Given that London’s
fashion designers are among the most cutting edge and exciting in the world right now, it would follow that the city’s streets should also be filled with innovative and inventive stores in which to showcase their talents. Here we round up our selection of the hippest, coolest and most tantalising shopping destinations across the city, from the world-famous eclecticism of Dover Street Market
to the achingly cool Supreme.
Since cult New York skate brand Supreme opened its first European store in London back in 2011, it has never failed to attract massive queues of eager shoppers. Every Thursday, the hyper-cool label drops a new collection, and every Thursday fans flock to the Soho store (many even camp overnight) hoping to be the first to get their hands on the coveted T-shirts, hoodies, accessories and other streetwear pieces— collaborating with musicians, artists, designers and other brands, Supreme’s mini-edits are viewed almost as collectibles. Past the minimalist black store front, the inside features two large scale sculptural installations by Mark Gonzales and a photo collage by Ari Marcopoulos, with the bulk of the merchandise kept downstairs.
2-3 Peter Street, London W1F 0AA, +44 20 7437 0493
Looking more like a scene out of 2001: A Space Odyssey than the entrance to a real-life shopping destination, the otherworldly tunnel leading into this appointment-only, luxury fashion boutique speaks to the concept behind the brand. LN-CC seeks to redefine ‘the perception of modern retailing in a personally curated and considered way’, filling its unique retail space with a collection of innovative pieces from both established brands and emerging talent. The merchandise is divided into themed rooms designed by set designer and art director Gary Card, with a record and book store selling hard to find and exclusive vinyl and rare first edition and out-of-print books. Insisting his store is not exclusive or elitist, despite its appointment system, co-founder Dan Mitchell encourages people to not only view LN-CC as a shopping destination, but also a place to listen to music and hang out— the in-store bar and private club space with custom-built sound system should help with that.
Late Night Chameleon Cafe, 18-24 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2EZ, +44 20 3174 0744
Dover Street Market
Dover Street Market
Still fresh from a recent change of location, the Haymarket reincarnation of the iconic Dover Street Market continues unabated at the head of cutting edge retail in London. The brainchild of legendary Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, DSM is a multi-level, artistically-spirited take on the department store. Within an industrialised skeleton space (poured concrete, bare ceilings) individual labels are invited to design their own spaces, leading to a mishmash of highly stylised, artful, compartmentalised spaces, making DSM truly a market, rather than homogenised department store. Twice a year the store undergoes ‘tachiagri’ (new beginnings), closing completely for a few days, during which the entire space is reimagined.
18-22 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4DG, +44 20 7518 0680
Bringing an East London vibe to the streets of Soho, Machine-A’s appeal lies in its devotion to young, emerging talent. It’s eclectic rails read like a who’s who of recent Central St Martin’s grads, with as-yet undiscovered, unproven names you’d often be hard-pressed to find elsewhere alongside those such as NEWGEN designer Ashley Williams, who stand in the beginning stages of what promise to be exciting careers. While the pieces on sale remain wearable, they tend to push the more adventurous end of the aesthetic scale, given room to breathe in a generally minimalist interior.
13 Brewer Street, London W1F 0RH, +44 20 7734 4334
Wolf & Badger
Wolf & Badger
Well established among the elite of London’s boutique crop for several years now, Wolf & Badger is another brand recognised for its support of emerging and exciting talent. Opened in 2009 by brothers George and Henry Graham, Wolf & Badger was an innovative space, that aimed to serve London’s once-again blossoming fashion industry— owning no stock themselves, the brothers divided their store into 70 units and rented them to designers, providing a career stepping stone between small boutiques and the large luxury department stores. The brand expanded in 2012, opening a second branch on Dover Street in Mayfair, which houses a basement space for pop-ups, installations and launches.
46 Ledbury Road, London W11 2AB, +44 20 7229 5698
Image courtesy of Wolf & Badger
Baar and Bass
Baar and Bass
Everything you see in this eclectic lifestyle boutique on the fashionable King’s Road has been personally chosen by owner Maddie Chesterton— even better, everything’s for sale. The interior loosely resembles someone’s living room (a very stylish someone) with merchandise arranged around a central seating area, but everything is up for grabs, from the vintage 1950s-1970s sofas to the lamps dotted about to the artwork hung on the walls. The sumptuous interior is dominated by a stunning mural courtesy of artist Tony Common, with the space doubling up as a location for special events, from yoga to pop ups, and ‘inspirational lifestyle evenings’.
336 King’s Road, London SW3 5UR, +44 20 7351 9352
Image courtesy of Baar & Bass | Image courtesy of Baar & Bass