Brands including The North Face, Marimekko and WeSC are among the tenants setting up shop at Boxpark Shoreditch.
Were trying to get people to think about retail in a totally different way, Boxpark founder Roger Wade said.
Once he realised that shipping containers would make ideal modular retail units, Wade saw the potential for an unorthodox shopping centre that could attract tenants with flexible leases. A landlord with access to an unused railway goods yard completed the picture.
Boxpark will open on 3 December with 60 shops, restaurants and charity tenants.
Organisers are already planning new Boxparks in the UK and internationally, but the site of the inaugural Boxpark just across Bethnal Green Road from Shoreditch house is no accident. The complex is opening as the most luxurious fashion brands turn east. Prada, Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin are all eyeing retail space in Shoreditch. I can see Redchurch Street becoming the new Dover Street, Wade said.
No word on whether Mrs Prada would consider displaying her £1,000 handbags in a shipping container, but Wade said visitors shouldnt expect the typical high-street fare.
Weve turned down retailers that are normally anchors for shopping centres, he said. There needs to be an alternative to the high street and the traditional shopping centre, and thats what we hope to deliver.More