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The New House

When it comes to shopping, an in-store visit can sometimes be as much fun as the haul you take home. This is especially true when retail designers play with art installations, blending fashion, design and even food into a multi-level experience that involves more than just browsing and handing over your credit card.

Step inside seven shops we think are worth visiting for their design alone.

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This Manhattan concept store takes inspiration from the idea of a print magazine, completely reinventing and redesigning the store every four to eight weeks. Each iteration represents a new cultural theme, be it the release of a new movie, or a brand, such as Pepsi. The design is often fun and interactive. Think: retro pinball machines you can actually use, or a vending machine that is activated through a simple tweet guests post to Twitter.

This Parisian boutique changes its theme weekly, swapping out the entire design, which ranges from installations to wall art and custom mannequins. It’s a favorite of both locals and tourists.  The first floor has a wide selection of hard-to-find fashion, art, and design magazines, and the water bar on the lower level offers over 85 different varieties of bottled waters from around the world.

When the rising stars of the fashion world need a stop-you-in-your-tracks store interior, who do they turn to? Ryan Korban, a 32-year-old decorator known for his embrace of marble, brass, and other luxe materials. Korban is blazing a trail across Manhattan’s retail landscape: He has designed a stark black-and-white SoHo flagship for Alexander Wang, a spare but soulful showroom for Joseph Altuzarra, and, most recently, a shimmering gold-and-zebra-stripe outpost for cult shoe label Aquazzura.

Antwerp has a reputation for producing great designers (Margiela and Dries Van Noten, to name a few) so it’s no surprise that the small city’s concept store Graanmarkt 13 is stunning. The spacious location with its focus on minimalist design includes a restaurant, an apartment (which can be rented out), and a store that carries both fashion and design products. Cobblestone streets and lush trees surround the shop’s exterior.

Designed by architect Rem Koolhaas, the Prada boutique in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood is considered a shop, public space, gallery and performance space. A giant wooden ramp fills the middle of the store, which has platforms that drop down to create a stage. Shoppers can walk down the stairs next to the ramp and enter a maze-like set of rooms filled with merchandise and plush green velvet couches. A space age inspired round, glass elevator is located in the front of the store. Wall panels containing huge art prints are often updated to reflect the current season’s collection.

Walking by 10 Como Corso, which is located on a small Milanese street, you’d never know that such a colorful paradise of fashion and design lies inside. The exterior of the building is covered in lush vines and flowers, and the courtyard serves as an outdoor café. Inside, multiple floors contain art-inspired fashion and design specific installations made of Comme des Garçons clothing or Raf Simons’ pieces. The rooftop is a public space with a garden, tables and chairs, and there is also an art gallery on the top floor with changing exhibitions. The store is the brainchild of Carla Sozzani, the sister of Franca Sozzani, editor in chief of Vogue Italia.

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