LONDON — The first weekend in January is never an easy one, but London has the antidote, with a lineup of streetwear and luxury stores and restaurants serving everything from classic British to Taiwanese food, all of which will be open during London Fashion Week Men’s.
END OF THE LINE: British property group Shaftesbury has expanded its retail portfolio, opening the first London outpost for the online men’s wear store, End. Occupying 9,000 square feet on the corner of Broadwick and Marshall Streets, the two-story glass-fronted space offers a range of collections from labels including Off-White, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Nike and Adidas Consortiums. The store, which already has units in Newcastle, England, and Glasgow, Scotland, features modern furnishings such as marble staircases and glass showcases.
End is part of a strategy by Shaftesbury to position Soho as a go-to destination for emerging brands. The company has been offering reasonable rents in the neighborhood, which is a few minutes’ walk from Oxford and Regent Streets. Shaftesbury has also helped to install Supreme, Palace, Carhartt and Dukes Cupboard, a multibrand retailer, in the neighborhood. Samantha Bain-Mollison, head of retail at Shaftesbury, has been driving the strategy. She describes End as “influential, with a renowned selection of directional and globally sourced men’s wear.” — Hannah Connolly
59 Broadwick Street
TAIWAN TASTER: Taiwanese restaurant chain Din Tai Fung, which specializes in xiao long bao, or steamed soup dumplings, has opened on Henrietta Street in Covent Garden. The restaurant already has 160 sites around the world. It doesn’t take reservations and hungry customers have waited up to five hours to get into the London outpost. The restaurant seats up to 250, and all ingredients are imported from Taiwan. The famous dumplings undergo a stringent process, passing through six stations of meticulous prep before being served. Warm lighting and wood furnishings make for a cozy spot for Taiwanese cuisine. — Hannah Connolly
Din Tai Fung
5 Henrietta Street
LET THERE BE LIGHT: Selfridges is forging ahead with its London store renovations, reimagining the retail experience along the way. One project is a new restaurant and bar called Brasserie of Light, which is located in a double-height space above the store’s revamped accessories department on Duke Street. It is operated by Caprice Holdings, the group behind some of London’s most famous restaurants such as The Ivy, Le Caprice and Scott’s, and it has set the bar high for Brasserie of Light. The Art Deco decor has been designed by the renowned architect Martin Brudnizki and displays London’s largest-scale artwork by Damien Hirst, a 24-foot crystal-encrusted sculpture of Pegasus. The menu, created by Portuguese chef Emanuel Machado, offers a mix of classic British and international dishes, including rib-eye steak, croque monsieur, and flat-iron chicken, and salted caramel brownies, just the sort of grub to sustain the serious shopper. It’s open all day, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and cocktails. — Natalie Theodosi
Selfridges, Duke Street Entrance
400 Oxford Street
GIVENCHY SETTLES IN: After dressing Meghan Markle in what was the biggest wedding of the year, Givenchy has marked another milestone, opening its first London flagship on New Bond Street. The store spans two 18th-century town houses, with triple frontage on Albemarle, Grafton and New Bond Streets. For those familiar with London real estate, the store is located in part of the Asprey flagship, which has downsized yet again.
The opening was a major move for Givenchy, which until now did not have a stand-alone home in London, but is stocked at Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Selfridges. The ground-floor entrance opens onto the Givenchy women’s wear and jewelry collections, while a red staircase leads to the Essential Room, which houses more ready-to-wear, shoes and evening attire. The men’s wear area is adorned with light green wall finishes and a wooden ceiling. There is also a dedicated space for urban streetwear. — Hannah Connolly
165 New Bond Street
BACK IN TIME: The Turbulent Thirties and its fashion — ranging from the influence of Hollywood films to the rise of suburbia — is the focus of the Fashion and Textile Museum’s latest exhibition called “Night and Day: 1930s Fashion and Photographs.” Split into different tableaux, the exhibition highlights the changing political and cultural landscape of the decade, and its impact on fashion. It was the decade when hemlines dropped, trouser suits increased in popularity and clothes reflected the mood of escapism and the increasing demand for rtw fashion. There are 100 looks on display, lent by Mark and Cleo Butterfield of C20 Vintage. There are also photographs by Cecil Beaton, including ones of Gary Cooper, Elsa Schiaparelli, Coco Chanel, model Mary Taylor and actress Gertrude Stein. The exhibition will remain open until Jan. 20. — Fiona Ma
“Night and Day: Thirties Fashion and Photographs”
Until Jan. 20
83 Bermondsey Street
RETAIL DETAIL: Selfridges and Harrods have been raising the game on men’s wear, with the former opening a concept space, complete with its own skate bowl, sound wall and men’s beauty area, and the latter revamping and consolidating its men’s wear offer. Selfridges’ Designer Street Room is an 18,000-square-foot area that operates on a 52-week calendar, which means that no brand is shackled to the space for very long — and Selfridges can keep moving brands in, out and around to keep the offer fresh. “Being flexible means we’re able to give brands space when they have product or when it’s relevant for them to be here,” said Bosse Myhr, Selfridges’ director of men’s wear and technology buying and merchandising. The mix of megabrands such as Gucci with niche London labels like A-Cold-Wall is meant to reflect the way people cross-shop today.
Harrods, meanwhile, is in the process of a major refurbishment that will see the men’s wear and sport departments take up the entire second floor of the store, covering 154,650 square feet by 2020. Men’s Superbrands, which covers 41,000 square feet, opened late last year in the debut of the seven-phase redevelopment, part of a storewide 200 million pounds investment. The men’s area has 19 brand boutiques including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Balenciaga and Ermenegildo Zegna. In February, Burberry will open with a concept designed by chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci, and in April, Dior will unveil the first Kim Jones boutique globally. — Samantha Conti