North London has been the home of fashion in London for many years. The areas around Islington, Stoke Newington and Hoxton have their own unique styles and offer creative, innovative fashions from a whole host of independent stores and boutiques.
Head a little further west and you’ll find some fantastic vintage and bargain fashion finds on the famous Portobello Road Market. Mingling in with the small independent fashionistas you’ll find some big names vying for attention amongst the rest of the market vendors.
Each area has something different to offer, so take a look through our guide and choose an area with a style that fits with your own take on fashion.
One of the most up-market areas in North London, Islington brands itself as a village rather than as a London borough. From the air, it almost looks like one with a village green and relatively small streets teeming with local people shopping and eating in the many boutiques and bars around the area.
The signature of Islington is minimal glamour, and this can be seen at one of its most sought-after boutiques – Wild Swans – on Cross Street. Established by Danish designer Caroline van Luthje, inside you will find the straightforward, clean lines and simple styling of Scandinavian designers in the clothing, shoes and jewellery on offer. A soothing ambiance with comfortable fitting rooms and fresh flowers make for a real shopping experience to remember.
Islington’s boutiques definitely offer the most refined style of our featured destinations and is the place to go to find timeless pieces to add to and enhance your wardrobe.
Stoke Newington, or Stokey as it’s affectionately known locally, is a centre for independent fashion boutiques. Alongside other independent stores including bookshops and non-chain restaurants, Stoke Newington has a loyal set of devotees to the cult of independent shopping who frequent its many stores.
One of the most celebrated outfitters in Stoke Newington is Hub, on Stoke Newington Church Street. Stocking men’s and women’s wear, the boutique stocks clothes from small independent designers and a range of shoes and accessories. Their Mimi Berry handbags are a particular find and come in a range of on-trend colours to co-ordinate with any outfit.
As a prime spot for young families, Stoke Newington also has a number of independent children’s fashion boutiques. Little People and Pink and Blue, both on Stamford Hill, stock a range of fashionable outfits for the kids in your life.
At the cutting edge of London fashion is Hoxton. The area has gone up in the world in the past few years, finding it elevated from salt-of-the-earth London heartland to the epicentre of art and fashion in North London. Designers such as Alexander McQueen have rubbed shoulders with modern artists like Tracy Emin and brought about a cultural revolution in this formerly neglected part of the city.
The Hoxton style – garish, mismatched prints and oversized plastic accessories – was a deliberate backlash against the polished Portobello princesses and Sloane Rangers from the West End, making a statement about using what was available to best effect. The area now plays host to the Hoxton Street Market, London’s only dedicated fashion market, just off Hoxton Square, every Saturday from 10am-6pm. Amongst its many stalls you will find only independent fashion designers offering clothing at the leading edge of style in London.
Hoxton is the fashion capital for young people, and if you’re looking for indie clubbing attire, this is the place to go.
North London has a whole range of fashionable districts that appeal to different people for different reasons. From timelessly stylish Islington through to trendy Hoxton, there’s somewhere for everyone to find a style that suits.