A simple phrase that I have always stood by is “inspired by street style – origin of all styles”.
After being based in Brick Lane in east London for the past 10 years, I’m still inspired and taken aback by this ever-changing street, which consists of people, food, lifestyle and, last but not least, fashion.
It is hard to say who or what is in fashion in Brick Lane, because everyone has their own style. It’s not about wealth, it’s about swagger.
Talking of fashion, there are so many cool boutiques to suit whatever budget you have. First stop for women has to be Blondie. You will find the best vintage clothing here, such as Cavalli, Hermès and Chanel. Less than 30 seconds away, on Dray Walk, there is A Butcher of Distinction for the guys, offering vintage Levi’s, Ralph Lauren and brogues.
If you are into your trainers, then it has to be Gloria’s. See, they even keep it East End with the name – in rhyming slang, Gloria Gaynor equals trainer. I’m not going into too much detail, but there’s everything you want in Gloria’s. It’s insane.
There are too many stores to mention. You have The Laden Showroom, stocking the flyest women’s and men’s wear plus all the new kids on the block. Just a stone’s throw away is The Concept Boutique, which sells styles by local designers with the odd piece of artwork also up for sale.
Brick Lane proves that there is plenty of life in indie retail in the fashion scene. There is so much variety that it is thriving here.
And it doesn’t stop there. As the day comes to an end, the night outfits emerge. Tuxedos and pipes, ra-ra skirts and Nikes. It’s the ever-changing face of the streetwear runway.
Walé Adeyemi is creative director at New Era Apparel