Covent Garden is brimming with fashion boutiques and vintage stores. Home to fashion favourites such as Rokit, Orla Kiely and Opening Ceremony, as well as a smattering of beauty and skincare stores, Covent Garden is a real shopping destination for the fashion forward - and with amazing new shops like Farrell and Y-3 popping up, there's more reason than ever to stop by this evolving shopping destination.
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Here you'll find a collection of new, cutting-edge brands presented alongside OC’s own in-house label and its many collaborations with classic brands like Keds. While most brands rely on trend-prediction agencies or catwalks, Opening Ceremony goes on its founders’ own ability to spot the next big fashion thing. If they think it’s cool, it most definitely will be.
MAC’s three-floored new London store with its floor-to-ceiling mirrors and bright strip lighting feels a little like an ‘80s nightclub. But here you will be greeted by MAC's smart staff and kaleidoscopic counters of makeup including its specilaist MAC Pro range – a hit with make-up artists, trannies and other performers across the globe. The shop is complete with six make-up stations plus a lash bar. It’s like Girl’s World for grown-ups.
If celebrities want to be taken seriously as retailers then trading on their own image is not the way to go about it. The way to go about it is illustrated perfectly by this handsome new store on the Seven Dials - home to Robbie Williams' label Farrell for the next six months. The marriage of heritage styling with quality and sophistication, makes this one of Covent Garden's finest menswear outfitters.
Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto hooked up with global sports brand Adidas to create Y-3, a break-away label fusing Yamamoto's avant-garde aesthetic with Adidas' sporty know-how. The new Covent Garden flagship has the iconic three stripes inconspicuously working their way into the clothing and accessories. The main draw here, as any sneaker-freak will tell you, is the footwear. The Honja classic, £180, remains a best-seller.
The Chanel make-up store is designed to be a fun, accessible and fully immersive experience. Not only has imaginative creative director Peter Philips (the Raf Simons of slap) designed exclusive studio products for the project – including 'Covent Garden' make-up looks – the brand has devised a constant stream of fun events, like manicures administered by nail art chieftains.
Topman's first General Store in Spitalfields sells the finest of the Arcadia menswear chain’s apparel alongside handpicked pieces of designer and niche labels like Pendleton and Happy Socks. Unsurprisingly, product is tasteful and well presented – with all TM branding conspicuous by its absence. The idea worked beautifully in its spiritual home of indie east London, and it’s been tweaked just a bit for this Covent Garden outpost.
Orla Kiely’s individual mismatching colour combos made her a name in the fashion world, and graphic prints and layered textures adorn the Covent Garden flagship. The Dublin-born designer has been called a ‘quiet force’ in the industry but her designs speak loud and clear, from original laminate totes and purses to leather bags. It may have been accessories that shot Kiely to fame, but her womenswear is attracting an increasing following.
Venue says: “Affordable, high-end vintage fashion.”
Blackout II was peddling vintage threads long before it became fashionable. For some 25 years, the Covent Garden store has specialised in antique apparel (largely dresses from the ’20s and ’30s) as well as more wearable men’s and women’s clothing and accessories from the ’40s through to the ’80s.
The Vintage Showroom is a retro haven for men, stocking basic items such as Pendleton shirts, Barbour jackets and vintage denim alongside more specialist items like heavy duty ex-soviet army surplus, and sailor's smocks. You won't find ironic T-shirts and jeans here - the focus is on quality rather than quantity.
Started by the Office Shoes chain as the more high-profile sister to its popular high street shops, Poste Mistress offers reasonably priced quality footwear in a decadent, retro boudoir setting. It’s a sure bet if you’re after a pair of on-trend shoes that will last you more than one season.
This erotic emporium is London’s most glamorous introduction to kink. The boudoir aesthetic creates an unmistakable vibe of refined naughtiness, and trying items on is a particular highlight, what with the peepshow-style velvet changing rooms that allow your lover to watch you undress from a ‘confession box’ next door. Stock has an ethical, artisan-led twist; you can be sure your dildo is made from WWF-endorsed wood.
Duck in for a breather into this inspirational travel shop. In addition to every kind of travel guide, you’ll find background literature on every destination, a fiction range, world music and cinema, a children’s section and navigation software. There is also a selection of equipment like medical kits, binoculars and torches. Check out the giant maps on each shop floor, and have your own printed in poster form.
A forerunner of the organic movement in the early 1980s, Neal’s Yard has retained a loyal following, despite competition from younger companies with similar ideologies. In recent years, the brand has expanded onto (smart) main shopping streets, such as Upper Street and King’s Road, and there are now 20 stores in London alone, most with luxury treatment rooms offering a wide range of therapies.
Ottie and the Bea
This independent shop in Blackheath stocks all manner of carefully chosen items that will delight children and parents alike. Within the bright and inviting south London shop visitors will discover Japanese collectables and creative comics alongside traditional toys, beautiful books and colourful party goods. They also run regular events and workshops for a variety of age ranges in activities such as superhero cape decoration, dreamcatcher-making and journalism. Check the Ottie and the Bea website for details.
Venue says: “We are a modern children's shop in Blackheath. Our focus is on toys, books and games for children that inspire and encourage them to play.”