While many people are understandably upset about the UK's recent decision to leave the European Union, American and European visitors to the British capital this summer can, at the very least, relish the boost of their respective currencies relative to the pound. In other words: It's a good time to shop.
London is host to a wide range of fashion stores, from global megabrands like Dior and Uniqlo, to independent multi-brand boutiques like Dover Street Market and Oi Polloi. It's also the home of the very first — and in some cases only — stores of many important London-based designers, including Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha and Victoria Beckham. Below, we highlighted 17 of the best new stores to hit the city in the past two years.
East London, particularly Shoreditch, has been a hot spot of retail activity in recent years, playing host to a number of pop-ups as well as permanent shops — most notably those appealing to streetwear and urban-minimalist fans.
82 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney
Erin McQuinn knows a thing or two about denim, having worked at MiH Jeans and developed Victoria Beckham's eponymous denim line. Her store is a dream for any jeans devotee, stocking well-known labels alongside hand-picked vintage, all arranged by cut. You can get your alterations done here, too.
151 Curtain Road, Shoreditch
Having outgrown their original location on Coronet Street after seven years, this boutique, founded by former Levi's designers, relocated to this 3,000-square-foot, double-story space in Shoreditch in 2015, complete with a basement cafe. You'll find womenswear, menswear, accessories, home goods, beauty and grooming products from brands like Alexander Wang, Ashley Williams, Junya Watanabe, Norse Projects and Surface to Air.
33 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch
Though its selection is small, this cafe-meets-luxury-general-store offers gems from womenswear designers like Isa Arfen, Sandy Liang, and swimwear line Solid and Striped, as well a refined assortment of clothes and accessories for men.
Nike Lab 1948
Arches 477-478 Bateman's Row, Shoreditch
Nike is known for its cool retail experiences, and this concept store, situated just off of Shoreditch High Street, packs a couple of surprises for visitors. On the first floor, you'll find a ping-pong table in active use, as well as a small selection of shoes and athletic clothes from Nike's style-forward Lab line. The real draw is the Bespoke iD studio on the second floor, where you can — by appointment only — work with one of the brand's design consultants to customize your own pair of Air Force 1s or Air Max 1s.
129 Bethnal Green Rd, Shoreditch
Though considerably smaller than Sneakersnstuff (below), trainers enthusiasts won't want to miss Pam Pam's uncommon selection of New Balance, Nike, Reebok and Vans styles. You'll also be able to pick up Jason Markk cleaning products for keeping your kicks in tip-top shape, as well as sunglasses from Han Copenhagen and Le Specs, and backpacks from Baggu.
107-108 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch
This sneaker and sporting goods speciality shop was founded in Stockholm in 1999, opening its first location outside of Sweden in the heart of London's Shoreditch neighborhood in 2014. In addition to a wide range of shoes from megabrands like Nike, Adidas, Puma, Vans, Reebok, Converse and New Balance, you'll also find athleisure-wear from Adidas by Stella McCartney and Nike, as well as some really adorable footwear styles for toddlers and kids.
Many of London's most promising design talents of the past decade have chosen the well-manicured Mayfair district as the destination for their very first stores, often offering one-of-kind pieces and bespoke services exclusive to these shops. In addition to the below, Dior's silvery, recently refurbished store on Bond Street is worth a visit, as is Alexander Wang's large flagship on Albemarle Street and Duro Olowu's printastic store at 14 Masons Yard.
6 Mount Street
The cream-canvassed store of one of city's most celebrated talents offers the designer's full assortment of women's and men's clothes, as well as handbags, shoes and quirkier accessories like gloves.
70 South Audley Street
It's easy to imagine one of Erdem Moralioglu's elegant muses inhabiting this marble-floored, two-story boutique, opened on the occasion of the designer's 10th anniversary last September. You'll no doubt want to leave with one of his dresses — as well as some of the furnishings, like a green velvet sofa and chairs.
2 Bourdon Street
It was 21 years before the Central Saint Martins-trained designer Hussein Chalayan opened his own flagship in London, an architectural black-and-white space that sets his well-tailored clothes in sharp relief.
9 Mount Street
Serbian-born designer Roksanda Illincic, known for her colorful, voluminous clothes, opened her first store in the summer of 2014, shortly after taking on her first outside investor. A herringbone-patterned marble floor and asymmetric concrete slabs make a fitting backdrop for the graphic patterns of Illincic's clothes and shoes.
93 Mount Street
Simone Rocha's bright, feminine, ruffled clothes stand out against the pale-colored floors and wall of her first store, opened in August 2015 just a few doors down from Christopher Kane and Roksanda, and featuring some fantastic art and architectural elements. Fun fact: the marble seats in the footwear section were designed by Rocha's dad.
36 Dover Street
Located directly across from the original Dover Street Market, Victoria Beckham's two-story flagship (opened in September 2014) offers a luxury shopping experience without the typical intimidation factor. Concrete, glass and mirrors serve as the setting for Beckham's polished clothes as well as eyewear and other accessories.
Piccadilly & Soho
Central London's Piccadilly and Soho neighborhoods are already home to major international brands like Burberry and Topshop, as well as globally famous department stores, including Selfridge's (whose new, athleticwear-focused Body Studio is worth checking out) and Liberty. A few new multi-brand boutiques recently joined the neighborhood, too.
Dover Street Market
18-22 Haymarket Street, Piccadilly
This internationally famous six-story store, founded by Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo, moved into an even bigger location in March. You'll find goods from major design houses like Céline and Valentino alongside a constant stream of up-and-comers, including Molly Goddard and Vetements, plus exclusive (and affordable) collaborations with brands like Puma and Nike.
1 Marshall Street, Soho
This menswear boutique, founded 15 years ago in Manchester, finally set up shop in the capital last year, offering a mix of tasteful, tried-and-true staples from the likes of A.P.C., Carhartt, Engineered Garments, Filson and more.
Belgravia & Chelsea
Two of London's poshest neighborhoods are, unsurprisingly, the home of some of London's most sophisticated new stores.
6-10 Lexington Street, Chelsea
Founded by a stylist and creative director of the same name, this art gallery meets fashion boutique carries an elegant selection of designers including Christophe Lemaire and Pallas, plus a host of exclusive collaborations and homewares.
62a Sloane Street, Chelsea
Emilia Wickstead's sweeping, ultra-feminine designs have made fans out of the Duchess of Cambridge, Suki Waterhouse and Alexa Chung, and walking into her elegantly appointed flagship on Sloane Street is like stepping into the closet of your princess-y dreams.
32 Grosvenor Crescent Mews, Belgravia
The New York-based luxury e-tailer opened a nearly 3,000-square-foot showroom a stone's throw from Hyde Park in late 2014. Shopping sessions are available by appointment only.
A special thanks to Laura Saunter at WGSN for her help!