Anyone who has ever taken an interest in London fashion has most likely been to—or really wanted to go to—Browns boutique on the city's South Molton Street. Since opening in 1970, it's long been a hive of young designer activity and a trailblazer when it comes to stocking high-fashion labels first. Co-founder Joan Burstein—or Mrs. B as everyone in the industry so fondly calls her—can be credited with stocking the likes of John Galliano and Alexander McQueen before anyone else.
Now, Browns is going through another exciting phase, with a gigantic relaunch swinging into action as we type. From the logo through to the website, from a whopping 68 new brands on offer through to a revamped in-store experience, there's a LOT going on that you'll want to know about. A year ago Holli Rogers (previously of Net-a-Porter) took the reins as CEO, and the store has already seen triple digit growth—so if any fashion team knows a thing or two about what really sells in London, it's her crew.
Which is why we've tapped the store's inside talents to find out what the ultimate London-girl shopping list looks like today. Keep reading to see what the Browns buyers have up their (probably Vetements) sleeves…
1. the it bag
"Like so many others, I am obsessed with Jonathan’s Pierce bag, and this studded version is top of my wish list! It’s been such a coveted piece this season," says Ida Petersson, Browns accessories buying manager.
2. a loud coat
"Winter is the time for an investment coat and this one is a street style favourite with its oversize proportions and the print of the season, check. Jacquemus is a brand on every in-the-know Britsh fashion girl’s radar, so this blue-and-white check coat is a great purchase," explains Laura Larbalestier, Browns buying director.
3. above-average ankle boots
"Metallic footwear is having such a moment right now. These incredible gold ankle boots instantly puts a smile on anyone’s face. This pair from Maryam Nassir Zadeh has been particularly popular," says Ida.
4. re-worked jeans
"These jeans are the result of Re/Done’s collaboration with Man Repeller. They are the jeans of the season. Made from recut vintage denim, there is a cool girls staple for any denim devotee," says Laura.
5. an oversize sweatshirt
"Vetements is the hottest brand of the moment and the go-to place for your statement sweatshirt. We’ve seen this piece worn by some the biggest street style stars, British girls included," reveals Laura.
5. stilettos you can last in
"I love the angle of the heel on these pumps. Worn with stirrup pants, this is one look that we’ll be seeing all the way through to spring," says Ida.
6. any kind of perfect-fit blazer
Laura breaks it down: "This immaculately cut blazer covers off two key trends for the season—animal print and tailoring are both must-haves. This blazer is made in Italy and has clever inside pockets, so there’s no need for a bag—one design detail that we know British girls love!"
7. the zip-up track top
"This is the perfect illustration of where fashion meets activewear. We love the mix of lace with this classic sportswear jacket. It’s the perfect casual statement piece. What’s more, it was inspired by Queen Elizabeth (by way of Damon Albarn), which gives even more reason for this to be a piece on top of every British girl's shopping list," explains Laura.
8. the scarf that uplifts all dark outfits
"Extra-long scarves were all the rage on the A/W 16 runways, and this Gucci version is my absolute favourite. Now the cold weather has hit, it is the perfect update to any British winter wardrobe," says Ida.
9. The Pretty-grunge skirt
"Sandy Liang’s A/W 16 collection is full of flirty shapes and kitsch prints that perfect that tomboy attitude. We love her tomboy skater girl–meets-feminine uniform. This asymmetric ruffled skirt is one of her must-have pieces," says Laura.
10. A motif tee
"What do you get when you mix a band T-shirt with postmodern starchitects and Tank magazine? You get the coolest tees ever. Exclusive to Browns, at least one of these deserves a spot in any wardrobe," says Laura.
Opening Image: Sandra Semburg