Well, this is an improvement on the crappy phone shop that was here before. And a clever use of what’s essentially a weird cylindrical building on a grotty roundabout. I’m also taking it as further proof that Shoreditch does the best coffee in London.
If the nickname is deserved and this area is silicone roundabout, packed with technology start-ups, then it’s the perfect location for a venture like this, saving all those hipsters the trouble of schlepping into Shoreditch proper. It also provides something nice to look at in a spot that frankly needs it. I can’t tell you how many bewildered tourists I encounter round here asking, ‘Where’s Shoreditch?’ who, having been promised a hub of arty groovy hipness, are surprised to find themselves on a dirty main road home to Peacocks, Argos and a Shell garage.
APC has opened in Shoreditch’s fashionable Redchurch Street, which is great news if you love its pared-down schoolgirl aesthetic and don’t mind paying 80 quid for a stripey T-shirt. It’s a bit man repeller, but I like APC because it makes me feel chic and Gallic, and does a nice line in playsuits for the over-30s.
Check that forgiving longer length!
But the Redchurch Street shop is disappointing, stocking a small, slightly half-arsed collection. Unless this is a soft opening and they’re planning on shipping in a ton more stock, it’s not worth travelling out of your way for – the Mayfair branch is way better.
I don’t know what it is about well-known brands that move into Shoreditch, but they don’t seem to make much effort. Take the Nike store that opened to zero fanfare in Bateman’s Row, a tiny side street that attracts precisely no passing trade. Surprise, surprise, nobody came, and now it’s closed down. They clearly wanted to attract a crowd that would rather eat tramp sick than visit the Oxford Circus branch but still, you can be too underground.
I’m guessing these brands want to dip their toes in and have a presence in that trendy Shoreditch, without actually parting with any cash. Hence the new Boxpark concept, due to open
as soon as they can flog the retail space this summer in a wasteland next to Shoreditch High Street overground. It’s billed as ‘the world’s first pop-up shopping mall’ and the Standard has already written an unnecessarily sneery piece slating the idea. I disagree – it’s replacing a depressing piece of wasteland, not Xanadu. My objection is only that I can foresee it being a bit crap, housing all those brands that think they’re trendy but aren’t – the G-Stars, Diesels and Superdrys of this world. The Carnaby Street brigade, in other words.