As the city plays host to London Fashion Week Men, much of the industry focus will be on St James’s, beneficiary of a £500 million redevelopment programme and concerted effort by The Crown Estate to bring international contemporary menswear brands to sit alongside the established world-renowned British heritage brands trading in St James’ since the 1600s.

Today’s discerning male consumer is wearing a highly personal curated look, mixing the best of contemporary and heritage menswear. This is a result of the consumer being better educated about menswear, more confident and having developed the skill to choose their own personal style and look. London and in particular St James’ and the streets around Jermyn Street are uniquely placed to offer this “sartorially aware” man both contemporary and heritage brands from which to choose his look and St James’s has been the recipient of increased traffic as a result.
To meet this emerging trend The Crown Estate identified a number of brands, retailers and influencers suitable to make St James’s their home. Recent contemporary arrivals in the area include John Smedley, Norwegian Rain, Jigsaw Emporium and the newly opened pop-up from Wonderland magazine.

Dylan Jones, Chairman of London Fashion Week Men and Editor of British GQ, commented “Menswear in St James’s has never been more exciting, or more comprehensive. The younger consumer wants to create their own look pulled from both the heritage brands in the area and the newly arrived brands. There is now a retail offering that is clearly a response to the swell of popular interest in dressing well at any age.”

Style-mecca Dover Street Market relocated from Mayfair to St James’s in March 2016 cementing St James’s appeal to contemporary consumers. This week leading British designer Lou Dalton will hold her January 2017 men’s showcase in St James’s Market, The Crown Estates’ most recently opened £520million, a development in partnership with Oxford Properties. Lou Dalton commented “I am delighted to be able to show my collection in St James’s this season. The area is in the unique position of being able to offer best-in-class heritage menswear alongside some outstanding contemporary brands.”
With the menswear market forecast to grow by 22.5% to reach £17.2billion by 2020 the importance of the industry is clear. St James’s Portfolio Manager Anthea Harries commented “The arrival of contemporary brands has been a key driver in our strategy for St James’s. Having world-renowned, traditional brands alongside cutting-edge fashion allows us to widen our appeal and exposes more consumers to the exciting retail offering in St James’s. ”

St James’s Market is the latest redevelopment to be delivered as part of The Crown Estate’s wider strategic vision for the St James’s portfolio. The landmark development occupies the area between Regent Street St James’s and Haymarket, boasting luxury office space alongside lifestyle retail and seven new restaurants centered around a reinvigorated public square. Flagship shopping includes ASSOS, Paul & Shark and SMEG and bespoke restaurant concepts are seen from Anzu, Aquavit, Veneta and Ole & Steen.

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