Shoppers Guide To The Olympic City
Fashion fans heading to London during the upcoming Olympic Games will be spoiled for choice when it comes to indulging in their favorite pastime. Check out Relaxnews's guide to the best places to shop in the UK capital, from pop-up shops to luxury department stores.
Situated at the gateway to London's Olympic Park, it is estimated that 70 percent of spectators will pass through Westfield Stratford City, which opened in September 2011 and is Europe's largest urban shopping center with leading London stores such as LK Bennett and Jaeger as well as international labels including Prada and Tommy Hilfiger.
London department store Liberty, which was named number one of the 100 best shops in London by Time Out last year, will debut its first pop-up store at the mall, running May 28-September 12. Situated in main promenade The Street, the shop will echo Liberty's prestigious flagship store on Marlborough Street.
Shoppers looking to escape the bustle of the Olympic neighborhood should visit the more tranquil Westfield Shepherds Bush in the West of the city, which hosts high-end section The Village, with stores including Dior, Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo.
Or there is of course the famous Oxford Street in the center of town, which welcomes over 100 million shoppers from 200 countries every year and hosts flagships from high street retailers including American Apparel, Topshop, Urban Outfitters and H&M.
There, you will also find some of the city's best department stores, such as Selfridges. This will host the ‘Wonder Windows' program during July and August -- showcasing the Britain Creates 2012 Exhibition, where leading designers such as Paul Smith and Matthew Williamson have each teamed up with a leading contemporary artist to create a work of art to represent London as a capital for creative excellence.
Shoppers in the pursuit of somewhere less mainstream should try the Boxpark pop-up mall in the Shoreditch neighborhood, which brings together independent streetwear labels including Abuze and Boxfresh. The mall will be showing free musical performances from some of London's best rising talents during the Olympic Games, and on August 1 will launch an exclusive exhibition to allow tourists to meet local London art critics and artists.
Meanwhile, ladies looking for a quirkier aesthetic should head to the eclectic markets in the East of the city such as Brick Lane and Spitalfields, whose array of quirky independent retailers regularly attract Brit style icons such as Alexa Chung and Florence Welch.