More art installation than shop, LN-CC is located in London's deepest East End (well, just off Shacklewell Lane) – and it is without doubt one of the most exciting things to happen to the city's retail scene in recent years. At least that’s what we think. It describes itself as “an evolving platform of curated ideas” , but don’t let the flowery talk put you off. Alongside a stable of respectably cutting-edge labels like Ann Demeulemeester, Margiela, and Jil Sander, there’s also new designer blood from the likes CSM grad Yang Li. Plus there’s a library, a record store crammed with rare vinyl, and a club. Set designer Gary Card created this truly otherworldly place with areas interlinked by an indoor forest and a futuristic wooden skeletal tunnel. The store is by appointment only – so make one now.
Where: LN-CC, The Basement,18-24 Shacklewell Lane, E8 2EZ
We never cease to be impressed by the unfailingly cool edit that boutique owners Rhonda and Lulu put together each season. Every items feels considered and carefully curated in this geometric cavern dedicated to modern craft (handy tip: don’t attempt with a killer hangover). Rather than being label-led, they prefer to work with new names and have a personal obsession with indigenous African art, textiles and jewellery. The accessory selection never fails to awaken our inner magpie, and our current fixations come courtesy of Macha, Hannah Martin, and Boe.
Where: Darkroom, 52 Lamb's Conduit Street, WC1N 3LL
Located under some railway arches in Haggerston, this place stocks every new fashion designer emerging from London and Tokyo worth caring about. Founders Lui Nemeth and Andrew Grune have gathered a stellar cast including Banzai, Balmung, Joseph Nigoghossian, and Ava Catherside and the resulting shopping experience is reliably mind-blowing.
Where: Primitive London, Arch 313-314, Frederick Terrace, E8 4EW
Photos: Courtesy of LN-CC and Darkroom
When B Store founders, Kirk Beattie and Matthew Murphy, decided to pack in their highly successful label and take things back to basics, we wondered what the devil they would come up with. The answer is Other, a multi-brand store that focuses on what made B Store awesome in the first place: super-fresh talent. Here, they stock nuggets from less-known names like Christian Wijnants and Etudes, as well as brands that the pair have nurtured over the years including Peter Jensen, Christophe Lemaire, and Stephan Schneider.
Where: Other, 21 Kingly Street, Soho, W1B 5QA
Relative newcomer to Shoreditch, 11 Boundary is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of luxe boutiques in the area. With racks crammed with brands like Costume National, LNA, American Vintage and Wildfox, founder Debra Winstanley has created a chic, feminine paradise that counts Sienna Miller amongst its fans.
Where: 11 Boundary, 11 Boundary Street, E2 7JE
Chi-chi Notting Hill is perhaps the last place in London where you’d expect to come across Village Bicycle, which professes to be inspired by iconic ‘60s store Granny Takes A Trip. This is a shop with friends in high places: Tyrone Wood curates the art on the walls, and Cara Delevingne, Eliza Doolittle Mary Charteris regular trawl the rails. What we love about VB is the range; not just in terms of the designers here (Sophie Hulme, Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony, American Retro, Felder Felder, and Lulu & Co) but also in terms of price: On any given day, you can pick up stuff costing everything from a few grand to a few quid.
Where: Village Bicycle, 79-81 Ledbury Road Notting Hill, W11 2AG
Photos: Courtesy of Village Bicycle and 11 Boundary
Wolf & Badger
With a mission statement that is all about promoting freshly cut talent, founders Henry and George Graham keep a tight focus on fledging labels by allowing selected newbies to sell their creations on the premises in return for a small fee for renting the retail space. They even offer business- and product-development advice and mentoring. Wolf & Badger has now expanded its reach to Dover Street and even Porto Montenegro (fun fact), in addition to the Ledbury Road original. There’s an impressive number of Newgen names on its books including Mark Fast, Lou Dalton, Bora Aksu, and Jean-Pierre Braganza. More shops like this, please!
Where: Wolf & Badger at 46 Ledbury Road, W11 2AB and 32 Dover Street, W1S 4NE
The Goodhood Store
This place has quietly built a reputation for itself as a go-to for brilliantly curated pieces that are weighted toward the cool-without-even-trying end of the fashion spectrum. Visitors are politely asked to leave their egos at the door, and the vibe is almost self-consciously anti-fashion. This is the place to pick up booty from brands like Wood Wood, Perks & Mini, Antipodium, and YMC, with accessories from Prism, USLU nail polish, and Maria Black jewellery. These are the kinds of hipster essentials that once bought, you won’t be able to remember how you lived without.
Where: The Goodhood Store, 41 Coronet Street, N1 6HD
Photos courtesy of Wolf & Badger, Dover Street Market and The Goodhood Store
When it comes to awesome U.S. imports, Opening Ceremony has to be up there with rock ‘n’ roll and pizza delivery. Its U.K. counterpart certainly has similar swag, offering pieces by Kenzo, Acne, Mugler and Proenza Schouler. It's also staying true to OC's rep for spotlighting new design, and stocks innovative labels from selected countries each season (right now, it’s South Korea). The flagship also hosts a concession for Soho's revered Claire de Rouen bookshop, where it sells rare first-edition and coffee-table books.
Where: Opening Ceremony, 35 King Street, WC2E 8JG
Dover Street Market
Rei Kawakubo's avant-garde paradise continues to deliver the goods, and what goods they are. From the old faves to bright young things, fashion’s most covetable are all here, we talking: Céline, Jil Sander, Lanvin, Haider Ackermann, J.W. Anderson, Margiela, and Simone Rocha. And there’s plenty of Comme (natch). Even if you don’t have the cash to splurge on some Alaia, you can always treat yourself to a brownie in the Rose Bakery on fifth floor.
Where: Dover Street Market, 17-18 Dover Street, W1S 4LT
Photos: Courtesy of Dover Street Market and Opening Ceremony