Online fashion store Zalando have conducted a study that evaluates and ranks the world’s most elegant cities. For a city to score highly, essential factors include a thriving fashion scene, culturally and historically significant architecture, high tourism desirability, and affordable access as markers of an elegant lifestyle.
“Elegance is not just about appearance but also manner.” comments Kasia Luczak, Trendscouting Manager at Zalando. “It evokes a sort of simplicity as well as restrained beauty. Probably the most famous Parisian, Coco Chanel once said that ‘Elegance is refusal’. This is also where style differs from fashion – in the conscious choice between abundance and modesty.”
In order to understand which cities best embody elegance, a list of 400 destinations renowned for their fashion scene, and their cultural and historical significance were originally included in the research. Along with Zalando’s own fashion expertise, more than 5,000 fashion and architecture experts were also consulted for their views, resulting in a final shortlist of 80 cities. The results of the research are based on the definition of elegance: “graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.”
To achieve this, the study was divided in three sections. The first section pertains to the elegance in the infrastructure and architecture of a city, including the desirability of the city by visitors. The second section looks at fashion factors associated with elegance. The final section ranks how affordable it is to live an elegant lifestyle in the city, based on PPP (Purchasing Power Parity). The ranking is based on these three scores added together.