The cluttered realm of online shopping is becoming a little more refined thanks to a new breed of websites that deliver the goods with a highly selective approach. By asking tastemakers to step in as guest curators, they give you insider, and often exclusive, access to items from around the world. Ahalife.com allows you to buy one unique item daily from international designers. Whether it’s a cotton pestemal (hammam towel) made by local artisans in Buldan, Turkey, or a hand-beaded, tribal-chic necklace from London-based jeweler Fiona Paxton, everything is chosen by notable travelers such as Daniel Boulud or Petra Nemcova.
Become a Birchbox member and, for $10 each month, you’ll get a nifty box filled with travel-size samples of the latest, greatest beauty products (from Ahava, Kiehl’s, Nars—you name it), all selected by the site’s editors or a curator such as Cynthia Rowley. You can also purchase full-size versions—plus customizable travel kits—on the site.
Currently in beta, Google’s boutiques.com includes a range of personalized e-boutiques created by style-setters around the world—so you can shop to dress like British actress Carey Mulligan or, perhaps, your favorite French fashion blogger. Want to show off your own je ne sais quoi? You can set up an online store on the site for your shopping selections. If you’re looking to do some armchair antiquing or to get a bit of decorating inspiration, head to One Kings Lane. The home décor and furnishings site’s Tastemaker Tag Sales offer discounts of up to 70 percent on, say, Californian designer and Hollywood legend Tony Duquette’s global finds or Slow Food icon Alice Waters’s favorite kitchen tools. For her Container Sales, One Kings Lane cofounder Susan Feldman travels to all corners of the earth with high-profile interior designers (she recently joined Kathryn Ireland in Marrakesh) to source housewares.