David Pokorný, Brno 22. 8. 2022
Shopping for me has always been a pleasure, and the only sort of movement I never had to force myself into doing. That said, I soon realised that constantly acquiring more and more new stuff was not really helping our planet. Consequently, when I buy something these days, if it comes with a story, it’s always more valuable. And so I began to look around for an alternative to the big shopping centres. I discovered (as I have many times before) that I’m incredibly fortunate – I live in Brno!m. Zjistil jsem, jako již mnohokrát, že mám obrovské štěstí – žiji v Brně!
If you enter the key words “Brno”, “fashion”, “design”, “local”, and “sustainability” into an internet search engine, up pops right away dozens of links and suggestions where you might want to visit. After half an hour combing through the links, I start to get a picture: In Prague they have Pařížská, in Brno we’ve got Veveří. I slipped on my comfy shoes and set out on a solo mission to explore (as far as my wallet would allow) this little corner of town. I’ve written about those shops that deserve your attention in the lines below. In each shop I also picked one item which I’m definitely going to go back and buy as soon as I get paid.
David Pokorný thinks of himself as Carrie Bradshaw (he’s had this confirmed by several tests on BuzzFeed and by conducting his own psychoanalysis). The only difference being that he lives in Brno, and he doesn’t write a column in the local paper. Which is why he writes a blog entitled davidandthecity, where he recommends (among other things) what to do in Brno.
In Prague they have Pařížská, in Brno we’ve got Veveří
Where to go for designer shops on Veveří?
Restart fashion store
The first address on Veveří that you should know about is Veveří 10. This belongs to the Restart Fashion Store, a place where – alongside checking out original fashion from Czech and Slovak designers – you can also fix your own karma. Firstly, they support local brands, and secondly, since 2015, Restart has been giving work to young people whose starting line lies far behind that of their peers. Helping others has never been so stylish.
One item: unisex T-shirt made of organic cotton with the slogan: “Jsem víla vole!” (“I’m a fairy, dude!”), made by Magifešn
Je tu milo
Right next door at Veveří 12, you’ll find a little shop that’s the very definition of nominative determinism. It’s called Je tu milo (It’s nice here). Lucie and Zuzka offer products from Czech and Slovak designers, creatives, and other firms. From fashion accessories, through cosmetics, to greeting cards for every occasion. The ideal spot to treat yourself or someone close to your heart.
One item: coloured candle in the shape of a paper boat, from Candle Design
Picture this: another classmate from secondary school is expecting, and for some reason invites you to her baby shower – even though you haven’t seen each other for ten years. Well, no need to panic. Simply head to the bookshop Dlouhá punčocha located at Jirásková 2. Here you’ll find carefully selected books for children that will not only entertain them, but also provide a little culture. Besides, you’ll show everyone how imaginative you are, rather than turning up holding an all-in-one suit, bought in desperation.
One item: the book Neboj, neboj! (Don’t worry, don’t worry!) by the author Milada Rezková
If you suspect somehow that a book in the hands of those prospective parents would only gather dust, then head instead for Veveří 8, and the shop called PLACE mimi (yes, it’s an offshoot of the baby PLACE store on Moravian Square; see below). Here you’ll find toys, pacifiers, clothes, shoes, and virtually everything that children require. They even have stuff for mums. So maybe you should peruse that section. Everyone takes a present for the baby, but what about the person who’s bringing a living being into the world? She often gets overlooked.
One item: pink leather rucksack from Bagind
Cut-out Brno, Naše věci
You’ve bought for others, now it’s time to reward yourself! What’s more, it’s also time to top up your caffeine. This exact combination is embodied in a little shop called Naše věci (Our things) tucked away at Jirásková 16. Here, Pavla and Petr have been sewing their original designs for nine years. They’re constantly creating, new fashions included. And they make shopping even more fun by serving you with a cup of superb coffee.
One item: BRNO paper 3D cut-out
With recharged batteries, take another (approximately) thirty-three steps to Grohova 6. This address is home to TY IDENTITY – a truly unique place. Here you can buy products made by select designers, creators, and graphic artists. Clothes, accessories, candles, string bags, and cosmetics. The choice is massive, and absolutely everyone can create their identity here.
One item: pearl necklace with porcelain pigs from the brand Minka – Martina Klbečková
Object concept store
To visit our final store, we must first pay a stylish farewell to Veveří. From Grohová, we skirt around the MUNI Faculty of Arts, cross the square Obilní trh (pausing to admire the Oskar Poříska’s functionalist tram stop), and head down to Údolní 25. Since 2016, this address has been home to the Object concept store. A small space full of designer jewellery, designer accessories, and natural cosmetics. They take great care with the brands they choose to stock, so style-wise it’s practically impossible to put a foot wrong.
One item: gentle peeling soap with vanilla and lavender from the brand mylo
A short time later, when I was reflecting on my trip to Veveří in the café Podnebí – a crystal’s toss from our final shop – I realised that shopping in boutique stores has several obvious benefits. Firstly, you get to fulfil your daily minimum number of steps – especially if you decide to pop back for something. Secondly, you pass through a beautiful environment bursting with historic buildings. Thirdly, you meet nice shop staff who know their goods like they know the back of their hands. But the biggest benefit is because the owners are often working in the store, and either they made the goods themselves or they handpicked them. At the same time, they don’t mind recommending some other shop if their own goods are not entirely to your taste. Which leads me to think that the centre of Brno has also got plenty to offer, as far as locally sourced goods go. I hope it’ll be enough if I create a short list:
- – PLACE store – Moravské náměstí 4
- One item: Moravian temporary tattoos from Tetovačky
- Knihkupectví ArtMap – Moravské náměstí 1
- One item: the book PŘÍBĚHY VĚCÍ/ 100 artefaktů za posledních 100 let (THE STORY OF THINGS/100 artefacts from the last 100 years) written by Petra Nováková
- – Designshop – Uměleckoprůmyslové muzeum na Husové 14
- One item: Head of the Medusa (from the Moravian Gallery) coloured pencil set
- – Informační centrum TO JE Brno – Panenská 1.
- One item: BVV Pavilion A candlestick made by GOLDFINGER
- – Značka DNB – Veselá 4
- One item: hand-painted 100% cotton scarf, crated in collaboration with the painter Natalie Perkof
- – WOLFGANG store – Vachova 8
- One item: black classy wool pants 03
- – Podniková prodejna sáčků do vysavačů Vrouteneckých papíren – roh Jánské a Poštovské, Alfa Pasáž
- One item: antibacterial eucalyptus scent for vacuum cleaners by the brand VUNEA
- – Textile House – roh Orlí a Minoritské
- One item: anything that will go with a three-hundred-dollar pair of shoes, whether you own such a pair or not
- – Vintage shop – Orlí 16
- One item: a shirt, depending on whatever years are coming back into fashion this season
- – VAVAVOOM Perfumery – Radnická 9
- One item: Eau de Parfum AD LIBITUM from the Czech brand Pigmanterium
- – Hůlkárna – Panská 9
- One item: Hůlkárna mushroom hunting set
- – Book Therapy – Zelný trh 10
- One item: the book Zůstane to v rodině (It Stays in the Family) by Martin Váša
So that’s it. The shopping’s done!
As I was writing up this article, I visited all the shops mentioned just to make sure – and I didn’t buy a thing. It was still 5 days till payday. On the other hand, the list of items that I definitely need to buy during my lifetime has rapidly grown. There can only be one conclusion. A warning must be applied to all the above-mentioned shops: enter at your own risk. Anyway, once your nerves have settled, I suggest you look HERE – I’ve put all the places on one map for you.
Phenomenon is the work of a specific author (David Pokorný); it does not express the official views of the City of Brno or TIC BRNO.