Last night despite the cold a queue of shoppers was forming in front of The BOX in Hackney eagerly awaiting the pre-opening of...
If you like dressing up, you will love The BOX
Get ready for some serious retail therapy at London’s latest dapper fashion destination,The BOX. As you might expect from the cool kids eastside, where they are always ahead of the game, there is a lot of excitement bubbling around the newly developed Hackney Walk area. So it’s no wonder the hottest labels are lining up to get in on the action and let the fashion savvy public snap up some of their best sellers at discount prices.
Imagine your favourite sample sale, but in a premium, spacious venue, with plenty of mirrors and elbow room for rummaging- and thank your lucky stars, as this is what has just opened up in E9.
With Hackney Walk becoming a hotbed for creative types, founder of the new venture, Natalie Basrawy (ex Mr Porter and My-Wardrobe.com), has brought her vast experience of luxury brands to fashion-savvy shoppers in East London (and further afield). Spying a gap in the market for premium label stores in the borough of Hackney, along with lots of trendy residents- marrying the two seemed to make perfect sense.
It’s great to see the east-west divide shrinking- and that equals lots of happy shoppers. Working with the creative talents of Matthew Murphy, from the OTHER/shop and b STORE, the forward thinking pair swooped in to fill a gap in the market, and make the most of this rapidly emerging area.
Pick up a bargain
The BOX is the place to find in-season samples, catwalk pieces, limited edition pieces and one-offs at a snip of the retail price (up to 80% off), and who doesn’t love a designer investment? Set in boutique-style surroundings, the clean and airy showroom is nothing like the cluttered and claustrophobic sales you might be used to.
Each designer sets up a pop up store, rather than a hit n miss jumble sale, and there are super useful preview nights where you can see the collections up close and personal and get first dibs on the best pieces, so it’s win-win if there is something you have your eye on; You’ve got to be in it to win it as they say in fashionland, and this VIP treatment will make you feel like a princess. You are also guaranteed new stock and a great selection of brands every time you visit. So you can grab a gift for the most important person in your life (yourself!) or your friends…
With a lounge area (for weary partners), bathrooms, and a chilled out atmosphere, this place is heaven for those who love to shop til they drop. And when you do drop, you only have to pop next door for some food, or to one of the nearby bars.
Even better news. You don’t have to be a supermodel to hit these sample sales. Miraculously, you don’t have to strip on the shop floor and fight for mirror space whilst keeping your third eye on your handbag. There are private changing rooms and plenty of mirrors. Plus helpful and knowledgeable staff to assist with style advice and sizes, which is almost unheard of in many of the fast fashion pop ups.
Taking Fashion East
Not just catering for East London’s fashionistas, the area of Hackney Walk is a regenerated part of London that is one of those up and coming places, that is on the verge of being the next big thing. Close to Broadway Market, Dalston and Columbia Road Flower Market, means that you can have a relaxing morning, afternoon or whole day out in the area, or if you are lucky enough to live there already, you can go and hang out at the ever increasing art/culture pop ups or cinema or vintage fairs.
Morning Lane might not spring to mind when you think of premium brands, but it is cooler than Westfield, and it’s got hotter brands than hitting central. The location of Hackney Walk gives it a unique and edgy vibe.
If you have ever experienced a sample sale witch hunt, don’t be put off. There’s no need to bring any buns for a bun fight, and you don’t need to come with sharpened elbows and an attitude! Do come with an open mind, and lots of stamina- this is probably the biggest and most seductive shopping trip you have ever taken part in.
Whether you’re a fan of the classics, or are looking for something unusual, the lineup is always fresh. Every week offers something different for your fashion fix, and with the likes of Liberty London, Gieves & Hawkes, Peter Jensen, Isabel Marant and Être Cécile, along with heavy duty faves, you are going to be one step ahead of even your most fashionable friends.
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Walk this way to Hackney Walk
Hackney Walk is a new development and consists of twelve beautifully converted Victorian railway arches next to Hackney Central Station.
If I said the Burberry Outlet, you might have heard of it, but there are also several other big players who have snapped up premises in the area. The BOX is nestled between the Burberry, Nike and Aquascutum outlet stores on Hackney’s Morning Lane, and MATCHESFASHION, Gieves & Hawkes, Joseph, Zadig & Voltaire, Folli Follie, BLK DNM, Wolsey and Nicole Farhi are all in the area.
Make a day of it
Thankfully, the fashion gods have realised that fashionistas don’t shop well under pressure, and the sample sales have extended opening times. Meaning you can celebrate your bargains with some tasty treats at Legs restaurant, or newly opened Silver Lining or cocktails at neighbouring Every Cloud. If healthy fast food is more your thing, ‘Temple of Hackney’ Hackney’s first vegan fried chicken shop has got to be tried to be believed.
Take your mum, partner or group of mates and make a day of it. You could even soak up some history and visit the Sutton House and Breakers Yard- a National Trust Grade II*-listed Tudor manor house in Homerton High Street whilst you’re in the area.
The BOX is only a short walk from Hackney Central and Hackney Downs, both in Zone 2. It takes 15 minutes to Dalston, Shoreditch and Hoxton, 22 minutes to Oxford Circus and 15 minutes to Liverpool Street and Kings Cross.
Address: 4 - 6 Ram Place, London, E9 6LT
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