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A potter round the shops – London

January 14, 2010

I love a wonder around the shops. Even if I don’t actually need anything, I’ll still pootle into town on the weekend or after work to have a look around. So where’s good to shop in London? Well loads of places actually. And I’m not just talking Selfridges. Well I’m not talking Selfridges at all.

Considering the amount of the good indies that are cropping up (both stores and actual brands) there’s no need to talk about any of the department stores. You know where they are, so does everyone else, so let’s do something different.

So then, where? Well a favorite is the joy of a brand that is Albam. They’ve been around for about three years now, make really good basics with a very English feel about them – probably due to them having a large amount of the range actually made in the UK – at a price that won’t murder your bank balance. What’s not to like? The shirting is fantastic, they do solid outerwear and their jumpers aren’t bad either. They also do an awesome pair of slim denims, taken up to your leg length for £85. I’ve got six pairs. They are ace. Get some. They’re got two stores in the UK (both in London), one on Beak Street in the West End and the other out East on Commercial Street.

Near to Albam’s Eastern outpost is Present on Shordich High Street, the new venture from Eddie Prendergast and Steve Davies. The store’s stocking brands like Nom de Guerre, Heritage research, Nigel Caborn and their own label, plus you can get a brew in there too. Pop round the corner onto Charlotte Road and you’ll get to The Three Threads. These guys stock Won Hundred, Pointer, Filson, Maiden Noir and Grenson to name but a few.

Albam

The Three Threads

Present

Back in town on Lambs Conduit Street you’ll find Folk’s flagship store. Folk are a label that are gaining more and recognition for their great knitwear and decent footwear (under their shofolk label). They’ve also just opened up out East in the site that used to house A Butcher of Distinction (basically East London is a great shopping destination for men now). Their grey wool overcoat for this season is a stunner.

Still in town, the APC flagship store has been open for a few months now and the French Label are going from strength to strength. They’re on Dover Street, pretty much across the road from Dover Street Market, which is probably the most niche of all London department stores, due to being the Comme Des Garcons flagship and also the range of high fashion and obscure brands they stock.

If you’re around Saville Row then walk down towards Conduit Street and on your way down you’ll happen upon B store. These guys are always forward looking in what they do, both with their own brand and the labels they buy in. For those that like their streetwear pop down to Upper James Street where you’ll find both The Hideout (stocking Visvim, Head Porter, Supreme and limited edition adidas) and Japanese mega brand Bathing Ape.

Down into Covent Garden there’s American Classics on Endell Street and across the road you’ve got Interstate. Classics is good for Levi Vintage XX, Sugarcane and Studio D’Artisan, along with a mix of T-shirts, shirts etc. Interstate is an American outdoors store with a difference, you’ll get everything from coats, jeans, T-shirts, shirts, hiking boots, rucksacks, hats etc, etc.

APC

B-Store

Hideout

Bathing Ape

On the other side of London there’s Garbstore on Portabello Road who have been doing their thing for a while, stocking a great selection of own brand and others – Engineered Garments, Gitman Bros, Mountain Rescue, Wood Wood and SeaVees all sold at their shop and online store. Check them out, you won’t regret it. Also on Portabello Road is Supra, these guys have been around the area for donkey’s years. They’re more streetwear in stock, with a selection of adidas, Nike, Stüssy, Carhartt and Zoo York. They also have a more ‘grown up’ store in Kensal Rise stocking items from Gloverall, Folk, Brady and YMC.

Folk

Garbstore

Taking a break from clothing, Monocle have a lovely little store not too far from Marlybone on George Street, they’ve got the magazine, all of their collaboration products and other stuff too. Then you can walk back down to Wigmore Street afterwards and see what Margaret Howell’s got in (I know Howell’s not exactly an ‘indie’ but she does great clothes, has a good selection of books, some nice bric-a-brac and vintage furniture so I inluded her in this).

Monocle

Margaret Howell

So these are the places I usually spend my hard earned in. If you’ve got any other suggestions drop me a line & I’ll stick them up.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Hawksmoor permalink
    January 14, 2010 11:10 am

    Excellent overview, mate, although I’d describe Interstate as more than just an outdoor store, stocking as they do Edwins, Lee 101b’s, Penfield, Carhartt, Nudies, Hanes, etc. I don’t think they sell hiking boots, although American Classics opposite sell Red Wings (they also provide a Red Wings resoling service, too.)

    If you have any reason to go to Camden, there’s a shop at the Hawley Arms end of the high street called LA1 that stocks Edwins, Lee 101b’s and 10Iz’s, Nudie, Red Wings, Pointer, adidas, etc. Friendly and knowledgable staff and they’ve got a decent sale at the moment too: Edwins at £70, Lee 101z’s at £65 and Red Wings at £80.

    It might be outside of your indie brief, but if you’re in Conduit Street, you might as well have a look in the flagship Belstaff store to get sniffed at by snooty Italians…

    Anyway, good, good work. Keep it up.

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