Gone are the days of only being able to buy fridge magnets, neck pillows and overpriced snacks at the airport. While having been an under-the-radar industry for quite some time, the business of luxury shopping in airports has grown substantially. High-end fashion boutiques like Christian Dior, Chanel and Gucci now rub shoulders with the likes of Hudson’s News and duty free.
And we couldn’t be more thrilled.
For example, taking a stroll through London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 can seem a lot more similar to walking down Fifth Avenue than being at an airport. It’s like a vacation within a vacation – a shopping one, of course.
We’ve rounded up the best luxury shopping in airports around the world to get your dose of designer before you board.
Singapore, Changi Airport
Few airports in the world are as luxurious as Singapore Changi. This is definitely one airport that we wouldn’t mind being stuck at for a 7-hour layover – although, our credit cards might. With 350+ shops and a new complex opening next year, Changi is no stranger to luxury shopping. Whether you love Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein or Marc Jacobs, you’ll be able to fill an extra carry-on – bought at Tumi, obviously – with all your luxe new looks.
Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport
If you missed a shop on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find it at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Fashion hungry travellers can shop French luxury brands like Chanel, Dior, Longchamp and Hermès to their heart’s content. You’ll be able to find Armani, Bvlgari, Hugo Boss and more around the terminals as well.
London, Heathrow Airport
Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport is a destination on its own. If it weren’t for the tourists with their oversized luggage and screaming kids, you might think you’re still on Savile Row. No doubt, the first luxury brand on our list at Heathrow is Burberry – because what is more British than Burberry plaid? From there you can shop leopard prints at Dolce & Gabbana, crocodile clutches at Gucci and tweed must-haves at Chanel (the airport’s top performing boutique).
Sydney, Kingsford Airport
Contrary to popular belief, Sydney isn’t all laid-back surfer style. Arguably, they’re actually on the forefront of what’s trending right now – partially thanks to their opposite seasons. At Sydney Airport you’ll find a major selection of high-end stores like Max Mara, Jimmy Choo, Fendi and Bally. If you like to mix high and low fashion finds, check out Aussie brands Seed Women and Witchery, which are also located in the airport.
South Korea, Incheon Airport
If you’re looking for a designer tote to stylishly throw all your travel essentials into, look no further than Incheon Airport. Balenciaga, Givenchy, Saint Laurent – you name it, Incheon has it. They’re also home to the largest airport Louis Vuitton store. If you want a new outfit, check out Versace, Rebecca Minkoff or Moschino. You’ll have no trouble walking away with an entirely new luxury ensemble after spending some time at Incheon.
At any rate, there’s hardly a reason to spend your vacation shopping when you can get everything you’d ever want at the airport. This season’s Balmain boots? Ring them up! While luxury shopping in airports might have been a low-key experience in the past, it’s far from that today. And we’d bet, it’s only getting bigger.