Sales have kicked off – which means we can finally indulge in some of our favourite brands without fear of ending up blacklisted by all the country’s banks. Scroll down for a selection of boutiques and stores that have become inevitable stops in our retail therapy marathon route.

Mapp Store (Men and Women)

© Mapp
© Mapp

Clothes and accessories by the likes of Alexander Wang TPeter Jensen or Opening Ceremony are not the only things one can find in the Mapp Store. One of the only addresses that truly deserves the ‘concept store’ tag in the capital, it also stocks carefully selected books, magazines (Mapp introduced us to the wonderful SUP magazine), CD’s, vinyl’s, and regularly schedules exhibitions by up-and-coming local artists, hosts the odd party for a hot DJ’s album launch, or even performances by artists and dancers. If that wasn’t enough, the Mapp Studio also offers creative services that range from stylist consultancy to sound design. Part-owner Emmanuel is a true believer and will always have a good suggestion for you. He recently encouraged us to buy Neon Indian‘s Psychic Chasms and we’ve been listening to it ever since.

Rue Léon Lepagestraat 5
1000 Brussels
+32 (2) 551 17 67
www.thisismapp.com

Own (Men and Women)

© Sarah Eechaut

© Sarah Eechaut

The brainchild of Thierry Rondenet and Hervé Yvrenogeau, Own began as a brand in its own right, growing over the years into a multi-brand store whose pickings reflected the owners’ functional and straight-lined aesthetic. A magnificently designed boutique – rather cunningly pitting wood stage sets against mirror panels -, its selection speaks of experienced buying on the part of the owners. Brands include office favourite APC, the newly brought-in Acne as well as Whyred, Raf by Raf Simons and Atelier 11.

Place du Jardin aux Fleurs 5 Bloemenhofplein
1000 Brussels
+ 32 (0) 2 217 95 71
www.own.be

Balthazar (Men and Women)

© Sarah Eechaut

© Sarah Eechaut

Muriel Hervy Balthazar and her daughter Gaëtane’s multi brand emporium situated on the cusp of Ixelles’ Avenue Louise and La Cambre’s green spot is an intimate, spacious and unpretentious affair. Striking a perfect balance between the sure-shot (Comme des Garçons, Paul Smith and John Smedley), the basic (Filippa K), the original (Erotokritos) and the surprising (Ghent-based Men’s brand 7days), the offering is, in the words of co-buyer Joy Debauve, “timeless but with a twist, an undefined originality not found elsewhere.” (Karen Van Godtsenhoven)

Avenue Louise 294 Louizalaan
1050 Brussels
+32 (2) 647 77 37
www.balthazarstore.com

PH (Men)

© Sarah Eechaut

© Sarah Eechaut

Patrick Henderiks’ Boutique PH’ is nestled within the quaintly vibrant retail village of Rue de Namur/Namsestraat, the upward street linking the city’s upper side to its lower counterpart. Opened eight years ago, the boutique affords a dramatic interior style, complete with glass ceiling and contrasting black mirrors and counters. Patrick sees his store as uni-brand, saying the unique selection forms a continuum, similar to his personal ‘indirect collection’. A personal collection boasting tag names not elsewhere available in Brussels: Maison Martin Margiela, Jil Sander, Costume National, Dior Homme and Balenciaga. Probably the city’s best kept secret.

Rue de Namur 68 Namsestraat
1000 Brussels
+32 (2) 548 39 78
www.phstore.com

Icon (Women)

© Sarah Eechaut

© Sarah Eechaut

Huddled within an 18th century townhouse, Icon carries a selection of brands as diverse as the customers that step in – from Japanese and American tourists to Flemish townsfolk, young hipsters and old French ladies. Michèle Bogaert, owner and buyer, is over the moon with Helmut Lang’s collection. Other brands available in the store include Phillip Lim, Isabel Marant, Citizens of Humanity, Acne, Humanoid and Alexander Wang. (KVG)

Place du Nouveau Marché aux Grains 5 Nieuwe Graanmarkt
1000 Brussels
+32 (2) 502 71 51
www.icon-shop.be