Shopping in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik has many small boutiques in the Old Town, nestled amongst the stone walls, offering a selection of American and European brands and clothing from Croatian designers. The most extensive of these boutiques, clearly aimed at the jet-set, is Maria Concept Store, (Sv. Dominika bb) conveniently located at the Ploče Gate. The focus however, is high end fashion and accessories from Rick Owens, Valentino, Stella McCartney and Givency to name but a few. The space is gorgeous and modern, with plenty of room to try on floor length cocktail dresses and enjoy the attentions of friendly knowledgable staff. A recent offshoot of the store aimed at the more price conscious customer is Outlet Maria, also in the Old Town at Cvijete Zuzorić 3. Nearby and close to the Rector’s Palace, Boutique Croatia (Pred dvorom 2) is the place to buy that timeless gift; a handmade silk tie. Presented in gift boxes, complete with a short ‘History of the Tie’ it makes for a fascinating gift. Did you know, for example, that the modern necktie in Europe traces back to the time of the Croatian Mercenaries? Allied to the French Military front during the war of 1616, the wearing of their traditional small, knotted neckerchiefs, (or a ‘Kravata’) aroused the interest of the Parisians. Due to the slight difference between the Croatian word for Croats, ‘Hrvati’, and the French word ‘Croats’, the garment gained the name "cravat" (‘cravatte’ in French). The new article of clothing started a fashion craze in Europe; now International Necktie Day is celebrated on October the 18th in Croatia.
If jewelry is more your thing, the intriguing but affordable locally-made accessories at Atelier Secret (Kunićeva 2) including bauble like pendants and chains fashioned from Adriatic coral, are beautiful. Many items are can be made to order. Worth a look for unique presents to take home or wear to the beach with a long sheer caftan and heels. Algoritam (Stradun 8) is a boon if you've lost or forgotten your favourite holiday reads or smartphone accessories, games and music. Half the store is only English-language publications: from travel guides, bestselling authors and classics, to expensive volumes on politics, art, history and design. It also has an impressive stock of over twenty-four English, French and Spanish language magazines and newspapers (The Times, international editions of Vogue, NY Times, Le Monde), postcards, stationary and all you would expect from a quality bookseller. Not far away, DEsA employs local women to use age-old and beautiful techniques of weaving, embroidery, and craft-making at this workshop and souvenir store in a downstairs area of the Lazareti (Banje beach, Frana Supila 8) shopping complex. The items on offer are of fantastic handmade quality, colourful and original, some of Dubrovnik’s finest local souvenirs are to be found here. This is also a great way to support the local handicraft trade and the women who make these items.