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The first time I visited Cincinnati was a few months ago for a wedding. My boyfriend and I had purposely booked in-and-out flights because as far as we knew, there was nothing really to do there. But when we decided to kill some time before the ceremony around our Airbnb (in what I’d later learn was the city’s up-and-coming Over-the-Rhine neighborhood), I was humbly proven wrong.
There were a lot of stores, and they were newer than I’d expected. I was pretty beside myself when I found a Ganni T-shirt — which had pretty much sold out everywhere in New York and online — at a cute boutique in the heart of the neighborhood (on sale, no less!). We hit a few more shops that afternoon with some impressive offerings, enough to have me convinced that Cincinnati’s OTR is like a mini Midwest version of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg... but a whole lot cleaner, less crowded, and more authentic. (Oh, and, I don’t know, a trillion dollars cheaper to live in.)
When I returned to check out everything I missed the first time, I found that it’s a tight-knit community of young owners dreaming up these shops, most of whom have lived in bigger cities (New York, Los Angeles, Amsterdam) and decided to bring the fashion and forward-thinking ways back home with them. Whether they’re introducing locals to trending indie brands, sustainable practices, or body (and sex!) positivity via cheeky lingerie, the shops of OTR are pushing the city forward.
Most of the neighborhood’s retail action happens on one small stretch of Vine Street, but considering the majority of OTR’s must-see shops are barely a year old, it’s easy to see that the shopping scene, and the city itself, is growing fast.Read More