Christchurch might not be the first place that comes to mind when you hear the words, “shopping spree”. That said, it’s becoming a destination for locally-owned boutiques and quality-made garments, particularly with the arrival of The Crossing. The city centre has a huge range of local and international boutiques selling covetable and well-made wares that’ll last a lifetime. Whether you’re looking for that one-off piece or the trendiest, must-have item of the season, we’ve scoured the racks to bring you all the must-visit boutiques in our fine city. Read on for the best boutiques in Christchurch.
Ballantynes Department Store
Cashel Street Mall
Ballantynes Department Store is an absolute must when visiting Christchurch. The iconic department store has a been a Christchurch institution since it was established way back in 1854. You’ll be immediately drawn in by the exceptional service and high quality products on display. The three-storey shop stocks everything from the latest homewares and kitchen essentials to the best cosmetics around (there’s even a Mecca Cosmetica outpost) along with the must-have fashion pieces of the season. There are even in-house cafés where you can take a break from shopping or meet friends for coffee. The contemporary lounge is where you need to be to stock up on the best New Zealand labels from Twenty Seven Names and Juliette Hogan to Harman Grubiša and Deadly Ponies. It is truly Christchurch’s one-stop shop for everything hip and cutting-edge.
No shopping trip is complete without stopping by local fave, Infinite Definite or Inf Def as it is affectionately known. There’s something for everyone, this neighbourhood shop stocks more than 70 brands, featuring only the very best local and international designers. Here you’ll find cool Veja sneakers, beautiful Yu Mei bags and the latest Twenty Seven Names, Kowtow and Georgia Alice to name a few. There’s also an assortment of lesser known designers, so shopping here makes you feel like you’re discovering the latest must-have item. Choosing to stock ethically made garments, the focus here is on quality. The sparsely furnished space is industrial with concrete floors and modern fittings, so the clothes remain in focus.
Head Over Heels
With beautifully made shoes creatively displayed around this well-laid out store, we’re Head Over Heels for Christchurch’s best shoe store. Shopping for shoes can be an overwhelming experience, but perusing Head Over Heels’ curated collection of well-made shoes (and accessories) is pure bliss. Stock is refreshed every season and there are even custom items made exclusively for the shop. The team of warm and knowledgeable staff are always on hand for advice, helping you find practical pieces you’ll wear for years to come. If you’re on the lookout for new shoes, definitely add Head Over Heels to your list.
Indigo & Provisions
The Arts Centre
Located at The Arts Centre on Worcester Boulevard, Indigo & Provisions is a fashion store with an emphasis on sustainability, high quality and ethically made workwear. This carefully curated shop encourages customers to buy less, but to buy quality items that will last a lifetime. Indigo & Provisions sources exclusive brands from around the world. Expect to find iconic heritage brands like Pendelton Woolen Mills and Redwing Heritage amongst specialist denim and local labels like Common Goods Company and Auckland-based, Klay, who are known for their jackets and cushions. Owner, Dominic Ellett is dedicated to showcasing brands with a story to tell and is committed to fighting fast fashion.
Known for its trendy and covetable pieces from all over the world, Superette has cemented itself as a leading style destination. With stores in Auckland and Wellington, we were absolutely stoked when they opened their first South Island boutique at The Crossing. Since opening its first brick and mortar store in 2001, Superette continues to offer customers an extensive and expertly curated selection of covetable fashion and lifestyle offerings. With brands like AJE, Alice McCall, Bassike and Bec & Bridge, it’s always hard to leave empty handed. Aiming to redefine the idea of luxury living and effortless lifestyle, every product has a story and relevance to Superette’s ethos.
The Arts Centre
Those looking for unique homewares should add Frances Nation at The Arts Centre to their list of shopping destinations. Here you’ll find an assortment of products that have been handcrafted and manufactured throughout New Zealand. From hooks and nails to beeswax candles and laundry soap bars, you’ll find an extensive array of practical household items and know exactly where they’ve been made. There are plenty of bathroom items (natural deodorant and lavender spray) plus items for the little ones—from lambskin baby booties to beeswax crayons. Support local and pop into Frances Nation for all the essentials.
New Zealand-based label RUBY is well-loved for its playful yet elegant pieces that are easy to spot in a crowd. From opening its flagship store on Auckland’s High Street in 2002, the brand now has eight stores nationwide, including its beautiful Christchurch shop at The Crossing. With its plush pink and brass details that perfectly embody RUBY’s effortlessly cool aesthetic, it’s the ideal place to shop till you drop. Upon entering the light-filled space, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff who immediately make you feel at home with colourful clothing, shoes and accessories that manage to be both timeless and on-trend.
A local favourite since 2004, setting foot inside NG is akin to entering a gallery. Located in a beautiful Edwardian heritage building on Madras Street, NG showcases a curated range of local and international labels. From Comme des Garçons to Lela Jacobs, every piece is of exceptional quality, impeccable fit and timeless wearability. Director and designer, Sharon Ng travels to Paris twice a year for Paris Fashion Week and handpicks clothing, footwear, and accessories for discerning dressers who share her love for beautiful craftsmanship. With a background in fashion design, Sharon offers customers exclusive products in an inspired space that you won’t find anywhere else in Christchurch.
Papanui Road, Merivale
Plume is a multi-brand boutique and Christchurch’s home for NOM*d. The space offers a uniquely curated selection of both local and international brands and is a must-visit destination for discerning shoppers. Since its inception in 1986, NOM*d has been among a small number of fashion labels responsible for defining the style that is now referred to as 'The New Zealand Look'. As one of the ground-breaking New Zealand Four who showed at London Fashion Week in 1999, NOM*d firmly established the dark, intellectual qualities that are now synonymous with New Zealand design. In every collection, NOM*D maintains its credibility as a label unaffected by trends and whims, instead adopting the cool, considered gaze of the fashion outsider.
Image Credit: Ruby