Fifth Avenue, Rodeo Drive, Bond Street, Avenue Montaigne. These cosmopolitan thoroughfares lined with some of the most coveted names in haute couture embody the Pretty Woman fantasy, but even they pale in comparison to Capri’s sun-washed, bougainvillea-draped Via Camerelle, one of the most concentrated stretches of designer boutiques in the world. International best-dressed listers come here to zhuzh up their wardrobes with the season’s latest looks or snag custom-made and signature pieces for a bit of that insider IYKYK flair.
Not all of Capri’s luxury shopping is fashion, however. The yachterati that flock to the island each summer come in part to stock up on island-only treasures that are rare outside its glam confines including fine art, exclusive perfumes, home décor, and even gourmet treats and wine. Whether it’s gold, platinum, or black, your credit card will get a workout at these swish shops on Capri:
The Runway Life
The heart of Capri’s chic shopping scene is Via Camerelle, a film-set-ready pedestrian lane lorded over by the white-glove Grand Hotel Quisisana. Chichi shoppers go as much to be seen as to browse and the scene here is especially buzzy in the evening when holidaying A-listers have freshened up from a day at the beach club or on their yacht and are indulging in a passeggiata through town. Boutiques here keep late hours, so celebs can shop until 10 p.m. (though the biggest stars will close down a store for their personal spree).
There are dozens of shops along this gilded stretch, but the most famous include Gucci, Chanel, Versace, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Moschino, Saint Laurent, Missoni, Hermés, Pucci, Balenciaga, and Audemars Piguet. The winding length of Via Vittorio Emanuele that connects the Piazzetta with Via Camerelle is also a luxe shopping haven, home to Dolce&Gabbana, Ferragamo, and Rolex.
There is something to be said for the latest Hermés bag or Gucci frock, but nothing quite matches the cachet of a piece that can only be found on the island of Capri—a glitterati calling card that is the mark of the true jet set. There are a number of exquisite boutiques that are unique to Capri and sell Mediterranean-inspired clothing and accessories in Capri town where those in the know head as soon as they land on the island. Le Farella is known for its contemporary knitwear and textile designs, especially whisper-soft cashmere light as a feather while Laboratorio Capri has been a go-to since the 1960s for its bright island fabrics and timeless Golden Age of Hollywood designs, all tailored by hand. Anchoring the Piazzetta since 1906, the landmark La Parisienne Capri is also a technicolor treasure trove of one-of-a-kind fashion and accessories that embody the island’s barefoot-luxury vibe.
Bells are a thing on Capri, tied to an ancient legend that recounts the story of St. Michael (San Michele) who came to the aid of a local shepherd boy by ringing a small bell to help him find his lost flock. Since then, bells have come to symbolize peace and fortune on the island, so much so that local jeweler Pietro Capuano forged a bronze bell as a gift to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944, hoping its power as a talisman would herald the end of WWII. This same jeweler founded the island’s Chantecler brand with a partner in 1950 and today their jewel-encrusted bell pendants are a glamorous symbol of Capri recognized by island-hopping cognoscenti the world over.
Jackie O’ from Head to Toe
If there is one accessory that says “Capri”, it’s the island’s fabulous handmade sandals, custom-crafted by artisans in fine leather and finished with gorgeous beading, flowers, and other lashes of bling. By far the most famous sandal shop is Canfora, a favorite of Jackie O’(she would have the Canfora workshop open at midnight exclusively for her so she could choose her sandals in privacy). The shop was founded in 1946 and has created bespoke sandals for everyone from Grace Kelly and Sofia Loren to Naomi Campbell over the decades—if you want to channel Capri’s famed island sprezzatura, begin here.
Scent of the Island
You may be a royal or celebrity, there’s no way to bring the island of Capri home with you. Or is there? Capri is known for its unique aroma, a blend of sea breezes, flowering citrus, and the wild herbs in the macchia mediterranea countryside. Two island companies have captured the island’s essence so those passing through can take a piece of Capri away with them, and you’ll find some of the finest penthouses in Manhattan and villas in Switzerland are infused with the scent of Capri. Carthusia traces some of its perfumes to formulations created by the monks at the Charterhouse of San Giacomo in the 14th century, and today produces a wide range of signature fragrances for the body and home. Ricciocaprese takes Capri-inspired home scents into the design world with diffusers that resemble small works of art, as well as bright objets d'art and tableware.
Art has become one of the hottest investments of the 21st-century and savvy managers know that contemporary paintings, sculpture, and photographs offer both flair to their décor and diversity to their portfolio. Capri’s premier gallery, Liquid Art System, represents a wide range of international artists and artistic styles and a stroll through their gallery rooms is a fascinating overview of the contemporary art scene. The staff is deeply knowledgeable about the artists and their work and can help you curate your selections to suit your taste, style, and budget. If art lights your fire more than fashion, this world-class gallery will keep your credit card busy.
Delightful Delicacies for Discerning Palates
Capri may mean fashion and art, but it is an Italian island and Italy is all about the wine. No spree here is complete without stocking up on flagship Italian labels to restock your home cellar, and Capannina Più was the island’s first (and is still the island’s best) wine shop. Pop into this family-run enoteca for reds and whites from across Italy and the globe, as well as spirits, chosen from its stock of thousands of bottles.