10 things you didn’t know about the NCP in Soho

First it was Notting Hill, then Shoreditch; the theory goes that wherever the artists go, fashion types follow. Perhaps then, it was Soho’s street artists who lured the style-makers to the capital’s newest hot spot: the NCP Car Park on Soho’s Brewer Street. If, like the rest of us, you were a little surprised by the new home for London Fashion Week, here are ten things to love about Fashion’s ugly duckling.


1. It’s got history
The facade of the iconic art deco multi-storey dates back to 1929, when it was known as the Lex Garage.

2. So much history, in fact, no-one can mess with it.
Back in 2002, NCP planned an £80m revamp for the spot, but ended up in a row with English Heritage, which pleaded for it to remain untouched, calling it an “important example of early motoring history.”


3. It’s fancy, or at least it used to be.
During its car parking heyday, the Brewer Street site boasted separate rooms for chauffeurs (this is the West End, dahling!) and changing rooms for ladies.


4. Simon Cowell once worked here…
Long before his X Factor and chest-high trouser wearing days, mogul-man Simon Cowell set up one of his first business ventures here. After leaving EMI in the early eighties, Cowell formed E&S Music, with his EMI boss, Ellis Rich. The pair produced a number of hits and worked out of an office in a converted gentleman’s washroom in the car park.


5. It’s always been stylish
Henry Holland sparked a trend by showcasing his 2010 collection here, and he’s been back for more since then, as have Antonio Berardi and Richard Nicoll. The big wigs approve too, in February the BFC held the International Fashion Showcase here, featuring 110 emerging designers.


6. It’s a darling of the art world too
The space has become so synonymous with creativity, that it’s now home of The Vinyl Factory, a dedicated home for audio-visual shows, events and installations.


7. Architecturally, it’s in good company
The original architect, JJ Joass also designed and built a number of other commercial landmarks across London, including Whiteley’s in Bayswater and Regent Street’s Mappin & Webb.


8. Location, Location, Location
Its West End locale fulfills a brand goal for LFW to provide an “epicentre for city-wide fashion celebration with close proximity to major retail spaces.” Wintour et al will be able to shop between schedules, since the new Fashion Park is located within just a mile of Bond Street, Regent Street and Dover Street.

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9. It won’t just host the shows
The car park, which is so weeny it only offers 100 parking bays, will feel pretty cosy as it will also be used for LFW guest registration and a photographers area, plus space for press, buyers and sponsors. Elbows in people.


10. It’s a blank canvas
The British Fashion Council’s CEO, Caroline Rush, hopes the new space will inspire designers to let loose with their creativity. “The new and exciting venue has already been dubbed as Brewer Street’s ‘Fashion Park’ and will offer freedom and flexibility to designers who will be able to transform the show space to reflect their own aesthetics and identity.”