To celebrate the 150th anniversary of London’s mighty underground network, Sara Coppola discusses the tube stops that transport us directly to fashion heaven, in a guest post.
Let’s face it; unless you’re a bona fide train/tube nut, travelling on the London Underground isn’t exactly a pleasure. It’s hotter than a pot of tea and older than Queen, but it works – at least for the most part. The inaugural Underground journey ran on the 10th of January 1863, and little has changed. But what has changed, is the city above. Inspired by the accessible transport system, industry boomed and spread out across the city. And in those 150 years, London has become one of the most fashionable cities on earth. Here are a few tube stops that will take you to fashion heaven. But don’t forget to mind the gap!
1. Shoreditch High Street, East London Line
– Hipster Town Central
This gritty but oh-so-charming East London Borough has come a long way in recent years. Largely because it gave birth to what we now recognise as the modern hipster, and also because it’s home to some of the city’s most vibrant shopping.
- Boxpark for the truly unique shopping mall constructed out old re-fitted shipping containers. They have some of the planet’s best known alternative brands such as Volcom, Etnies, North Face, Dockers and Evisu. You’ll also find food and drink on the roof of the complex, which attracts the city’s artistic and creative professionals.
- Spitalfields Market From the outside it may look like one of the many old-fashioned markets dotted around London, but the story is very different from the inside. Vast amounts of money have been spent to make this a destination it its own right. High ceilings glitter with fancy neon signs and the echoes of music reverberate through the open air. As well as featuring a range of great little vintage stores and music stalls, you’ll also find bigger brands selling all types of fashion.
2. Oxford Circus: Bakerloo Line / Central Line / Victoria Line
When you think of London, you are basically thinking of Oxford Street. It’s full of iconic haunts and local legends, all waiting for you to discover. It’s not the cheapest pace on earth to shop, but it could very well be one of the best.
- Department stores Selfridges and Harvey Nichols for premium brands such as Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Chanel. They also have restaurants where you’ll rub shoulders with the rich and famous.
- Take a stroll along the main high street and enjoy the latest and greatest from brands like Urban Outfitters and America Apparel. Then walk to Carnaby Street where you’ll find more independent and vintage stores than you’ve ever seen before. It’s also a great place to end a shopping spree, and to treat yourself to a drink or two and something to eat.
3. Camden Town, Northern Line – Alternative Fashion
Full to the brim with independent stores selling alternative fashion and accessories from the world over. There is nowhere on earth that has so much jammed into such a small space and ,even if you aren’t into alternative fashion, you’re guaranteed a good time.
- Camden Lock Market for small but perfectly formed vintage fashion boutiques and hand-made jewellery. You can also eat global cuisine from street food stalls that do it better (and cheaper) than anywhere else in London.
4. Victoria, District & Circle Lines – Up and Coming
The area of Victoria is best known as being one of the biggest travel hubs of London. It’s often the first and/or last place that tourists see when they pop into the city, and this could be the very reason why the area has attracted names such as Burberry, Tom Ford and Jimmy Choo, who have all moved their head offices to the area.
Keep an eye on Cardinal Place, which will be receiving a £2 billion pound makeover from property investors, Land Securities. The future of the London fashion scene? Maybe!
When Sara isn’t shopping around London, you’ll find her blogging for Miinto online fashion store, where you can find outfit inspiration and more.