Carnaby Street derives its name from Karnaby House which was built in 1683 to the east. It is not known why the house was so named. The street was probably laid out in 1685 or 1686. First appearing in the ratebooks in 1687, it was almost completely built up by 1690 with small houses. A market was developed in the 1820s. In his novel, Sybil (1845), Benjamin Disraeli refers to “a carcase-butcher famous in Carnaby-market“.
In 1934, Amy Ashwood Garvey and Sam Manning opened the Florence Mills Social Club,a jazz club that became a gathering place for supporters of Pan-Africanism,at number 50.
The first boutique, His Clothes, was opened by John Stephen in 1958 after his shop in Beak Street burned down and was followed by I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet, Kleptomania, Mates, Ravel, and others.
By the 1960s, Carnaby Street was popular with followers of the mod and hippie styles. Many independent fashion boutiques, and designers such as Mary Quant, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin, Lord John, Merc, Take Six, and Irvine Sellars had premises in the street and various underground music bars such as the Roaring Twenties opened in the surrounding streets. Bands such as the Small Faces, The Who, and Rolling Stones appeared in the area to work (at the legendary Marquee Club round the corner in Wardour Street), shop, and socialise, it became one of the coolest destinations associated with 1960’s Swinging London.
Carnaby brings you over 150 international and British heritage labels, independent boutiques, one-off concepts, cult beauty emporiums, grooming salons and bespoke jewellery specialists.
you can follow up with everything and anything new going on at Carnaby Market on the main website: