By Brian Corcoran, Jessica Johnson, Alexa Leon, Jordan MacInnis, Simone McKenzie, Genevieve Paiement, Rachel Pulfer, Charlene Rooke, Shirine Saad and Isa Tousignant



Photo: Larry Goldstein (Vancouver)

Tel Aviv
Soho Design Center
Dizengoff Center Mall, Third Floor 972-3-621-2450,
With 5,400 square feet of retail space, the great white Soho Design Center is quite possibly the largest design store in Israel. Overseen by general manager (and ex-high-tech magnate) Etzion Wallach, it’s also the site of revolving exhibitions and evening talks on design issues. Find unique designed-in-Israel decor ware, pop kitsch goods and gadgets by the likes of Ototo. Or browse the selection of international designs in this oasis within the madness of the Dizengoff Center Mall.

529 Beatty St., 604-632-0095,
Located in the emerging Crosstown neighbourhood, Provide has everything you need to get buzzed (Nespresso coffee machines), look buff (tissue-fine James Perse knits for women and men) and live in a manner as lofty as this bright open-concept store. Heath ceramic tableware from the U.S. and exquisite Rina Menardi bowls and vases from Italy are sold here, but a focus on Canadian artisans makes the product mix unique. Pick up jewellery by Vancouverite Shereen de Rousseau or housewares from Edmonton’s Loyal Loot Collective.

Tokyu Hands Creative Life Store 
12-18 Udagawacho (Shibuya), 81-3-5489-5111,
Of Japan’s many impressive department stores, this is the one with the most unusual stock: It’s dedicated exclusively to things you can do with your hands. The hobby section features Japanese calligraphy, paper and painting supplies, and then there are the crafts, the cosmetics, the accessories… Frequent flyers will appreciate the handy designs of Porter, once a traditional Japanese mountaineering company, whose stealth-chic canvas bags now evoke comparisons to Jack Spade.

! Écoute!
168, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 33-1-5688-3910,
This travel alarm clock from Bellman is cleverly customizable – it can flash lights and vibrate as it rings. Such helpful devices – from headphones to hearing aids – abound at this audio design store.