When I Went Shopping With Shop Hop

Posted on July 7, 2012 by Vivi in EXPAT, VISIT BUENOS AIRES

In the treacherous unknowns of the Buenos Aires fashion world, one woman has made it her mission to lead fashionistas to light and make sense of the flashy clothes that seem illogical on their hangers.  She is Sophie Lloyd, and she taught me everything I know about BA fashion.

Shop Hop BA was founded almost two years ago by Sophie Lloyd, fashion loving entrepreneur who hails originally from the UK by way of Shanghai, where she spent a few years as a fashion journalist for Global Blue, China Daily and CNN Go.  After conquering the Asian Fashion Scene, her next challenge was to take on the Buenos Aires fashion world.

As any expat will tell you, shopping in Buenos Aires is complicated.  Most designers have small production lines, produce few sizes and the clothes are notoriously unaffordable.  Despite the rich variety of beautifully designed and constructed clothing, the population is not particularly fashion-adventurous.  Many clothes available in mid-range commercial designers are poorly constructed and still expensive.  The country is also in midst of enacting a size law, because none of us girls with butts could find a pair of jeans that could hold us.  It was a significant enough problem to require government intervention.  (because they’re so great at fixing problems.)  This may be the the beauty of Argentine fashion – that amidst enormous challenges, the fashion opportunities are great.   Enter ShopHop.

ShopHop offers private, customized shopping tours to find exactly what you’re looking for in Buenos Aires.  By combining her haute couture stylist’s eye and her knowledge of the best stores around the city, Sophie unlocks the doors to the rich, untapped glory of Buenos Aires fashion.   A ShopHop tour will take you off the beaten tourist track to see the city from the view of it’s beautiful boutique culture.  If you like shopping and want to learn about Argentine designers, ShopHop can take you behind the scenes to give you the best tour of BA Fashion.  Never one to miss an opportunity for adventure, I had to check it out.

First Sophie asked me if I was looking for anything in particular.  She offered to take me to a designer show room to to find a custom-made leather jacket, or vintage stores with vintage dresses, furs and bags.  She has helped clients on missions for specific leather boots, a vintage wedding dress, a handmade silk-lined weekend bag, or made-to-fit leather pants in several different colors.

I told Sophie that I wasn’t looking for anything specific, but rather wanted to learn more about the designer boutique fashion scene that teases me on my walks through Palermo Soho.  Sophie told me about her favorite designers including Martin Churba Tramando, Garza Lobos, and Cora Groppo.  Then we went on a fashion adventure and had a blast!

We tried on beautiful clothes,

In totally fabulous boutiques,

Admired unique designs,

And caught a first hand glimpse of the amazing artistic innovation that local designers are printing up and sewing!

I took away some invaluable advice from this shopping expert.  Sophie has done her fashion homework.  She knows the designers, and has a great eye for unique pieces and stunning combinations.  She opened my eyes to the beauty of the BA designer fashion world, and her love for it was contagious!

I really appreciated having another perspective on outfit choices.  Sure, I can look in the mirror, but it was very reassuring to have another pair of eyes to confirm that: yeah, this dress looks great, or no, those pants are way too tight.  Icing on the cake was Sophie’s lovely company.  It is so much better to go shopping with a professional, instead of your bored boyfriend, who doesn’t care, and would rather be watching soccer.

ShopHop’s real secret value is acting as an ambassador to Buenos Aires’ unique shopping culture.  From the language barrier, to rude shop girls, to the shopping etiquette and currency exchanges, Sophie eased the international-designer fashion culture shock.  She also diplomatically dealt with a very rude shop girl at Garza Lobos, who assumed I wouldn’t understand her insults if she said them in Spanish.  (I did … and I replied.)  Sophie diffused the situation with grace.  If you’re out for a fashion adventure, best to take along a trust-worthy guide!

If you’re looking for something special, look here first:

Shop Hop
Email: infoshopbuenosaires@gmail.com
(+54-9) 11 3921 0460
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  1. Here, the fashion Mecca is D & B Supply. They carry a complete line of Levis, Woolrich and Wrangler. What more can you ask for and it is all in one store!

  2. BEAUTIFUL clothes for a gorgeous woman! Hope you found something as fabulous as you are x P.S. Grandpa rocks!

  3. AMAZING. I want a leather jacket. And boots.

  4. Sounds like a great day. I wish you would post a little more about some favorite designers and where to find them in Buenos Aires!

  5. Rude shop girls and mediocre quality of clothes are number one shopping problems here in Lima, too. However, when you discover some hidden showrooms and young designers you can find very nice and reasonably priced fashionable clothes.

    Before Peru I lived in Paris, and I miss how the shop girls really made efforts to find you something that suits you (also giving an honest opinion if something did not suit you -without being bitchy). Can’t find that kind of professionalism here.


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