by Roisin McAulay  |  Published January 15, 2018

Malasaña has always been the trendy heart of Madrid. With the barrio’s variety of independent shops providing a refreshing perspective on the city. The retailers offer both retro style from the past and showcase contemporary international influence. In short, street fashion and shopping in Malasaña inspires locals and visitors to its streets.

The streets of Malasaña feature some of the most eye catching fashion within the Madrid (Photo: Luca Moglia via Flickr)

Bright graffiti-laden walls line the avenues of Malasaña, hosting the alternative culture that flourishes in one of Madrid’s most dynamic barrios. Nurturing diverse dwellers, the area has become famous for embracing freedom and experimentation since the the end of Franco’s dictatorship. The rebellious fashion and ongoing gentrification draws in many unique shops. Here are seven that demonstrate the creative influences for locals in Malasaña.

Antigua Casa Crespo
In this classic Spanish shoe shop, which has been trading since 1863, contemporary style and design combine with high quality and tradition to create exquisitely handcrafted espadrilles. Some 150 years after opening, and countless generations of the same family later, Antigua Casa Crespo continues to stand out, even in a barrio with a street dedicated to shoe shops. Its walls are piled high with the traditional footwear, each constructed from natural material and made in varying styles and colours.  This store proves the fashion forward potential of the Spanish classic that was once considered an eyesore for footwear fashion.

Calle Divino Pastor, 29, Madrid

Popland’s loud exterior is only a taster of what is inside. Since 1999 the store has dazzled customers with its eclectic mix of what can only be described as curiosities, from all over the world. The retro artefacts include a mix of accessories, t-shirts, figures, magazines, rag dolls, mugs and much more. All originals from the 60s through to the 90s, items bought from the store make for anything but an ordinary tourist gift.

Calle Manuela Malasaña, 24, Madrid

The selection of vintage fashion is bold and bright at Magpie (Photo: Magpie)

Retro clothing is the lifeblood of the hipsters that are renowned for occupying Malasaña. At its heart is Magpie with their rails of vintage fashion. Loud prints, bold jewellery and obscure accessories, dating back to the 1960s, are found here with regular customers including costume departments from the entertainment industry who select items to rent for local shoots. Both men’s and women’s clothing fill the store’s large premises, waiting to be snapped up and restyled by the bright young contemporaries of the city.  

Calle Velarde, 3, Madrid

Sin Clon ni Son
Nordic influence is starting to make its mark on Madrid. Situated in Malasaña’s central Plaza Dos de Mayo, Sin Clon ni Son is a subtle haven of taste that could easily be missed amongst the barrio’s bustling streets. But for those who do discover it, what the shop doesn’t give away on the outside it makes up for with the abundance of items it exhibits inside. Accessories for both men and women; sunglasses, bags, shoes, hats and jewellery, the hidden downstairs unearths a range of clothes all made from natural fabrics with a strong textile focus. In a compact space the owners’ careful product selection delivers a rich choice of gifts and clothing for its customers.

Plaza Dos de Mayo, 10, Madrid

Scandinavian fashion finds its way onto streets of Malasaña via Le Circus (Photo: Le Circus)

Le Circus
Style in Malasaña takes its inspiration from across the world as well as across the generations. Women’s fashion, jewellery and shoes, selected from a variety of European brands are framed in the store’s uniquely designed interior. Within this concept store, service replicates that of a classic boutique where customers are attended to personally and selected items sizes are retrieved by assistants to be tried on within the changing rooms, which are styled as small personal tents. High quality textiles from Scandinavia showcase the Nordic style that is particularly popular at Le Circus, meaning that prices here peak a little higher than many of its retro neighbours.  

Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 18, Madrid

El Almacén de Discos
New to Malasaña’s music scene El Almacén de Discos is popular with musicians and local DJs. The owners and staff here are passionate about their music, with their knowledge stretching across the varying selection of genres on offer. Translating to the warehouse of discs, this old venue not only sells second hand records but regularly hosts DJ sets, plays live music and provides spaces for rehearsal and studio recordings. For music lovers this space is a wealth of inspiration. Discover new music and hidden classics: jazz, funk, rock, techno… the list goes on and expands on every visit.

Minas 13, Madrid

Bookshop, exhibition space, wine bar, Tipos Infames is a chameleon providing something for everyone (Photo: Javier Ortega via Tipos Infames)

Tipos Infames
Specialising in independent books, this venue is not only a bookshop but also a cafeteria, wine bar and exhibition hall. Reflecting its commitment to independent authors and publishers, its choice of wines and beers also favour the craft and signature blends of drinks. The location has a varying cultural programme of events including book presentations, wine tastings, workshops and courses, offering lots to get involved in for customers looking for more than simply a book purchase.

San Joaquín 3, Madrid