Exciting fashion district, Hackney Walk has signed a collection of new retail labels as part of the regeneration project, creating a rival to designer outlet Bicester Village.
Hackney Walk is London’s first luxury discount fashion outlet district which combines fashion retail, commercial office and studio space for global and UK fashion brands. It is a major urban regeneration of East London, with Hackney Walk’s Victorian railway arches renovated to host the new range of designer labels.
Set in the heart of one of East London’s increasingly exciting districts, it is becoming more accessible to residents and tourists alike. London Fields and Broadway Market are less than five minutes walk away, with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Stratford less than 10 minutes away. The transport links, including London Overground lines and bus services, close to Hackney Central serve the West End, Islington Upper Street and Stratford.
The concept for Hackney Walk dates back to the 2011 riots, when the area was ravaged by looting. The urban regeneration scheme was developed by Hackney Walk Holdings and ICG-Longbow, who are being supported by Hackney Council, Network Rail, the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority, as part of a larger regeneration plan for East London. The GLA and Hackney Council invested £2 million, from the post-riot regeneration fund, to turn the area into a fashion retail centre for East London. Network Rail spent a further £4 million to restore the arches that are used to house the new fashion labels signed to the outlet.
Four architects worked on the design, which included David Adjaye Associates, Waugh Thistleton, Pringle Richards Sharratt and Studio Egret West. It was architect David Adjave who revamped the Victorian railway arches between Homerton and Hackney Central train stations to create 12 retail units which house the new names in the outlet. Two larger spaces in the development were created by Manhattan Loft Corporation and house bigger brands such as Nike. The architectural palette throughout this part is heavily influenced by industrial works due to the exposed bricks, bronze metal works, glass and polished steel.
The shopping outlet district has units that feature a wide range of retailers. This year the outlet signed eight new brands which are now housed within the recommissioned Victorian arches. These include the footwear brand UGG, luxury menswear label Gieves & Hawkes, luxury Italian cashmere brand Colombo, MATCHESFASHION.COM, Joseph and the stylish menswear boutique Present will also stock Stone Island, CP Company and Woolrich. The accessories brand Folli Follie is also set to open soon. Nike is also another recent addition which is over three storeys high.
All eight are in units that range in size from 1,500 to 1,800sqft. Opened in mid-July, they joined other luxury fashion brands such as Pringle of Scotland, Anya Hindmarch London, Burberry, Bally and Aquascutum which were already established with units which opened nearby in 2013.
As well as shops, the district will also house many bars and restaurants. The first to open is ‘Legs’ which is founded by renowned East London chef Magnus Reid, who has recently starting venues in Shoreditch and New York.
‘Legs’ offers both locals and visitors to the site simple, delicious options for lunch and wine-focused, affordable dining in the evening. Beneath the main restaurant space, a ‘maker’s basement’ has been established where the team and select partners hand-craft some of the products sold at ‘Legs’ such as vermouth for the bar, curing and pickling for the kitchen. The menu for ‘Legs’ changes daily and is driven by seasonality and quality produce. The restaurant also focuses on small independent producers.
For this outlet, brand equity is key and brands will have the ultimate platform to deliver new concepts and innovation within one of London’s most exciting communities. Hackney Walk aims to support the local community by providing around 450 retail jobs and offering pop-up spaces to pioneering fashion, food, and creative entrepreneurs. Many of the retail jobs will be placed by Hackney Council’s ‘Ways into Work’ team following a major fashion retail-training programme.
The Hackney Shop is a permanent pop-up retail space for young local fashion designers to experience and learn how to sell their product in a supportive environment. There have been summer workshops hosted by the Stitch Academy, and free talks and master classes that have been curated by stylist Louby McLoughlin, led by some of London’s most exciting talents in the fashion industry. The workshops ran for five consecutive weekends from 23rd July and included talks by British menswear designer Katie Eary, founder of WAH Sharmadean Reid, BLEACH London owner Alex Brownsell, womenswear designer Holly Fulton and the girls behind ‘The Mushpit’. Mary Benson, formerly of Alexander McQueen, and Richard Nicoll also ran a workshop, whilst Henry Holland put on a talk followed by a Q&A session.
Fashion brands at Hackney Walk believe in brand equity and do things differently – they experiment, engage and contribute. The creative community involved in the business of fashion integrated within this will be a highly curated mix of iconic leisure, food and drink opportunities.