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Micasa Pimp your pad

Interior design mecca Micasa doesn’t have a problem standing out from the crowd. You’ll guess as much before you’ve even set foot in the place. Sandwiched between two grey flat blocks, the slick, frosted-glass fronted building—designed by Triptyque —in which they’ve made their home, is a mid-20th century rose between two dreary and faceless thorns.

The impressive architecture doesn’t stop at the exterior either. Once you’ve made your way inside, you’ll catch an eyeful of unique design flourishes—bare concrete walls, a spacecraft snap-hatch entrance and a retro ‘60s airline ramp. All these touches combine to form a fitting surround for Micasa’s impressive array of locally made interior design gems that reference a range of creative mediums—from music to fashion and cinema to architecture.

2nd Floor Hip couture

A Berlin-style concept store—but up some stairs off Rua Oscar Freire, São Paulo’s classiest shopping street. In line with its motto “young, fresh and free”, 2nd Floor offers funky fashion for urban scenesters: shirts, jeans and dresses in cool patterns and unexpected cuts.

Established in 2002 in connection with Nelson Alvarenga and Adriana Bozon’s Ellus label, this boutique/label showcases the work of new Brazilian designers alongside clothes from its own, eponymous brand. Current popular favorites include a range of retro Superman t-shirts and sexy rolled-up jean shorts (be careful, only pure laine Paulistanos can pull these off).

2nd Floor’s staff is friendly and helpful. The prices aren’t cheap, but the clothes are clever, comfy and—of course—awfully stylish.

Mulher Elástica Casual chic

With its hip stretchy cottons and sexy designs, Mulher Elástica is the Brazilian answer to American Apparel—but with its own attitude: it’s younger, flashier, a bit more rock’n’roll.

The cushy jumpers (but oddly attractive) jumpers sell like hotcakes, whether they feature crazy motifs or bold single colors. The underwear’s sleek and stylish; the swim suits and kimonos are made in striking, contemporary shapes. Mulher Elástica’s clothes work by day or by night: their figure hugging dresses and brilliant patterns can turn even the dowdiest of customers into a glittering bird of paradise.

The shop in Galeria Ouro Fino is one of several weird and wonderful fashion boutiques at that end of Rua Augusta.

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