If shopping is your thing, London offers heaps of retail opportunity and essential English style. Here’s our guide to some of the best British Fashion brands, and a bit of history too.
FORTNUM & MASON, Piccadilly, W1
Established in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason, as a grocery store, Fortnum’s reputation was built on supplying high quality foods, which has endured through the centuries and granted them Royal Warrants. What was once a grocery store is today more of a department store, with fashion departments, restaurants and a celebrated tea shop. It’s definitely worth a visit to browse around the food halls and pick up essential English foods to take home.
BURBERRY, Regent Street, W1 An iconic British luxury fashion brand since 1856. Founded by 21 year old Thomas Burberry, a former draper’s apprentice, the men and Womenswear fashions shout quality and style. A Burberry trench coat, with its instantly identifiable checked lining, has long been a favourite with celebrities, royalty and the wealthy, and remains a fashion must-have item and has long been a favourite with celebrities, royalty and the wealthy.
PAUL SMITH, Notting Hill, W11 In 1970, aged 16, Paul Smith opened a tiny shop in his home town of Nottingham and went on to show his first menswear collection in Paris in 1976. Established as a pre-eminent British designer the fashion and shops reflect the character of Paul and his designs in their unmistakable Englishness. Each shop is a showcase for diverse and eccentric objects that complement the clothing collections. It’s worth having a browse round, even if you don’t intend to buy.
J BARBOUR & SONS, 214 Piccadilly, W1 What was clothing for a country lifestyle has become a very much ‘town or anywhere’ wear. Founded by John Barbour in 1894, the company’s waxed-cotton jackets are so well known that a ‘Barbour jacket’ is the name that describes the style, regardless f the manufacturer.
CATH KIDSTON, 180 Piccadilly, W1 (Flagship Store)
If you like the modern vintage style, you’ll love Cath Kidston – the colourful prints and designs for everyday, useful things: Homewares, bags, Womenswear and children’s fashion, have been much sought after since the first shop opened, near Notting Hill, in 1993. Today, the brand has over 65 stores in the UK and a growing store base worldwide.
Jaeger, Regent Street, W1 (Flagship Store)
Founded in 1884, Jaeger as remained a firm favourite for British-made fashion at more affordable prices than Savile Row or high-end designers. The company’s flagship store opened in the 1930’s and has remained a firm favourite for British-made fashion and quality using natural fibres and continues to be a central part of London’s fashion scene.
JACK WILLS, Carnaby Street, W1 The Jack Wills clothing brand launched in 1999 in Salcombe, Devon and was named after one of the co-founders’ grandparents. Targeting university students and using the slogan ‘University Outfitters’ it’s been a UK high street success story. Fifteen years later that ‘preppy’, college look, has become a fashion staple for British teenagers and is now marketed with the slogan ‘Fabulously British’.
MULBERRY, Bond Street, W1 Founded in 1971, and famous for it’s high quality designer leather bags, Mulberry quickly established itself as a British lifestyle brand. Today, the range includes male and female fashions, leather accessories and footwear.