Style-conscious Asians have always seen Kuala Lumpur as a fashion center and retail hot-spot. In the last few years, the Malaysian capital has gone viral with its vibrant fashion week and extravagant malls. KL is so fashion conscious, its iconic tourist attraction the twin towers is home to the cities most exclusive fashion house.
The entire city has been built on two core values, delicious food and incredible shopping. The three main shopping centers are Bukit Bintang, Bangsar and China Town. The Bukit Bintang district is home to the cities mega malls, ranging from the ultra-posh Starhill Gallery to the bargain-filled Sungei Wang Plaza. The cities mall scape is dominated by Berjaya Times Square which is the fifth largest building in the world and home to over 1,000 retail stores. With its independent boutiques and quirky fashions houses, Times Square offers high-class independence at affordable prices.
The jewel in the KL shopping crown is Pavilion Mall. This 1.37 million square foot mega mall is home to 450 stores packed with global brands and affordable couture. Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren are supported by a cast of Asian designers and boutique stores, that are surprisingly kind on your credit cards. Pavilion Mall is an opulent shopping space that offers much more than retail therapy. The Pavilion food court and hawker center are a calorie-packed day out in their own right.
If the malls feel a little crowded and mainstream then take a trip to Bangsar and hunt out some hipster boutiques and vintage stores. Shoes, Shoes, Shoes is an excellent example of cookie cutter free shopping, with its range of locally designed footwear that’s kind on your feet and budget. For re-embellished vintage and colorful collections follow the KL trend-setters to Never Follow Suit. Another boutique that oozes cool is Variente which is a homegrown fashion label specializing in the free-flowing fabrics that are perfect for the Malaysian heat.
Bangsar is definitely worth the short Grab ride. The district is filled with impressive boutiques, quirky vintage stores and artisan coffee shops that are certain to impress. Primarily a night time destination due to a plethora of cool bars and clubs. Bangsar has some exciting stores and impressive malls that will inspire the most style conscious of shoppers.
Thrift store enthusiasts should visit Bangsar institution Quirky Brown Cow where everything is vintage and sold at retro prices. This hipster magnet has shoes, dresses and pants starting at just 10 Ringit. If rummaging is your thing, then stimulate your senses further with a trip to Katsuri flea market in China Town. Here you will find lots of shouting, the smell of delicious food and bargains galore.
The Curve weekend market is another fine flea affair known for its diverse collections and hard bargaining stall holders. Here you will find everything from vintage coke bottles to designer bikinis. If the heat of the market gets too much, head inside the mall and cool down with even more bargains.
If your a budget-conscious shopper, who doesn’t care how authentic the label is. Then head for the famous Jalan Petaling Market in China Town. Here you will find knock-off designer clothes, handbags and watches at rock bottom prices. The quality is surprisingly good, and the prices get even lower as you walk away from your sales hungry stall holder.
For a final fashion fix before catching your flight home. The Mitsui Outlet Park is only a few Kilometers from KLIA, This Japanese outlet mall has over 140 stores spread across two floors where you will find everything from boutique clothing to designer luggage.
If you have any time or money left after hitting the malls and markets. A trip to Peter How Beyond s the perfect place to unwind and pick up some souvenirs. This large shop feels more like a mall than a souvenir store. Here you will find souvenirs made in local craft studios and fabrics from all over Asia. You will also see a clothing range from local designer Justin Yap and some super jewellery from a variety of local designers.
For a more unique souvenir to remember your visit to Kuala Lumpur, then the Visual Art Gallery is the place to pick up some local artwork If the local art is beyond your budget than the locally designed pop art t-shirts will make an affordable and funky addition to your wardrobe.