The frequent travellers in my orbit often bemoan the shopping abroad. It’s not that there aren’t amazing boutiques; the problem is that most things on offer can also be found at home – especially if you live in a major metropolitan city. Everything is now available everywhere, or so it seems. But a recent trip to Vilnius disproved this theory. I was in the Lithuanian capital to write about the opening of the MO Museum, the largest private museum in Lithuania, designed by Studio Libeskind. What I also happily discovered was a number of local shops that carried primarily Lithuanian-designed wares – most of which are not available back in the US – including my super-chic new winter coat.
The best boutique I found was called Locals.Lt, where the cases of jewellery and shelves filled with ceramics were all supremely tempting. Most of the clothing, however, was rather too fashiony for me, but then I came across a rack of coats – tailored yet slouchy styles by a company called InAvati that were both very of the season and also timeless. I did some digging and discovered that this family-owned business originally manufactured coats for labels such as Burberry and Acne before starting its own line eight years ago. The designers, Raimonda Sekiene and Kristina Kruopenyte, are Lithuanian and each piece is made from start to finish in Vilnius, using Italian materials. My coat is 98 per cent wool and two per cent polyester, which gives it a slight shine and also makes it wrinkle-resistant.
I can vouch for this, as I bought a snap-front, drop-shoulder, knee-length coat that I somehow got into my carry-on. Upon my return to New York, I gave it a quick shake, hung it up and it looked as good as it did in the store. I’m not quite the only one in the know about InAvati, however; the brand is stocked by Wolf & Badger, a champion of independent brands with stores in London and, more recently, New York. It doesn’t sell my exact style, but its online selection includes a classic single-breasted design (£699) in khaki, navy or grey virgin wool; a double-breasted, hourglass-shaped camel coat (£419); and an ultra-cosy-looking Cocoon style (£739) in blocks of grey and black alpaca – all of which speak to this writer’s outerwear “problem”.