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Marcus Ross got his start in magazines as fashion editor of i-D in the late Nineties. After leaving to become a freelance stylist and then a photographer, he created his own men’s magazine, Jocks & Nerds, in 2009. “Everything in it has to have some cultural and historical values,” says Ross, who recently profiled vintage-clothing dealers and produced a photo essay on the inner-city denizens of Hackney Wick, East London.“Guys experience clothes very differently,” he adds. “Jocks & Nerds [reflects that] guys respond to reference points, to facts and figures.”
GO-TO SHOP: Pokit, 132 Wardour Street. A made-to-measure specialist, Pokit makes its own brand of suits in fabrics such as drill cotton, moleskin and Irish linen. Owner Bayode Odewole grew up in Bristol, where he and Ross were classmates. “I think we were doodling clothes in biology lessons at 13,” Ross says.
FAVORITE RESTAURANT: The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly. Designed in the style of a grand European café, it serves dishes ranging from salt-beef sandwiches to Jersey rock oysters. “I’m in love with their kind of service — it’s not stiff, just good quality service,” says Ross.
WHERE TO RELAX: London Fields Lido. An outdoor pool located in London Fields park. To get away, Ross heads to the North Norfolk coast, where his parents live. “It’s not on the way to anywhere,” he says. “It’s lovely there.”
PREFERRED HANGOUT: L’Eau à La Bouche, Broadway Market. This deli and café in East London’s quaint Broadway Market is where Ross likes to hold meetings. “There’s a real energy about [the area], which is great.”
WHERE TO BRING A DATE: The Rose Garden, Regent’s Park. Ross took his now wife to this central London oasis on one of their first dates. With 400 different varieties of roses, it’s the best garden of its kind in the city.
Patrick Fryer arrived in town to study theology at King’s College London in 2006, but since graduating, he’s swapped ancient texts for a career in front of the camera. An alumnus of the U.K.’s National Youth Theatre, he co-stars in two upcoming films: The Telemachy, a modern retelling of The Odyssey, which will debut later this year, and Yocasta, a drama about a dysfunctional British family to be shot this summer in Spain. Fryer plans to head to Los Angeles for auditions in the fall, though his “ever-changing” look seems better suited to London, where, he says, “You’ll see every type of sartorial style you can imagine…and no one bats an eyelid.”
GO-TO SHOP: Trunk, 8 Chiltern Street. Fryer describes this boutique, which carries a carefully edited selection of labels such as Kitsuné, Comme des Garçons and Beams Plus, as “a pretty cool men’s wear shop that people don’t really know about, but they should.”
FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Roast, The Floral Hall, Stoney Street. Located in Borough Market, it offers an organic take on hearty British classics such as beef Wellington and roast Lancashire chicken. “You’re in the middle of this amazing food market, so it’s pretty lively and buzzy,” he says.
WHERE TO RELAX: The Royal Court Theatre, 50-51 Sloane Square. “It’s a great place if you want to see something fresh, as they really support a lot of the new, young writers,” says Fryer. “It has a really nice bar and café that’s a good place to hang out.”
PREFERRED HANGOUT: Nightjar, 129 City Road. “A really cool little speakeasy place.” Fryer recommends trying one of this bijou bar’s Prohibition-era cocktails: the Boxcar, a mix of gin, Cointreau and grenadine.
WHERE TO BRING A DATE: The Electric Cinema, 191 Portobello Road. This chic Edwardian cinema, with leather seats and tables for food and drink, serves sophisticated snacks, such as spinach and feta tarts, along with wines ranging from Pinot Noir to Prosecco.
James Brown played soccer professionally in Perugia, Italy, until an injury forced him to ponder next steps. With a father who was “very much part of the whole Mod thing,” he had always been drawn to edgy fashion but found that London’s retail scene had grown stale. This prompted him to open Hostem, on Redchurch Street in East London, in 2010. Among the store’s labels are Rick Owens, Mastermind Japan and Haider Ackermann. Not that Brown wears all those brands. “I like a uniform, so my clothes are quite similar,” he says. “A cropped pair of trousers and a little jacket. I tend to wear my clothes to death.”
GO-TO SHOP: Ally Capellino, 9 Calvert Avenue. “I buy pretty much all of my Christmas and birthday presents here,” Brown says. The boutique is known for its stylishly simple leather accessories for men and women.
FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Rochelle Canteen, Arnold Circus. “It’s like a hidden secret—you just buzz on the gate and go in,” he says of this lunch-only restaurant. “The menu changes every single day, depending on what’s fresh.”
WHERE TO RELAX: Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Off Petersham Road. Richmond, Surrey.
This quintessentially English garden and nursery is set on the banks of the River Thames. There’s also a renowned café where Australian chef Greg Malouf serves delicate Middle Eastern–inspired dishes. A great way to take a break from London without traveling very far.
PREFERRED HANGOUT: Lounge Bohemia, 1E Great Eastern Street. Brown loves the “old-school feel” of this Czech-inspired bar filled with Sixties furniture.
WHERE TO BRING A DATE: The Loft Project, Unit 2A Quebec Wharf, 315 Kingsland Road. This supper club, run by chef Nuno Mendes and his partner Clarise Faria, invites chefs from around the world to cook for an intimate dinner party of 12. The experience is “really special,” says Brown.
Xavier Sheriff and his partner Gemma Ruse established their retail design business, Studio XAG, in 2009. Since then, they’ve created a host of inventive installations — from model butterflies fluttering in a glass case in Topshop’s Oxford Circus store to a carousel of Christian Louboutin shoes at Selfridges. “We’ve come into the industry at a point where there’s loads of craft and interesting aesthetics,” says Sheriff, who studied product design at London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins. Although he grew up in North London, Sheriff says he feels more at home in Hackney, East London, the culturally diverse neighborhood where he lives now: “There’s always something going on.”
GO-TO SHOP: Rocket barbershop, 401 Hackney Road. A Fifties-style barbershop with a jukebox playing Led Zeppelin and a vintage Morris Minor car installed in one corner, Rocket has what Sheriff looks for in a store — an interesting interior. He also favors the appointment-only boutique LN-CC in Dalston, Hostem in East London and Topman’s General Store boutique in Shoreditch.
FAVORITE RESTAURANT: A Little of What You Fancy, 464 Kingsland Road. An under-the-radar spot that serves pancakes for breakfast and modern British cuisine for dinner. “It’s like eating at someone’s house who’s a really good cook,” says Sheriff.
PREFERRED HANGOUT: The Hemingway, 84 Victoria Road. A quirky pub with an encyclopedic array of spirits.
WHERE TO BRING A DATE: The Corner Room, The Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square. Sheriff describes this bistro — a low-key sister to the upscale Viajante, which is located in the same hotel — as “chilled out, with no tablecloths and bow ties.”