Community spirit runs through the heart of Rotterdam. Often voted second best to iconic Amsterdam, there’s a camaraderie between residents and tourists alike who know that Rotterdam is where it’s at. This not only means that people are about as friendly as it gets, but that there’s a noticeable focus on supporting local, independent brands. Just look at Groos: literally translating from Old Dutch as ‘pride’, this serene concept store spotlights work by local creatives.
Shopping might not be the first word that pops into your head when you hear ‘Rotterdam’, but we’re here to say it should. From curated vintage to cool concept stores on Witte de Withstraat (one of Rotterdam's cutest streets for boutiques, cafés and bars) these are the best independent boutiques to check out in Rotterdam
This airy industrial space has been transformed into a serene concept store. GROOS is an old Dutch word meaning ‘pride’. Somewhat fittingly, you’ll find fashion, books, brews, home accessories and lifestyle products for well-groomed hipsters, all made by local Rotterdam creatives.
While away some time at this breezy concept store, where a constantly changing edit of cool homeware, accessories, plants and curiosities are arranged across a muted, minimalistic space. Keep things light at the serene on-site café with a yogi granola bowl, green smoothies and (who are we kidding?) a chocolate-smothered macaron. Perfect pre- or post-shopping fuel.
A hand-picked range of wearable vintage clothing, shoes and accessories are arranged by colour across a whitewashed space with wooden beams. Don’t miss Dearhunter’s array of leather bags, retro sunglasses and handmade tote bags – say hello to the stuffed bird on the counter for us.
Browse a cutting-edge collection of structured, monochromatic clothing for men and women by globally renowned designer Margreeth Olsthoorn. She’s a rockstar among the city’s creative elite. You’ll also find labels from the likes of Martin Margiela, Rick Owens and Bruuns.
5.In de Ban Van de Ring
Goldsmith Gert Harkema (the ‘Lord of the Rings’) creates sumptuous pieces by hand in this wood-fronted jewellery shop. Browse his quirky collection, which includes everything from platinum and bronze to steel and precious stone, or splash out on an exclusively designed piece. You know you want to.
This womenswear store takes labels from the around the world and mixes them carefully, creating what we think is the ultimate wardrobe. Think Eleven Paris and Samsoe Samsoe for clothing and Club Manhattan and Xzota for jewellery. It’s simply a beautiful store with clothes you can see yourself rocking.
7.Imagine by Kim
Girl-power vibes run strong at Imagine by Kim, which is run by “girlboss” Kim Stip (so of course we’re obsessed). The in-store collection is picked and curated by Kim and her team, it’s an ultra-cool edit. With bohemian prints and denim blazing fresh trails, these are clothes that inspire confidence.
One-upping the snooty high-fashion stores of yore, Nen Xavier’s eponymous shop takes a fearless, accessible approach to selling high-end clothing and accessories for men. You’ll find timeless pieces from cool kids like Acne and Monique van Heist in a sleek, minimalist setting.