Oliver Spencer, Bloomsbury

London’s Lambs Conduit Street is a menswear stronghold that hosts a parade of credible independent stores including that of Oliver Spencer, who opened his shop here in 2006. Behind its restored Victorian façade, Spencer’s collection is hung among displays of butterflies and anatomical models. “I want it to be a cross between the Royal Geographical Society and a classroom: a little challenging,” he says. Spencer started in fashion in 1991 when he launched Favourbrook, a company specialising in traditional wedding garb. Over time, however, he started making very British clothing, often inspired by military and hunting outfits. This led to the launch of his eponymous line of menswear in 2002. The clothes are made in the UK and Portugal and most of the fabrics come from British mills. More recent additions to the brand include womenswear, shoes and eyewear. Mixed in with Spencer’s collection in the shop in Bloomsbury are offerings by the likes of Il Bussetto, New Balance and Sunspel.

58 and 62 Lambs Conduit Street, WC1N 3LW 
+44 (0)20 7269 6444

Trunk Clothiers and Trunk Labs, Marylebone

With two shops on Chiltern Street, Trunk is an integral part of the fabric of this well-turned-out neighbourhood. Trunk Clothiers was established in 2010 with a view to shaking up the capital’s menswear offering: the shop houses a range of brands from Japan, Scandinavia, the US, Italy and beyond, chosen with a keen eye for detail by Mats Klingberg. Look out for the latest by the likes of Boglioli, Barena, Mackintosh and Alden.

Just down the road at number 34 is Trunk Labs, an accessories shop for those looking to add a touch of style to their look, office or home. It is the only retailer outside Japan for Ichizawa Shinzaburo Hanpu bags and also stocks luggage by Rimowa and skincare products by Aesop. And full disclosure: the shop is a cousin to Monocle.

8 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PU 
+44 (0)20 7486 2357 

Dover Street Market, St James’s

In 2004, Adrian Joffe and Rei Kawakubo co-founded Dover Street Market, a sprawling multi-brand store in Mayfair that sold Comme des Garçons alongside a sartorial pick’n’mix of high-fashion, streetwear and workwear brands. “We thought if we jumbled it all up, like a modern version of Kensington Market, then people would be stimulated,” says Joffe, recounting its origin story. They thought right. The retail space ignited shoppers’ imaginations – there are now seven outlets in locations including Paris, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Beijing and Singapore. But make sure you drop by Dover Street Market in the city where it all began.

18-22 Haymarket, SW1Y 4DG
+44 (0)20 7518 0680

TwentyTwentyOne, Islington

This is a brand that has one foot in the modernist history of the past century and the other firmly in the contemporary trends of today. Founders Simon Alderson and Tony Cunningham are constantly on the hunt for the best in emerging design and established classics. The result is an enticingly eclectic collection that spans all aspects of furniture and homeware. The shop, located on Upper Street in Islington, is a treasure trove of discoveries while the lofty showroom on River Street displays all manner of larger pieces from their stable of designers.

274-275 Upper Street, N1 2UA 
+44 (0)20 7288 1996

Images: Andrew Urwin, Felix Brüggemann

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Monocle 24

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  • The Globalist