HELLO, HACKNEY: East London’s Hackney neighborhood, a designer and hipster haven, has become the new home of Hackney Walk, the first high-end fashion outlet in the British capital,
Brands including the retailer Matchesfashion.com and Nike are set to move into the new development on Morning Lane, with the sneaker giant planning to unveil a 16,000-square-foot store.
Those brands will join Burberry, Aquascutum, Bally, Anya Hindmarch, Joseph and Pringle of Scotland, which were already part of an existing structure. Hackney Walk Holdings Ltd. and ICG Longbow are operating the new center, and said they would reveal more brands in due course.
Four architects worked on the design, including David Adjaye Associates, Waugh Thistleton, Pringle Richards Sharratt and Studio Egret West. Adjaye revamped Hackney’s Victorian railway arches to create 12 retail units while the two larger spaces in the development were created by Manhattan Loft Corporation.
In addition, there are plans for pop-up concepts, and a space for a designer in residence. The first one will be Ashley Williams. The operators said retail hiring at Hackney Walk would be overseen by Hackney Council’s Ways into Work program which provides work training programs for young people.
Hackney Walk Holdings Ltd. and ICG Longbow have declined to disclose any financial figures relating to the investment.
“Hackney Walk will play an important role in the continuing evolution and growth of the U.K.’s fashion industry, and most importantly in keeping Hackney at its forefront,” said Jack Basrawy, executive chairman and founder of Hackney Walk.
“The U.K. fashion industry is one of the gems of our economy, and often I feel that it is undervalued. The vibrancy, creativity — and not to mention revenue — that it brings to the U.K., and specifically to areas like Hackney, and East London, is vital. Hackney is fashion. Hackney has a strong and resilient community,” Basrawy said. “It is an incredibly important responsibility to ensure that the project is developed in the right way for the local community and to ensure we deliver jobs and opportunity for local people.”
Many London designers have their studios based in Hackney, including Henry Holland of House of Holland, Simone Rocha, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Anderson, James Long and Holly Fulton and House of Hackney.