on a quiet side street near the Arno, carries vintage fashion, furniture and objet, as well as original works of art. The collection changes often, as owner Elio Ferraro spends a lot of time traveling to keep his boutiques stocked (there’s another branch in Rome). Treasures might include a gorgeous printed cotton jersey dress by Christian Dior and a cream-colored lace dress by Norma Kamali, or a set of black-and-white Fornasetti plates.
In 1969, Gerard opened in Florence on Via Calimala. It's the brainchild of Paolo Pecchioli, who began working with clothing at age 13. Gerard offers men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, made from fabrics found all over the world, launched in small capsules, made in Italy. Find trendy outerwear, statement pieces, casual wear and more.
Founded in 1875, Grevi is a fourth-generation, family-run hat maker. The company’s creations have been worn by icons of style including Maurice Chevalier, and more recently, featured on the runways by many international couturiers. In the 1960s, its Tuscan lambskin hats caused a fashion sensation. Today the white-walled, atelier-like boutique showcases fabulous shearling, wool, felt and tweed toppers in winter, and delicate straw and satin ones during warm weather, but custom orders can also be fulfilled. Stop by just to browse or play dress-up; you will find it hard to leave without buying something.
Luisa Via Roma
It may have more international than Italian flair, but the sharply edited fashion at Luisa Via Roma attracts a loyal following. The white space on the outskirts of Florence may remind you of a gallery, where the artworks on display are the inspired pieces by designers including Dolce & Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier, Missoni and Chloé, with the occasional unexpected pleasure (Ann Demeulemeester, Costume National, Rick Owens, Sophia Kokosalaki) thrown into the mix. Look for shoes by Pierre Hardy and Proenza Schouler, as well as interesting fine jewelry.
PLAYGROUND & KIDDIN’
Big-name brands and fashionable finds meet at Playground, where you’ll find men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. Find New Balance, Adidas, Converse, and Golden Goose in the sneaker department, and women’s dresses, knitwear, and clothing from Alexander Wang, Ganni, and more. Sportswear includes The North Face, and kids can find items at Kiddin’, a concept store for ages 0-12 with organic and natural fabrics and accessories.
Scuola del Cuoio
To the left of Santa Croce as you face it is a path leading to a small courtyard containing one of Florence’s best-kept secrets: the workshop and boutique of the Scuola del Cuoio. In this guild and school, founded by Franciscan friars after World War II, you can watch leather being turned into everything from handbags to belts, in many different colors, and then buy the products in the small boutique, one of whose walls bears photographs of famous past clients including Princess Diana, Grace Kelly and Barbara Bush.
Ask the artisans to personalize your purchase with a monogram in gold leaf. Those serious about learning the craft can enroll in a six-month leather-making (and language) course; the Scuola also offers three-hour courses in cutting, assembling and finishing book covers. Free fifteen-minute visits must be scheduled in advance, with a maximum of twenty visitors during each tour. Longer, one-hour technical visits and private tours are also available.
Note: Indagare members receive 10% off at Scoula del Cuoio. Mention you are a member for the discount.
The Mall Luxury Outlet
If luxury Italian brands like Tod’s, Valentino, Gucci, Pucci, Ferragamo and Loro Piana are your weakness, search for bargains at the Mall in Leccio, an easy 45-60 minute drive from Florence on the Autostrada. Indagare members can contact our bookings team to arrange for a driver.