Vintage to Designer: London’s Many Shopping Hotspots
London offers both locals and visitors amazing shopping opportunities – with the hotspots outlined in a book which has garnered the epithet: “the shopping equivalent of the Michelin Guide”.
Fashion Fabulous London has now launched its third edition, having helped shopaholics find their way around the capital’s best shopping retailers since 2009.
Compiled by fashion writer Russell Rose and his world-renowned hat designer wife Tracy Rose, research for the book involved getting mystery shopper visits to over a thousand stores.
So where do the couple recommend finding the best that London has to offer?
The West End
Two-hundred retailers are included in the book overall, and, unsurprisingly, the majority of these are located in the West End.
The West End is home to many of London’s most famous shopping streets, including Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street, where many retailers maintain their flagship stores. Whether you shop in Ralph Lauren or New Look, are seeking out a stylish backless dress or a new pair of trainers, this is where you will find the big names.
Nearby Belgravia is listed in second place. This wealthy district is known for its luxury boutiques and flagship haute couture shops, the main stretches for high-fashion lovers are Elizabeth Street and Motcomb Street, where you will find exclusive designs by Allegra Hicks, Carolina Bucci and Christian Louboutin, among others.
Notting Hill Gate
Notting Hill Gate is a mecca for lovers of more high-end vintage clothes, and this year the district has moved up from fourth to third place in the guide. Portobello Road is a treasure trove of vintage and antique finds, while Westbourne Grove is home to the only Fiorentini + Baker store outside Italy.
Brick Lane and Spitalfields
Brick Lane and Spitalfields make up the fourth shopping hotspot in the guide. Spitalfields is a great place to discover independent stores as well as young brands, while Spitalfields Market houses around 100 stalls beneath its glass canopy. Whether you are looking for bags, shoes, jewellery, hats or T-shirts, you can expect to find them here.
Nearby Brick Lane, made famous by the book and film, offers more affordable fashion with plenty of edgy vintage and second-hand shops and stalls as well as many of the best curry houses in London!
Chelsea was once the centre of London’s youth culture form the fifties to the eighties, before it all moved to north and east London. Nowadays, its best known for its annual flower show and increasingly, the E4 reality TV programme Made in Chelsea. It is still a major shopping destination, listed in fifth place in the guide.
Housing within its borders Kensington High Street, Sloane Street and the Kings Road, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is home to all the major fashion labels – from pocket-friendly high street names to designers such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada – as well as a number of unique boutiques.
Bethnal Green, Covent Garden, Shepherd’s Bush, Islington and tied tenth place and Shoreditch and Camden, the homes of edgy, youth and street fashion, take the remaining places in Fashion Fabulous London’s top ten.
With such diverse offerings, if you haven’t found what you are looking for in the top five districts, you can be sure to find it in one of these!
Photo by liliitis on Flickr