There’s a lot to do in London but there’s always time for a spot of shopping. From concept stores to department stores, the capital has a lot to offer when it comes to fashion including an ever-evolving lineup of talented young designers ready to be discovered.
As part of our City Experiences series with American Express, our London-based Fashion Director Atip W has curated a list of the city’s very best clothing stores so that your ‘fit never falls behind. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a useful map so that you can plan your day of spending.
Tell us which of these is your top pick or if we’ve missed any great stores in the comments below and then visit our City Experiences hub for more from London, Berlin, and New York.
London’s Dover Street is where the very first Dover Street Market store opened in 2004, so if you’re even slightly interested in fashion, this place is an important part of history and a must-visit. Unfortunately, the original store closed in 2016, however, as a consolation, the new Haymarket location is three times the size of its predecessor. The interior is designed by Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market founder Rei Kawakubo but each brand presented has the freedom to decorate their own space as they wish. As a result, the space is a gallery and exhibition as much as it’s a store complete with artwork and installations. Even if you don’t buy anything, you’re guaranteed to be blown away.
Machine-A is a concept store supporting British (and international) fashion designers in a big way. Stavros Karelis’s vision when he founded the store was to open a space that gives London’s most talented young designers a place to showcase their work when other retail spaces wouldn’t and he’s held onto this ethos ever since. Within the Soho-based space you’ll find both emerging and established names including A-COLD-WALL*, ALYX, Cav Empt, Craig Green, JW Anderson, Liam Hodges, Cottweiler, Maison Margiela, and Martine Rose.
It’s not the most unexpected of choices but no list such as this one would be complete without mentioning the iconic 9 floored, 540,000 square foot store that first opened in 1909. Oxford Street’s Selfridges is a part of London history and no trip to the city would be complete without a visit.
When Farfetch acquired Browns in 2015, they announced big plans to modernise the luxury retailer including the opening of Browns East. Browns’ first new brick and mortar store to open in 20 years, Browns East opened in 2017 with an innovative vision for the future of shopping. Inside the former print factory location retail, technology, and installations are merged to offer shoppers a new door into the Browns world.
Opened in 2007, Goodhood offers more than just footwear and apparel stocking everything from homeware, stationary, and audio equipment to beauty and cosmetic products. Goodhood represents a redefined luxury lifestyle that everything within their product range helps to cultivate. Following an interior refit in July, the increasingly popular store now has more changing rooms, more product space, and a fresh look that even regulars will want to check out.
Another Shoreditch-based location, Present London is a concept store offering recognisable brands and products as well as ones you won’t find so easily elsewhere. If you’re in the area, don’t pass up the opportunity to check this place out.
The Sneakersnstuff London branch opened in 2014 and has been a go-to spot for British streetwear enthusiasts and sneakerheads ever since. Located on the increasingly hip Shoreditch High Street, the 2000 square foot space stocks all the latest and most-hyped sneaker drops (if you’re willing to queue for them) and the latest street-ready apparel from classic brands such as Nike, The North Face, and Stüssy, as well as up-and-comers such as Chinatown Market.
Beyond Retro has stores in Soho, Dalston, and Bethnal Green stocking secondhand and vintage clothing from the not so distant past. Thanks to a dedicated team of treasure hunters the store has become one of London’s best known vintage retailers and also stocks an in-house label that crafts clothing from reclaimed materials. Shop at Beyond Retro and you’ll without a doubt find something unique but also help the environment by reusing clothes.
The overused term “concept store” has lost a lot of meaning since it was first conceived, but LN-CC — which stand for Late Night Chameleon Café, of course — truly is a concept store even by the strictest of definitions. The former boxing club space in Dalston houses individual product rooms, a library, record store, gallery, and even a club space with a top of the line sound system. On its website LN-CC stocks established names as well as emerging designers from London to Japan while its physical store does not guarantee that all of these products are carried. Nonetheless, this is a uniquely immersive experience that can be had via walk-in or appointment.
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