The shop formerly known as Digitaria, and formerly located on Berwick street, is having a third bite of the Soho retail apple with a new store on Brewer Street. Soho's edgier outfitters have struggled of late, and the area has seen the lamentable disappearance of some of our favourites like the Pineal Eye. So it's good to see Stavros Karelis taking a gamble with another new shop, and one that doesn't shy away from the harder sells, like punky Louise Gray and conceptual neoprene from newbie RCA graduate Peiran Gong. Machine-A is now one of London's most must-visit independent boutiques for those who know their fashion- one of the few places you can find urban luxury labels like Christopher Raeburn and Ashley Williams.
But will it survive? We hope so. The new store benefits from a lot more fashiony footfall (it's just down the road from a buzzy and busy frozen yoghurt bar, which might help) than its predecessor, and the more peculliar pieces sit amongst wearable ones, which serves to make the offering palatable to the every day consumer. Not in the market for a superb studded and monogrammed rucksack by MCM, practical but pricey at around £1200? Then you can bag a pair of supercool printed Tabio socks by irreverent fashion duo Agi and Sam, or a Keeley Hunter x Fred Butler beenie hat. There is also a definite upgrade of customer service - the store may stock the capital's hippest labels, from Raf Simons to Sibling - but the staffers manning the tills on our visit were chatty and witty, and didn't roll their eyes when we asked to see their most affordable stuff.
Machine-A is number 69 in our list of the 100 best shops in London.