In the pre-Shoreditch era, when East and West London were distinctly split between two tiers of economic and racial classes, those that grew up in London’s west end were shy to step foot past their geographical boundaries. Touted for being unsafe and rundown, the East still had one thing to offer in an urban and populated city, which was industrial floor space, a beacon for the city’s artistic community. Today, London’s east side faces a growing concern for its working-class population; gentrification has been increasing in speed as capital began riding on culture’s coattails.
Hoxton, the origin of London’s cultural scene came to life in the 1990s. With property prices continually rising, those that did not belong to the 1% or the upper-middle class genre, namely artists and creatives, flocked to the area; attracted by vacant warehouses and workshops and affordable standards of living. This budding ecosystem can be seen repeated in London’s new up-and-coming creative areas – a formula of cheaper property prices and abundance of space. This creative community lying in Hoxton began to form its own scene, a touch of edgy-cool and the cutting edge.
The lifeblood of this area has housed many of London’s fashion designers; the late Alexander McQueen had thrived in this neighborhood, his workshop and home set-up in the East end. The list of famed fashion personalities synonymous with London’s fashion industry that had been part of this ecosystem includes Christopher Kane, Gareth Pugh and Vivienne Westwood - Westwood’s company,struggling in the early 90s was run in a small shop space based on Camden High Street. The backlash against its rich neighbors was the perfect grounds to which expression; creativity and experimentation grew and ultimately defined London’s fashion scene and its established designers.
Now the Hoxton-Shoreditch area is known for its ‘hipster’ appeal, where tourists and local frequent brick lane for the recently opened over-hyped ‘Cereal Killer Café’ to the artisanal coffee shops on offer. The upper-middle class has now edged its way in, to exploit cheaper property prices and to become a part of its edgy appeal, while those that have refurbished this area have moved to Hackney, Dalston and Peckham, places that too are in danger of gentrification.
紳士階級化已經成為該地區最關心的問題，但同時也有助於倫敦文化的豐富與發展。哈克尼，達爾斯頓和佩卡姆區域的設計師包括有Jonathan Saunders, Holly Fulton, 和 James Long。這些重要地區已經被創意園區接手，成為今天的藝術聚集地。由於臨近地區的上層階級入侵，這些文化藝術區的房地產發展也在增加價格，因而成為了一個階級發展的惡性循環。那這對一個城市將來的時尚藝術業發展意味著什麼？倫敦是否能夠繼續保持其藝術的真實性？
Although gentrification is a growing concern for locals in the area, it has also been a helping hand in enriching London’s culture. Designers from the Hackney, Dalston and Peckham areas include those such as Jonathan Saunders, Holly Fulton, and James Long. These rundown areas taken over by creative due to displacement from London’s richer areas have built London’s artisanal culture to what it is today. With its upper-class neighbors becoming drawn towards these cultural areas creating a rise in property development, this vicious cycle of gentrification continues. What does it mean for the city’s future fashion and art industry and will London be able to keep its cultural authenticity?