Saudi Arabia’s capital city is no stranger to designer brands, but look past the sprawling Riyadh malls and you’ll find an enticing undercurrent of concept stores to explore. With creative collections and offbeat décor, these carefully edited boutiques enhance shoppers’ experiences. Grab some of the latest summer trends, which for women include ruffled skirts, tops with puff sleeves and colored sandals. Not sure where to go? Check out these four retail brands in Riyadh that are anything but traditional during your summer excursion.
Named after the founder’s favorite number, Number Nine is part store and part art gallery. This concept shop should be at the top of your list if you’re hunting for quirky gifts for family and friends, niche brands or cult accessories. Showcasing curated merchandise from both Saudi and international designers, Number Nine is stocked with things you never knew you needed, such as unique abayas, bespoke leather brands and offbeat artwork.
Softly lit and inviting, Pattern has garnered a reputation for its creatively edited shelves, exclusive collaborations and stylized collections. The boutique features a select range of art, fashion, home accessories and lifestyle products gathered from both up-and-coming Saudi artists and established international names. If you need a caffeine hit midshop, on-site coffeehouse Alchemy is a destination in and of itself, housing an impressive book collection and selling specialty coffee beans to go.
Personage is not so much a shop as an experience. Fusing luxury, ambience and entertainment into one warehouse-style destination, this outlet reimagines retail with its three-floor concept. Vogue Arabia writes that Personage is an appreciated addition to Saudi Arabia’s creative scene, describing the store as “a contemporary space that welcomes dialogue on many of the larger questions society is currently grappling with through art, design and meaningful conversation.”
The store’s first level, named Vim, houses specially curated apparel, accessories, perfumes, jewelry and shoes, while the second level, Ooze, opens out into an exclusive lounge where shoppers can relax with food and drinks. The third floor, named Scheme, is an open space available for a diverse array of meetings, shows and private events. Thanks to Personage’s constantly rotating stock, you can expect to see something new every time you visit.
If you’re looking to furnish your home, you’ve come to the right place. Sum+Things is a trove of original décor and household accessories, ranging from edgy statement pieces to small furniture, all designed to uplift your living space. In addition to being a concept store, it’s also a restaurant, offering a range of delicious dishes, plus a well-stocked library, meaning you can read about your ideal home while you eat.
“Sum+Things is an amazing place to go with friends or family. The food is excellent, affordable and really good value for the money. It’s beautiful to look at, and it’s healthy. I absolutely recommend the quinoa salad,” writes Julie Lapeyre, of Montpellier, France, who visited this restaurant-store combo during her yearlong stay in Saudi Arabia. “I love the fact that there’s home décor and that you can shop for your home or for presents.”