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Melbourne has long been regarded as Australia’s fashion capital, and Melbournians know how to shop. As well as high-end shopping precincts flaunting international designer brands, there’s vintage stores; contemporary fashions from local designers; and factory outlets for bargain hunters. Delve a little deeper and discover some of the city’s intriguing ‘alternative’ shops.

Collins Street

Home to prestigious boutiques and high-end retailers, this is where the well-heeled go to find international brands such as Prada, Tiffany, Armani, and Louis Vuitton. There’s also bespoke retailers such as master tailor Adriano Carbone; and milliner Marea Bright, for the perfect Melbourne Cup outfit.

Toorak and South Yarra

For fashion haute couture, Toorak Road and South Yarra’s exclusive designer boutiques, luxurious beauty parlours and glamorous hair salons, pander to the well-to-do. Can’t afford it? Behind Toorak Village, the Toorak Op shop is a secret locals keep to themselves, with barely-worn perfect garments.

The Melbourne Shop

Lumbi's Melbourne themed souvenir shop is steeped in Melbournalia and other Australian products, including digitally-designed cushions, art, tram and bus prints, lamps, canvas art, bags, t-shirts, pencil cases, tea towels and iPod covers. They’ll even custom make products for a completely unique gift from Melbourne.

City Hatters

City Hatters has survived the test of time and the vagaries of Victorian fashion and trends for almost a century. Having hatted everyone from actors to Governor Generals, there’s more than 60 styles here; from the classic Borsalino, to rugged Stetsons and Aussie Akubras.

Wunderkammer

Stepping into Wunderkammer is like entering Einstein’s house. Inside this marvellously eccentric 'cabinet of curiosities', are hundreds of natural science oddities and obscure historical artefacts, from maps and globes to botanical specimens. Catering for the discerning collector, with plenty of talking pieces for the home.

Mag Nation

The hippest ‘news agency’ in the city, Mag Nation stocks more than 4000 different magazine titles, and they don’t mind if you take a seat and flick through your favourites with a cup of coffee. Ditch the iPad and feel the sensation of old-school print.

Record Collectors Corner

Known by Melbournians for years as Missing Link Records; Record Collector’s Corner stocks new and second-hand CDs, DVD's and vinyl from around the world. There’s old and hard-to-get titles covering classic rock, punk, metal, indie, blues, jazz, hip hop, reggae, soul, funk and everything else.

Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller

Officially a UNESCO City of Literature, Melbourne is full of great booksellers. One of the best, Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller, carries a large stock of antiquarian and second-hand books, from the 15th to the 21st centuries, and has served Melbourne’s book-lovers for half a century.

Fisher Hand Crafted Cricket Bats

Lachlan Fisher’s store on the outskirts of the city is the place for cricket lovers. Here you can have your own cricket bat custom-made from English willow or Australian wood. On Sundays, there’s also lessons in bat-making, with the chance make your own individual piece.

St Kilda Esplanade Market

Every Sunday since 1970, the St Kilda Esplanade Market has been the place for a beachside stroll and to shop for something out of the ordinary. More than 150 stalls offer one-of-a-kind handmade arts, crafts, jewellery and food, made from every type of material imaginable.