Our curated choice of twenty concept brands, boutiques and destination stores in London.
A visit to London has always been synonymous with luxury shopping. The ‘big five’ internationally recognisablegrande dames will be a feature on any style conscious visitor’s to do list: Harrods, Selfridges, Liberty, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason. But London also boasts a wealth of concept stores, lesser known independents, and spectacular flagships that are equally essential visits when in the capital. From affordable luxury, through emerging brands, to high end multi brand collections and haute couture, our curated choice of twenty of London’s top stores is the ultimate guide to luxury shopping in the British capital.
MATCHES CARLOS PLACE
This newly opened townhouse in Mayfair aims to give customers ‘the most personal luxury shopping experience in the world. ’ The five story, 7000 sq ft space boasts private shopping floors to peruse curated designs from fashion’s biggest names, a restaurant, event spaces and a broadcasting events hub to connect with customers globally. A. 5 Carlos Place W1 matchesfashion.com
DOVER STREET MARKET
Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Garcons has created a luxury ‘market’ environment where independently designed spaces from a range of new and established brands mix with multi brand collections, art, and lighting installations. With outposts in New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing and Los Angeles, this flagship London store sets a high benchmark. A. 18-22 Haymarket SW1 doverstreetmarket.com
The Middle East’s first high-fashion multi-brand concept is now a global network with a London flagship on Sloane Street. It carries an international designer fashion edit of names from Erdem to Elie Saab, plus homewares, beachwear, fine jewellery, gifting, books, and April’s cafe from the creators of Bistroteque. A. 127/128 Sloane Street SW1 boutique1.com
THE SHOP AT THE BLUEBIRD
‘London’s best kept secret’ has a new flagship, housed in a heritage coach house in Covent Garden, with three galleried floors and a central light filled courtyard. Contemporary labels mix with more established and lifestyle brands for men and women, with a fashion Illustration gallery, and exciting projects planned for summer. A. 29 Floral Street WC2 theshopatbluebird.com
Mayfair mainstay Browns first new store in 20 years is an edgier, gender neutral space, mixing a regularly rotating edit of men’s and women’s luxury brands, with curated artwork, in store experiences, workshops hosted by brands, collaborators and influencers, and technology led purchasing (including stock transfers in 60 minutes). A. 21 Club Row E2 brownsfashion.com
‘One of the world’s most beautiful bookstores’, publishing company Assouline has created a cultural concept store in a heritage banking hall in Piccadilly. In addition to spectacular books, you will find furniture, limited edition gifts, and objects d’art picked up on Assouline travels. And do try a cocktail at the in house Swans bar. A. 196a Piccadilly W1 assouline.com
WOLF AND BADGER
Wolf and Badger acts as a platform to promote unique, ethical and emerging designers. It’s new 12000 sq ft flagship store at the pioneering new Coal Drops Yard at Kings Cross showcases many of its 700 designers and features a florist, a fashion magazine and book store, juice bar and dedicated events space. A. Coal Drops Yard N1 wolfandbadger.com
Alex worked at Harpers Bazaar before launching her boutique four years ago, which blends fashion, lifestyle, art and furniture with the warmth of a private home. Her eponymous menswear inspired label features alongside names such as Mark Cross and Issey Miyake. Eagle is a name to watch: last year she was named as a key figure shaping the global fashion industry. A. 6-10 Lexington Street W1 alexeagle.co.uk
Tucked away on a leafy London side street William Vintage is widely considered to offer the world’s finest vintage clothing and haute couture. Open by appointment only, it’s clientele includes Meghan Markle the Duchess of Sussex and Amal Clooney, with pieces from Yves Saint Laurent to Dior, purchased internationally from auctions and museums. A. 2 Marylebone Street W1 williamvintage.com
COUVERTURE AND THE GARB STORE
A hidden gem in a three story converted townhouse set within the diversity of Notting Hill, featuring cult, international labels with a tale to tell, limited edition collaborations and exclusive products. Shop the self titled menswear brand along with womenswear, beauty and eclectic homewares. A. 188 Kensington Park Road W11 couvertureandthegarbstore.com
THE PLACE LONDON
The Place London is a high end multi brand boutique dedicated to individuality and innovation, with an admirable heritage: established by Simon Burnstein of luxury boutique Browns. Offering collections with craftsmanship, quality and technology as the linking theme, the brand is growing: the menswear store stands two doors away, and a new boutique opened in Paris this January. A. 27/31 Connaught Street W2 theplacelondon.com
Newly opened in December 2018 by former Harrods buyer Kirstie Gibbs, on one of Covent Garden’s most romantic streets, this fine jewellery boutique features curated collections from international female designers only, focussing on the concept of astrology and female empowerment. Brands include Robinson Pelham and celebrity favourite Kismet by Milka. A. 22 Floral Street WC2 thealkemistry.com
Housed in a heritage building in the exclusive streets of Marylebone, Trunk curates a selection of modern gentleman’s classics from The UK, Japan, Italy and the US. With an emphasis on luxury brands with high levels of craft and provenance, and an international clientele, Trunk showcases designers not found elsewhere in London. A. 8 Chiltern Street W1 trunkclothiers.com
HOUSE OF DIOR BOUTIQUE
The dramatically overhauled flagship store was designed by superstar New York architect Peter Marino, combining classic Christian Dior with British tradition. Important artworks sit alongside a men’s demi measure service, three private salons for VIP clients, the Maison collection and a perfume area where exclusive and private collections are presented. A. 160-162 New Bond Street W1 dior.com
The store on Bond Street has been home to Asprey since 1847, and is one of the largest luxury goods stores in the world. The store showcases jewellery and silverware, watches, leather goods, silk, china and crystal, with Asprey craftsmen and designers working within the building. A. 167 New Bond Street W1 asprey.com
Burberry’s flagship has been reinvented as a concept store, under new creative Director Riccardo Tisci. The new look store features nine individually themed rooms celebrating the past, present and future of the brand, dramatically inspired by the building’s history as a theater. This is Burberry, but not as we know it. A. 121 Regent Street W1 burberry.com
WATCHES OF SWITZERLAND
Europe’s largest luxury watch showroom opened in 2014 and its marble, glass and dark wood design gets as much attention as its horological excellence. Have every need catered to by the concierge service, visit individual brand ‘boutiques’ or browse the calibre room, hosting Breitling, Bremont and Longines to name a few. A. 155 Regent Street W1 watches-of-switzerland.co.uk
THE ROYAL EXCHANGE
One of London’s most iconic listed buildings dating from 1571, refurbished as the most high end ‘shopping centre’ you’re likely to find, the unmissable Royal Exchange houses luxury boutiques including Bulgari, Montblanc, Penhaligons and Hermes. Plus the Fortnum and Mason restaurant for post shopping recovery. A. 23 Royal Exchange EC3 theroyalexchange.co.uk
The lifestyle brand has returned to the home of Frank Smythson’s first store for its 130th anniversary. The boutique is housed in a listed arts and crafts building, with a collections hall, a library, a gold stamping area where the Smythson craftsmen can be found personalising leather goods, and a bespoke stationery ‘salon’. A. 131-132 New Bond Street W1 smythson.com
Dating back to 1819, Burlington arcade was originally designed as a fine jewellery destination for the upper classes. Two hundred years later it is still a prime luxury destination, housing Chanel, La Perla and trailblazing Egyptian female jewellery designer Azza Fahmy behind its historic frontage. A. 51 Piccadilly W1 burlingtonarcade.com ◼
© This article was first published in Apr-May 2019 edition of World Travel Magazine.
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