Hub Gives Hackney New Luxury Hope?

New hub, Hackney Walk, under construction.
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Banners in Hackney; London's Fashion District.
Banners in Hackney; London’s Fashion District.

 

Luxury fashion brands are set to take over Hackney in May with the opening of a new fashion hub set to be London’s first high-end fashion outlet.

The new fashion hub, Hackney Walk, is 12 railway arches being given a make-over in Morning Lane in the centre of the borough. It has been designed by architect David Adjaye. Funding for the project has come from the Mayor of London and Network Rail, totalling just under £5million.

The new luxury hub is part of plans to regenerate Hackney, an area often labelled in the past as ‘deprived’ and ‘poverty stricken’. Throughout Hackney banners have been erected hailing it as ‘London’s Fashion District.’

 

The results from a poll after asking 100 people in Hackney whether they considered it to be 'London's Fashion District'?
Results from a poll asking 100 people whether they considered Hackney to be ‘London’s Fashion District’?

 

In March Nike, Matches Fashion, Joseph and Stone Island announced they would be opening stores in Hackney Walk, with more brands set to be revealed in the upcoming weeks.

Iconic British brand Burberry have been in the area for over 30 years and have recently been joined by numerous other fashion giants. Designers such as Anya Hindmarch, Christopher Kane and Henry Holland have opened stores and have studios based in the borough. Store manager of the Burberry outlet, Hale Karaturp, 26, said: “Now we’ve got other brands around us and we’ve got new buildings, it’s more of a location where people are gonna come for luxury retail.”

This move has seen an increase in overseas visitors to the capital coming to the area for shopping. Karaturp said: “We normally have coaches from China just to shop in this store. When it was first opened it wasn’t a place where people would come for luxury brands.”

Street style and East London, especially Hackney, are often associated together rather than luxury fashion. This raises raises the question of whether luxury fashion is an accurate representation or the borough and what the hub can do for locals.

Below are some Hackney street style pics. Click on images for full view.

 

Member of the community, Maria Turner, 34, said: “People from the community can’t make use of those shops, they are too expensive. We can’t shop in them but we can work in them? Big labels don’t represent Hackney and what it’s about.”

Hackney Walk is set to offer hundreds of locals employment opportunities through Hackney Council.

It also hopes to help local fashion – a scheme has been set up providing one local designer each year a free commercial space. London College of Fashion student Victoria Adkins, 19, said of the scheme: “It’s a great opportunity for up and coming designers, it gives us a chance that we normally would not have.”

New hub, Hackney Walk, under construction.
New hub, Hackney Walk, under construction.
The railway arches currently under construction.
The railway arches currently under construction.

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