There are very few places on the planet that are chicer than St Barts. This small idyllic 8 square mile island where the vivid blue sky blends so beautifully with the turquoise blue sea seems to bring the beauty and fashion out in everyone whether you live here or just visit for a short time. Everyone looks beautiful in St Barths. The ubiquitous and safe all-black number is virtually extinct in St Barths and in its place are vibrant colours, unique prints, mouth-watering sparkle and lots of fun in fashion. In the season, you will definitely see many famous faces modelling the wonderful trends such as Jessica Alba, Rosie Huntington Whitley, Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé, Miranda Kerr, and Lindsay Lohan to name but a few.
Fashion in St Barts
St Barts is a paradise for shoppers. It is a duty-free island and there are over 200 beautiful boutiques to explore and is one of the best things to do in St Barts. Fashion is not only part of the Island’s paradise setting but also part of its lifestyle. There is an incredible selection of top designer shops and also some wonderful boutiques as well as some brilliant designers that are unique to St Barth’s. It would definitely not be an overstatement to say that shopping for fashion in St Barths is a thousand times better than anywhere else in the Caribbean.
Stores close for lunch from noon to 3, and many on Wednesday afternoon as well, but they are open until 7 in the evening. A popular afternoon pastime is strolling about the two major shopping areas in Gustavia and St-Jean.
In Gustavia, boutiques line the three major shopping streets. Quai de la République, which is right on the harbour and rivals London’s Bond Street and New York’s Madison Avenue. Here you will find designers include Hermes, Bulgari, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Chopard to name but a few. The other two great streets for shopping are the Rue du Roi Oscar II and Rue du Général de Gaulle. I personally love the Carré d’Or plaza in Gustavia just off the Quai de la République where you will find some really great boutiques with lots of trendy and chic fashion.
The two other main shopping areas are in The La Savane Commercial Centre which is just across the street from the airport and also in the village of St-Jean where there are lots of fabulous little boutiques to explore. Just so you don’t miss anything, it is worth going from one end of these shopping areas to the other but if you don’t have time to do that, here are some of our personal favourites.
Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France Boutique
Baie des Flamand (59) 05-90-27-61-81
Tucked into a corner off of the bar and restaurant area at the Isle de France hotel is a tiny boutique packed with a woman’s an incredible array of beautiful clothes from bikinis to accessories to strappy sandals and chic cover-ups. I even found a stunning ball gown there!! Mandie Vere Nicoll, who owns the hotel with her husband, scours showrooms in New York and Paris to find styles to seduce her well-travelled clientele. Every lunchtime and also on a Tuesday evening there is a fashion show. There is nothing like a few glasses of wine to help you make a decision on a much-needed outfit!!
Rue Oscar II, Gustavia (59) 05-90-52-43-25
Vanita Rosa is not to be missed for anyone who loves St Barths style. The fashion line was started in St Barth in 2000 by designer Valérie Bourdin. She was inspired by the beautiful island landscape and her clothes as a result are truly beautiful and really stunning. Valeria a former model uses only the most beautiful fabrics: silk, linen, cashmere, and lace of Calais are a few examples. Celebrities such as Jane Fonda and Ivana Trump love to wear the elegant and chic designs created by Vanita Rosa.
Eden Rock Hotel, St. Jean (59) 05-90- 29-79-99
Located just at the entrance to the hotel and right beside the lovely Sand Bar Restaurant, The Rock Shop is a must if you are staying at the hotel or just coming for lunch. There is a wonderful selection of contemporary fashion and designers such as Matthew Williamson, Antik Batik, Milly, Pucci and Daslu. The shop is packed full of treasures from gorgeous swimwear and evening dressing to stunning costume jewellery.
Poupette St. Barth
Rue de la République, Gustavia (59) 05-90-27-94-49
Soft, sensual, bohemian chic – for the beach, party or every day, Poupette St Barth makes you want to live the island life full time.
La Plage Restaurant Boutique
Plage de St Jean, +590 590 275 313
Both lunch and dinner in season, you will be able to experience not only wonderful food but a great fashion show at this very hip and romantic place. La Plage is definitely one of the coolest places in St Barths where you will find either a live band or a DJ for entertainment. If you really want to get into the fashion spirit of St Barth, you will also be able to find a full range of the designed “Free in St Barth” products as well as some other great items.
Rue du Général de Gaulle, Gustavia
This boutique is a real gem for the real fashion lover. Mark the owner has a wonderful eye for what suits you and goes beyond the call in being helpful. Carrying numerous brands of luxury ready-to-wear and accessories, APPUNTO has a variety of collections for women of all styles, from the Glam Rock look of Manuel Luciano, DSquared, Phillip Plein…
Or the very chic Italian designers ViaDellePerle, Angelo Marani, DG, Maggio22… as well as the more elegant, classic approach of Armani and Michael Kors.
They also feature the designs of Bad Spirit, leathers by Natacha and Vanessa, plus others. And for men, a special area dedicated to the German designer, Bikkembergs.
Les Hauts du Carré d’Or, (59) 05-90-27-59-98