Antwerp Travel Guide
For years the Zuid district was considered up-and-coming, now this glamorous nexus is considered permanently chic.
Here, an exhaustive history of the diamond trade is offered but most come for the dark corridors that hold brightly lit cases filled with 19th-century regal diamond diadems, bravura tiaras, and other staggering works of art.
This mini department store stocks a very un-Antwerp lineup of blingy Italian brands in a space that's the apotheosis of the Antwerp aesthetic: neutral and burnished, simultaneously rich and plain. A cocktail at the adjacent Martini Bar is de rigueuer.
The antique-jewelry shop is just down the street from Dries Van Noten's fashion flagship.
A daring shoe store located near the Nationalestraat.
A jeweler?A metalsmith?An art gallery?Call it what you like, but definitely stop by. The pieces - made of sterling silver or hand-hammered 18-karat gold - are set with roughly tooled semiprecious stones and pearls.
Find Katz in his Appelmansstraat digs, a chic showroom with a massive marble fireplace and an imposing chandelier. "You must consider your jeweler as you would your doctor," he says, stressing the importance of trust between buyer and seller. "He is the expert!"
If collections in black, off-black, and charcoal-blakc are your thing, Schneider's tiny atelier will please you. Skinny men's trousers, shirts, and pullovers come in unexpected felts, knits, and thick cottons; so do the demure dresses and skirts.
A well-edited collection of 20th-century ceramics and furniture, plus the odd Pucci foulard.
The houses in Zurenborg - along Cogels-Osylei, Transvaalstraat, and Waterloostraat - are unique in Europe; more than 150 are designated landmarks. They range from weird (Tyrolean half-timbering in Flanders?) to the glorious (hand-painted Art Deco tile façades).
Friday morning see an antiques auction in the Vrijdagmarkt (Friday Market).
The exhibition space and salesroom lets the public observe cutters and setters through windowed booths.
This pioneering conservatory of style is housed in the same building as the Flanders Fashion Institute and the new Yamamoto store.
The association vets dealers and has strict membership criteria—to be eligible, you have to have been in the market for at least 10 years.