One has to wonder how can you put so much soul into a space that many diminutive espresso bar owners would call "too small". But Martina and Jan, the owners of the Kurator shop near the National Theatre and the Bethlehem Square, clearly can. The winner of the 2014 Czech Grand Design “Shop of the Year” award, Kurator does exactly what its title suggests: it looks at young, promising or otherwise interesting designers (mostly Czech but also some from abroad), and sets up a (roughly) two-month curated selection of their work. And you can buy it all! Yay! The exhibitions are always wrapped around a theme, be it proms (during the Czech senior prom season), ethical manufacturers, flowers or anything else.
We will not lie to you: we love Kurator because of its owners. We walked past the shop a few months after it opened as it hosted an opening party for the second exhibition. Martina and Jan invited us inside and we were immediately hooked. Martina, one half of the now-defunct Belka fashion brand (Zuzi absolutely loved it) is the driving force behind Kurator, while Jan is the calmer, softer-spoken one of the duo. We love just to stop by randomly. Martina will show you everything they have, put it on you and tell you the story of the creator, why it suits you and - more importantly - when it doesn’t, and sometimes even feed you in the process. And you’ll hear the latest news from the fashion and arts scene, a segment she is very well connected to.
People ask us all the time what they should buy in Prague. For us, the answer easy. Young local designers produce fantastic stuff without the brand-name premium. And you’ll buy something unique, made ethically and from good materials. Kurator sells fashion, accessories, jewelry and even some stationery to boot, and we (and by we we mean Zuzi) could buy just about anything they have. With the purchase, Martina, Jan and their girls will recommend places to follow in your shopping journey. Heck, they even wrote an entire Prague shopping guide for us a few months ago, which we still recommend to all our guests… and locals alike.
When to come: We love coming over around the lunch time when Martina is eating. We love doing that to her. (Sorry!) But anyway, any time is good!
Where to sit: Sit? You must be joking. The whole shop has about 100 square feet.
What to buy: We would ask about anything by Czech fashion designers. Martina picks pieces by up-and-coming and promising young designers she can stand behind.
Runners up: Definitely the jewelry: both classic and edgy pieces by young Czech designers.
What to beware of: If you just want to have an incognito browse through the racks of clothing, or if you don't like to interact with the staff, this place is probably not for you.
Instagram-worthiness: Very high. The pieces Martina has in store are beautiful, and she will let you try them all, so perfect for pimping up your selfies!