Spring has sprung, and with it – confirming that the high street’s not dead yet – some super nice new shops, and they’re not just different versions of Pret. So peel yourself off the sofa and close your laptop because now is the time to go shopping IRL.
We’ve been a fan of Dutch lingerie brand Love Stories ever since we saw its uber-pretty undies; combining delicate lace in interesting shades, with sporty trims and prints, this is about as far removed from Ann Summers as you can get. Now it’s opened its first UK boutique next door to Poppie’s fish-and-chip shop in Shoreditch, and very pretty it is too. Like the underwear it flogs, the decor is feminine without being too girly, almost like it has been designed for actual real-life women and not infantilised morons. Amen to that.
14 Hanbury St, E1 6QR. Shoreditch High Street Overground.
Christopher Kane pop-up
This might be London’s poshest ever pop-up shop. It comes from Christopher Kane, the only man alive who could make you consider a pair of Crocs to be an attractive footwear proposition, which he did in his last collection by covering them in sparkling rocks and crystals. Based on Old Bond Street, his second UK store will be open until the end of 2017 and, with its super-minimalist interior, will act as a kind of gallery, to allow his beautiful clothes and accessories to take centre stage.
15 Old Bond Street, London Mayfair W1. Green Park tube.
The North Face
Taking over the old American Apparel store on Carnaby Street, the latest outpost from The North Face is the brand’s first ever dedicated Urban Exploration Space, which means that it’ll house the sort of clothes you would be happy to seen wearing in town and not just on the side of mountain. Kind of like the pop-up store that was on Earlham Street it will carry limited-edition pieces, collaborations and exclusive drops, like the brilliant sleek, streamlined Japanese Capsule Collection which sees pared-back branding and neater cuts.
8 Carnaby Street, W1F 9PD. Oxford Circus tube.
The Abnormal Beauty Company
Hailing all the way from Toronto this cult beauty brand has opened its first ever UK store. With outposts across the globe, from Gangnam in Seoul – aka the beauty capital of the world – to Mexico City, it’s had plenty of practice in nailing the store aesthetic and the London branch is no exception. Part of an ambitious plan which will see stores in our capital before the end of the year, this minimal, faintly industrial space will house the ten different brands that sit under the Deciem umbrella.
Old Spitalfields Market, 18 Lamb St, E1 6EA. Shoreditch High Street Overground.
Need more retail therapy? Check out London’s best shops.