Start is not one but two of the hippest clothing stores in London. Holding two storefronts down the street from each other in the city's trendy Hoxton enclave, Start carries an eclectic mix of styles for both men and women. Being more interested in the men's options, I popped into 59 Rivington Street (the original space) and found an amazing collection of designers from England, the Continent and abroad. The shop is owned by Philip Start (founder of menswear chain Woodhouse) and Brix Smith (former guitarist for the Fall in the '80s). Their backgrounds in fashion and music seamlessly intersected with the burgeoning artist, design and rocker cliques of Hoxton to create this little fashion haven.
Set on two floors, the shop itself is easy to navigate and aesthetically appealing, with exposed brick, a mix of patterns on the wall, dark wood displays and even a neon sculpture. For men looking for anything and everything, from accessories and shoes to suits, topcoats and hats, Start has it. It features wares from Miu Miu, Rykiel Homme, Comme des Garcon, PRPS, U-Boat watches, Mario Mateo, Tretorn sneakers, Nicolo Ceschi Berrini sweaters (so yummy!), REN Skincare -- not to mention the bespoke suit option and extensive denim selection. Start is a veritable men's department store whose presence only ups the cool factor in this uber-hot area. This could be London's answer to Barneys CO-OP -- at least until it crosses the pond.
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