Ayoka Lucas is founder of Charleston Fashion Week, style director at Charleston Magazine, and a freelance fashion stylist and consultant.
“In the Antique District, the lowest part of King Street, Berlin’s is one of Charleston’s longest-operating stores, open since 1883 and still owned by the Berlin family. The men’s store offers custom suits and designer labels.
Dixie Dunbar is one of the most unique jewelry stores in town. All pieces are handmade by designer Soteria Kontis and feature intricate details like freshwater pearls, metal, leather, silk, and semiprecious stones. This is where you go for a statement piece.
Moving a few blocks north on King, Worthwhile always has an out-of-this-world window display. Thanks to regular buying trips in France, you can expect a variety of Parisian finds and other trinkets from abroad. At Croghan’s Jewel Box, which has been in business for more than 100 years, you’ll find high-end pieces and estate jewelry, plus opulent dining sets and a solid collection of men’s watches. For fashions from Alexander Wang, Carven, and the like, there’s Hampden. They also have an accessories and shoe store next door. Another longtime local favorite is Copper Penny, an upscale women’s boutique.
Upper King has been gaining speed over the last few years. Jamie Lin Snider—the owner and designer at JLINSNIDER—is the darling of Upper King, welcoming customers into a universe of vintage Gucci, YSL, and Dior. It’s not uncommon to walk into a happening party in the back courtyard, complete with a graffiti wall and a DJ. I love her collection of African dashikis.
Located in a cozy space, Ellington (843-722-7999) is filled with exclusive designers such as Planet, Babette, Emmelle, and Matti Mamane. You’ll find unique textures and silhouettes mixed in with basic wardrobe essentials and bold accessories.
Just off Upper King in Cannonborough, Indigo & Cotton is a stellar menswear store—the go-to shop for hipsters and prepsters alike. In addition to great brands like The Hill-Side, Imogene & Willie, and Engineered Garments, I love the variety of accessories, from ties to socks. Nearby, Mac & Murphy, set in a charismatic century-old refurbished storefront, carries a wonderful variety of stationery and accessories. There is wall-to-wall charm, with paper goods from top lines such as Kate Spade, Jack and Lulu, and Rifle Paper Co.”