Got time for a little shopping action pre-holiday flight? Think outside the perfume box and discover some airport specialty stores that perfectly encapsulate the nation outside the arrivals hall.
While the legendary Knightsbridge store may carry everything elegant and expensive from Armani to Zegna, you won't find the same range at the airport. But for the lovers of label and slaves to status in your life, you can pick up a Harrods logo mug, bag or teddy bear to stuff in their stocking. There's a good selection of jewellery and customs-ready gourmet food such as chockies and biscuits as well.
Harrods.com; there's a Harrods in each of terminals 1-5 after security.
By Malene Birger
If you're passing through, make sure you that make time for gorgeous Copenhagen Airport. The stylish facility, with its wooden floors and arty lighting, has a fabulous range of shops featuring Scandinavian design.
If we must pick one, it is By Malene Birger, a giant of Danish fashion, making feminine and glam the clean style for which Scandinavia is famous.
Bymalenebirger.com; terminal 3, airside.
3. HONG KONG
Since its creation in the late '90s by Hong Kong businessman David Tang, Shanghai Tang's signature has been opulent brocades, silks, velvet and cashmere. Tang started the label to bring traditional Chinese dress into the modern era, but the luxury brand has been quietly creating a less-ethnic aesthetic. The result is eminently wearable, timeless collections. Teas, chopsticks, tableware and cushion covers make fine gifts too.
Shanghaitang.com; terminal 1, departures East Hall, level 7.
4. SINGAPORE CHANGI AIRPORT
TWG Tea Boutique
TWG Tea Boutiques are all the rage with the fashionable young Singaporeans who flock to the Orchard Road emporium to peruse the 20-page tea menu and nibble on macarons. The vintage-inspired packaging and lovely accoutrements make TWG Tea as much about the experience as the brew. The boutique at the airport is purely retail and is a great place to pick up a few packs of such evocatively named blends as Weekend in Shanghai or Silver Moon.
TWGtea.com; terminal 2, departure/transit lounge south.
Omega may be Swiss but with the outstanding precision of its covetable timepieces, it could be German. This new boutique boasts the entire Omega collection. The most popular offering of 2013: the $US12,000 ($13,000) "Dark Side of the Moon" Speedmaster, inspired by and dedicated to the Apollo 8 astronauts.
Omegawatches.com; terminal 1, area B, level 2.
Dubai Duty Free
For a good old-fashioned duty free spree, nowhere beats Dubai's mega-mart. From $1000 bottles of Johnny Walker whisky to $5 phone cards, this is that something-for-everybody place a gift buyer dreams of. You can get a Hugo Boss suit or a Bobby Brown eye shadow; a Macbook or a Mac lipstick. Open 24 hours.
Dubaidutyfree.com; in all three terminals.
7. SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Don't be put off by the kitsch statue of a shearer at the entrance. Purely Merino is a goldmine for those seeking an easy care wardrobe for travel. Skip the Ugg boots and head for the great range of Metalicus garments as well as various brands of knitwear and other fine wool pieces. Check out hats and gloves, wraps and socks, all made from Australian merino wool.
Purelyaustralian.com; pier C and pier B, airside.
8. SUVARNABHUMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, BANGKOK
Thai silk is legendary and so is Jim Thompson for what he did for it. The former CIA agent turned hotelier of Oriental fame is regarded as being responsible for single-handedly saving the Thai silk industry. Today the name of Thompson - who mysteriously disappeared in 1967 - is lent to a remarkable empire of fabrics, restaurants and bars. A selection of the lustrous furnishing fabrics and linens is on sale at the airport.
Jimthompson.com; international departures.
9. SEOUL INCHEON
Not all ginsengs are created equal and this brand from the home of the purported wonder plant is said to be the world's best. A general tonic used in Asia for thousands of years to improve health, Cheong-Kwan-Jang, known in English as Korean Ginseng Corp, is the world's biggest seller. It's a plant product though, so quarantine rules apply. Check at the store what forms of ginseng you may bring back home.
Kgcus.com; Before customs, near check-in counter G.
10. JFK AIRPORT, NEW YORK
As NYC as the Yankees, Coach was founded in 1941, in a Manhattan loft. But at just under 75 square metres, the Coach boutique at New York JFK Airport Terminal 1 is bigger than a lot of NYC lofts and has bags with timeless appeal but enough fashion edge to be interesting.
Coach.com; JFK Terminal 1, near gate 4.
- FFX Aus