Smitten with Smets

The Belgian fashion blogosphere has been a buzz about the new Smets Premium Store since it opened last month. I finally got a chance to check it out myself this week and….wow, this place is AMAZING!

First of all it’s huge – 3,400 square meters of designer clothing, accessories, home furnishings and beauty products. There’s nothing else like it in Brussels. The outside is striking, with a sequin-covered window display and an enormous digital walking model.

The store carries an impressive selection of brands (both traditional and up-and-coming labels) including Pucci, Hervé Leger, Missoni, The Row, Alice & Olivia, Roland Mouret and the list goes on here. Smets is also well stocked when it comes to shoes and bags with names like Manolo Blahnik, Tod’s, Rupert Sanderson and Mulberry. Most of these unfortunately are out of my normal price range 🙂 but it’s still good fun to browse the showroom.

The women’s collection is elegantly displayed on the second floor (just opened this week) among funky individual changing rooms. Back down on the ground floor you’ll find menswear, furniture, accessories and other gift items like candles and blinged-out iPhone accessories. I had a great time browsing the mid-century and modern home furnishings selection. Hey, why not pick up a white Eames chair and Kartell lamp while buying a new pair of Manolos? 😉

There’s also a cosmetics corner set up by the Cosmeticary store offering a limited, but good, selection of products (Bobby Brown, Dermalogica, Bumble & Bumble, OPI). This was a little more my speed so I popped for two of the 200 OPI nail polish colors on offer.

And last but not least, the store even has its own restaurant and bar inside! Open for lunch and dinner on weekdays, the Bowery Restaurant has a sleek interior and gorgeous wine display. It was empty when I passed through but maybe Tuesday isn’t’ the best night…

The location is also a bit unique. While most of the Brussels fashion scene is happening downtown on Rue Dansaert, Smets is near Place Meiser on the eastern side of the city. Not the easiest place to get to at 6pm but they do have plenty of free parking in their own garage.

The Smets chain of stores comes from Luxembourg, where it was started by the Smets family a couple of decades ago. They’ve now expanded to Belgium with the idea for the Premium store– bringing together fashion, art, design and food all under one roof.

Even if you’re like me and don’t end up buying much, this fabulous store is totally worth a visit. The staff is super friendly and helpful, a welcome treat in this town. Smets definitely gets my vote as the best new store in Brussels!

650-652 Chaussée de Louvain, 1030 Schaerbeek
Tel: +32 2 325 1230
Open Monday to Saturday, 10:30am-7pm
Images via Smets.
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