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Brussels' most exclusive shopping district provides a multitude of upscale shopping on Boulevard de Waterloo, between its intersections with Chausée D'Ixelle and Avenue Louise, and down Avenue Louise itself. Just strolling through this neighborhood, one notices a radical change in the way people dress and carry themselves. Jeans give way to Hugo Boss suits, and sneakers are replaced with Gucci stilettos. Visit during the summer and the two wide streets are veritable fashion runways. This is where Belgium's aristocracy hang out, where high-powered business execs book rooms (at one of the neighborhood's top-of-the-line hotels), and where trust-fund bunnies spend hours replenishing their wardrobes. Cartier, Armani, Chanel anyone? Welcome to Brussels' equivalent to New York's Fifth Avenue, Paris's Rue Faubourg and London's Knightsbridge.
Rue Neuve is a narrow shopping avenue that is jam-packed with top notch shops like Morgan, Esprit, H&M and Mango. On weekends, however, this is hardly the place to window shop, as the boisterous crowd of fashionistas and casual shoppers alike pack together for an afternoon of perusing. If you're planning on doing some serious shopping, visit Monday through Friday, when the selection is a little less picked over and the shopkeepers can give you personalized attention.
Rue Antoine Dansaert lies between Boulevard Du Nieuport and Rue Van Artevelde. At first glance, this neighborhood doesn't look like much, but that's precisely the point. Like Soho or Nolita in New York City, this is precisely the type of environment that becomes a breeding ground for a city's avant-garde art and fashion scene. This is where one finds the latest creations from Belgium's fashion elite: Dirk Bikkembergs, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simons and others. Hip, affordable shoe stores also line the street, and some side streets provide wonderfully innovative products for home design. Dansaert is the downtown hotspot for fashionistas.