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Best New Stores

Anthropologie

The chain retailer’s signature boho chic may be a global institution, but it still manages to channel an independent vibe (to wit: its one-of-a-kind vintage wool and felt patchwork blankets, $700). The always-replenished sale section yields great finds like the Glasswing Collection queen-size duvet for 75 percent off retail.

The Hach

When it comes to knickknacks with flair, The Hach (pronounced “hawk”; 197 E. 17th Ave., 604-566-9611. Thehach.com) has the market cornered. Occupying the old Blim space just off Main Street, it fills its vintage shelves with classic silk blouses and edgy shoes and accessories by local and international designers (like Marais USA Espadrilles, $88), as well as unusual paper offerings.

Frey Wille

Accessory enthusiasts were overjoyed when Austrian jeweller Frey Wille (511 Howe St., 604-569-0814. Frey-wille.com) opened its first Canadian location in Vancouver last summer. The 60-year-old Vienna-based design house creates rings, bangles, and necklaces in 24-karat gold or palladium with hand-painted enamel details. The modern designs are inspired by Greek and Egyptian history, as well as famous works of art. Think delicate details from your favourite Klimt, Monet, or Mucha translated into classy, high-end arm candy with funky flair.

Orling & Wu

Orling and Wu could have been just another thoughtfully curated (read: sparsely inventoried) Gastown store. Though this little homewares shop may look and feel gallery-like with its rare finds and elegant pieces, it runs more friendly in vibe. The owners met in England while attending design school, so the fresh mix of contemporary, vintage, and classic pieces for sale reflect a European sensibility: whether it’s the Nosey Parker greeting cards handmade in the U.K.

Old Faithful Shop

Be forewarned: when leaving the Old Faithful Shop, you might start pining for a larder or, at the very least, glass-bottle milk delivery service. This bricks-and-mortar general store harks back to a time when packages were wrapped in twine and most things were crafted by hand—but still manages to evoke an au courant vibe (imagine if Terence Conran lived on Little House on the Prairie). From jam jars (starting at $8) to iPad attachés (by Makr, $240), all goods look like they belong in an old trading post.