Whenever most people embark on a shopping trip to London the first stops on their itinerary tend to be of course all of the big well-known thoroughfares like Regent Street, Oxford Street and Carnaby Street. I’ll openly admit that if I’m looking for something nondescript then I often follow suit. My preference however is seeking out unique little shopping streets with a sense of character and community. Berwick Street in soho is one of my new favourites.
Where/what is Berwick Street? Well Berwick Street is a rather quaint little street in soho that links with Oxford Street and is actually only round the corner from Carnaby. At the heart of the street is the market (which has been on the go since 1892) that is fast becoming a real street food destination with traders offering tastes from all over the world.
The reason I like the street though is not for the market, it’s due the growing number of menswear brands that are opening their doors here. And it’s a real mixed bag too, you will find independents, vintage shops and major international labels all sitting nestled between cool coffee shops and restaurants.
So what will you find on Berwick Street? Well here are a few of my favourite haunts covering menswear and beyond…
Where else in the world can you sit back sip a coffee (a good one at that), have your bike fixed all while shopping a range of mountain biking accessories? Soho Bikes is a pretty cool little establishment that was established by the super talented mountain biker Rob Warner (pictured above) and aims to make cycling a much easier form of commuting in London with their centrally located repair shop.
Nudie Jeans Co
Yes you can pick up a pair of Nudie jeans in pretty much any department store in London these days (or any other big city) but very few locations can actually boast their own Nudie repair shop. In store is the brands only UK working repair station where you can bring your lovingly worn Nudie jeans in to be cared for.
If you would rather snap up a new pair then take a walk down to the basement where you will find the denim bar, an impressive display of just about every and any style of Nudie jean available.
Something that I really liked about this space is that the design of the store puts a big emphasis on recycling. Right down to the rugs on the floor which are all made from recycled Nudie jeans that have unfortunately seen better days.
Oliver Spencer has become a real shining star of the British menswear scene in recent years. The collection gains momentum year on year and his show’s at London Collections: Men are always a sight to behold. The style of clothing aims to bridge the gap between traditional streetwear and tailoring resulting in a softer everyday style.
The Berwick Street store is one of 4 in London and houses the full menswear collection.
A distinctly British label that was created by David Keyte who gained his first foray into men’s fashion working at Paul Smith. The clothing itself is wearable; sustainable and affordable. You can see the evolution of the key pieces from the baker jackets and hats which season on season retain their fit and style with the addition of a current colour or fabric.
The Berwick Street store is the flagship outlet for Universal Works and a great place to delve into the collections muted, masculine and very wearable clothing.
My final recommendation for a gander is Percival. Another relatively young British brand that opened their store on Berwick Street at the end of 2012. The store is designed using reclaimed wooden panels, doors and other bits and bobs (like a giant key) that have somehow entwined themselves into the brands history.
One item in particular that caught my eye was the striking Japanese printed shirt that comes from the current season collection (shown above). The rest of the collection is a little more subtle but every bit as striking.
If all of that shopping and eating wasnt enough for you, the street was also the backdrop for the legendary Oasis ‘Whats the Story Morning Glory’ album. Worth the pilgrimage alone I reckon if you happen to be a die-hard fan of the band.
The shot was taken outside of the vinyl heaven that is Sister Ray. A great independent stockist of music from all genres.
If you fancy checking the area out for yourself head over to the official website berwickstreetlondon.co.uk for the lowdown on the latest events and happenings.