Building foundations with Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry
When A.P.C. - champion of laid-back cool and all-round go-to brand for contemporary classics - opened its doors in Redchurch Street last year, the fashion world sat up and took note. A label more associated with the polished tiles of a West End façade rather than a street paved with band flyers, graffiti art and ever-changing retail pop-ups, A.P.C.'s arrival on the block signalled just how much of a draw Shoreditch's artsy enclave has become.
Sure, shopping areas like Floral Street and Dover Street may have an established cachet, but Redchurch Street possesses an inimitably rough charm, coupled with a whole host of edgy design happenings that have been slowly simmering under the radar for a while - a fact that can't be ignored since the arrival of Terence Conran's five-star Boundary hotel in 2010 along with popular retail brands like Aubin & Wills, Aesop and Sunspel. Only in East London will you find names like these rubbing shoulders with an Islamic educational centre, an artisan gunmakers workshop and a notorious pub with a less than squeaky-clean reputation.
And with the opening of a new Margaret Howell store around the corner, rumours of a possible Ian Shrager Public hotel and major players like Christian Louboutin, Vivienne Westwood, Ralph Lauren and Prada all said to be eyeing premises in the area, it's no surprise that Redchurch Street is being described as 'the Bond Street of the East'.
By: Apphia Michael
Housed in a building that has been kept in its original state, with tongued and grooved walls and a lovely double frontage, Caravan is a charming little boutique that sells decorative homeware with an artsy bent - an ever-changing edit by owner and interior stylist Emily Chalmers, who presents everything from Jielde lamps to hand-printed wallpapers.
3 Redchurch Street
44. 207 033 35 3
The latest addition to the row of design happenings that have been slowly simmering on Redchurch Street, French label A.P.C.'s arrival has well and truly sealed the street's fate as contagiously cool. Stocking the full range of A.P.C. jeans, on top of a selection of menswear and womenswear, the store injects a healthy dose of polished pedigree to an edgy street lined to the brim with band flyers, graffiti art and guerrilla pop-ups.
5 Redchurch Street
44. 207 729 77 27
Aesop is no stranger to the skin of many a Wallpaper* staffer. Calming the harried souls of visitors stepping off the busy Shoreditch High Street thoroughfare (the interior space is the work of Dalston-based furniture designer Gareth Neal), the Redchurch Street store stocks all our Aesop favourites as well as cultural community-geared perks, from an installation by design studio Jo Meesters, to a performance by Klezmer folk band She'Koyokh.
5A Redchurch Street
44. 207 613 37 93
This 150-year-old British heritage hero - then known for its true-blue underwear, now for its contemporary mix of casual-wear - rules when it comes to its iconic T-shirts and boxer shorts. The flagship store on Redchurch Street is the UK's first standalone store.
7 Redchurch Street
44. 207 739 97 29
On a sunny day, the Rooftop of Terence Conran’s Boundary is to sun revellers what butter is to bread. The popular social space with killer London views isn’t the only thing that draws the crowds to this converted Victorian warehouse hotel. Breakfast-to-go from the Albion’s bakery at the weekend is a must - the giant pastries are second to none – but be warned, there’s only one coffee machine – so prepare to queue.
Entrance in Redchurch Street, 2-4 Boundary Street
44. 207 729 10 51
Championing the cause of niche menswear brands and up-and-coming UK talent, the inimitably sultry Hostem boutique is a delight, both in theory and in practice. The JAMESPLUMB-designed boutique carries brands such as Caseley Hayford, O’Keeffe, and Curioser & Curioser within its razor-sharp style orbit.
41–43 Redchurch Street
44. 207 739 97 33
A vintage-tastic lifestyle shop owned by the eclectically-furnished Le Trois Garcons restaurant, this treasure trove of antique and contemporary pieces and all-round east-end Grand Dame is no wallflower. Fuelling the need for eccentricity in the home, the shop is charmingly stacked with goods such as French chandeliers, statues and bohemian glass lamps.
45 Redchurch Street
44. 787 964 08 58
A hard space gallery rented directly to the likes of photographers and artists looking to put on their own agent-independent shows, this space used to be a former hat factory. The pull of the street’s credibility as a creative hub sees international galleries (and other London galleries) use the space to put on shows targeted to the east-end art crowd.
50 Redchurch Street
44. 207 287 84 08
Watson Bros began trading in 1885, and is today the only independently owned gunmakers left in England. The specialist artisan workshop creates bespoke shotguns and rifles for pheasant and game hunting. Hidden behind frosted panes is the brand’s workshop and headquarters, which current owner Michael Louca set up on site five years ago. Known in the business for a particularly lightweight round-body over-and-under model he created two years ago (a bestseller, still), Louca’s pieces take around 18 months to complete, and sell to an international client base from upwards of £45,000.
54 Redchurch Street
44. 207 033 00 33
If you aren’t already aware of New Zealand’s claim to some of the world’s finest coffee shops, a cup of signature Redchurch blend at Allpress Espresso’s café is a must. The Kiwi coffee company, set up by Michael Allpress some 20 years ago, was up until last year only available to its Antipodean patrons. A great place to go for coffee and cake, the café essentially acts as a working billboard for the brand’s wholesale coffee company and roastery, also based in the building.
58 Redchurch Street
44. 207 749 17 80
An extension of lifestyle brand Aubin & Wills, this mega-hub of all things fun opened in May 2010, and since then has served the neighbourhood well with its shop, gallery space and pretty much the best cinema experience this side of the river. The staircase entrance to this converted post-war warehouse building sits directly opposite the Allpress Espresso café, (see above) - the perfect chance to grab a coffee before basking in the shop’s achingly cool selection laid-back womenswear, menswear, and lifestyle gear.
64–66 Redchurch Street
Frequented by everyone from the local trendies and east end kids, to the older generation with a hankering for the things they grew up with, Speedie’s (named after owner Speedie Gazelle) stocks retro furniture, wallpaper and collectables. Not an establishment for clutter-phobes, its deceptively small shop-front leads into a deep space crammed with finds unusual enough to give anyone an eye-popping lesson in kitsch.
81 Redchurch Street
44. 207 739 47 98
Trying to get anyone to make a repeat visit to Labour & Wait is like preaching to the converted. Having outgrown its original Cheshire Street home, the cult retro domestic goods shop has recently added to the cache of Redchurch Street with its arrival. It looks as good on the outside as it does on the inside (the draw of old traditional hardware favourites and newly-sourced goods is key here), so you’ll definitely want to come back for more.
85 Redchurch Street
44. 207 729 62 53
The home of Bumble & Bumble’s UK flagship store, Radio hair salon serves up a mean set of forward-thinking cuts and styles to its creative musician / artist clientele. Set up in September 2010 by salon director Corrado Tevere, the space also doubles up as a gallery, and showcases work by different artists every three months.
93–97 Redchurch Street
44. 208 617 00 24
The farthermost tip on Redchurch island, this corner café was born from owner Nicola Franze and his cousin Teresa Loccoco’s mutual love for Italian food. The place does everything from homemade breakfast granola, to after-work evening tapas, but we dig the ‘creative salads’, which are invented on the premises in about five variants every morning. The real draw, it must be said, is Loccoco’s signature home-baked lemon and courgette cake, which sells out faster than you can say Pan-Mediterranean.
101 Redchurch Street
44. 207 033 19 10