The aptly-named “Boxpark” opened for business today along a vacant strip of east London’s fashionable Shoreditch High Street. It is composed of 60 standard-size shipping containers, stacked two stories high and five rows wide.
The park, which has taken a year to complete, is the brainchild of British entrepreneur Roger Wade, who made his fortune in the 1990s with another box-themed venture — the urban fashion label “Boxfresh.”
“These containers have a strong symbolism for me,” says Wade, during an interview inside one of the site’s impressively refitted “shoebox” shops.
“When I first started out selling clothes on a market stall, I dreamed of the day I’d be shipping my wares off to Hong Kong inside one of these,” he remarks. “Now I think it’s fitting that something so closely associated with global trade has ended up itself as a shop.”
But while Wade spends time enthusing about his love of the iconic sea cans’ “industrial aesthetic”– he’s also keen to stress that the Boxpark, which has a temporary lease of five years, is more than just a hip new retail experience.