Seasons of change in Old Street Station
1 Jun 2018
Who remembers the old Old Street Underground station? Just five years ago, it was an underground traffic roundabout of dark hallways lined with shuttered stores. A place you didn’t want to linger in. Today, that seems like a distant memory. The station we’ve come to know and love is a vibrant hub of independent shops, pop-up experiences and cafes that sees over 70,000 passersby every day.
In 2013, when Appear Here was only a year-old, TfL asked us how we might partner with them on their mission to make London’s tube journeys memorable for all the right reasons. Old Street station was the first to tackle on our list. Sitting on the doorstep of Shoreditch’s creative scene, at the epicenter of Silicon Roundabout and a stone’s throw away from the financial City, it connected some of London’s best destinations.
Our vision was to transform the urban space by curating it like a magazine, continuously populating it with new talent and content. We wanted to create a station that wasn’t afraid to take a point of view. Since then, over 500 new brands – of which over 80% have been independents – have appeared here. It has drawn attention from the likes of Vogue, Time Out and Monocle who named it one of their top 25 innovations in transport.
This year, the station continues to shapeshift with the seasons, showcasing exciting brands, ideas and experiences relevant to the moment. From Mental Health Week to London Jazz Festival, here’s what’s happening underground.
June – Health and wellness
Shifting into summer gear, we’re making space for nourishing our minds, bodies and souls – so that we can take care of ourselves and others in our communities. With a focus on Mental Health Week and Love Your Gut Week, Old Street station will be taken over by brands that share these values. Think: talks, workshops and exhibitions that lead up to a week-long events programme put on by MQ Mental Health Research.
July – Festival fever
Why travel abroad when all the things are happening on your doorstep? With World Cup fever kicking off and London Pride in full swing, it’s a time to celebrate summer city living. While passing through, why not catch a World Cup match screening, cool down with Chatime bubble tea or discover new brands like Edy and Bridge and Butterfly Twists. And if life just all gets too much, join us for a screaming match at Swear Box – this potty-mouthed pop-up put on by We Swear invites you to swear to tackle mental illness through research.
August – Sustainability matters
We’ve partnered with Know the Origin, an ethically sourced online fashion boutique and storytelling platform, to do a full station takeover focused on sustainability. Catch a series of talks and events that raise awareness of the fashion industry’s impact on the planet. Learn from and get inspired by a line-up of emerging designers who’re doing things differently, including ethical shoe brand Gandys, and more...
September – Fashion and design
With London Design Festival and London Fashion Week happening, September is all about appreciating excellent design. From crafted interiors to future-thinking products, we’ll feature brands that take design to a whole new level. The station will feature emerging design talent from around the world.
November – Vegan takeover
Veganism seems to be on its way to becoming the new normal. For the entire month of November, Old Street station will see a complete vegan takeover, showcasing forward-thinking brands and businesses. From food and drink to retail, they’ll come together for World Vegan Month. As London Jazz Festival swings in, we’ll have live jazz led by Empirical Jazz for commuters to enjoy all week.
December – Gift giving
‘Tis the season for gluttony and gift-giving. As commuters bustle from office to party, perhaps they’ll stumble upon something special for that someone special. Whether weeks in advance or at the very last minute, who would think of the underground station as a fantastic spot for Christmas shopping? Look out for quirky and surprising gift ideas, such as the Ginvent Gin advent calendar, the perfect way to sample G&Ts distilled by different makers in the run up to the holidays.
There’s still opportunity to get involved and appear at Old Street Underground. Apply for the seasons that best relate to your brand or story by selecting the dates on the Old Street space listing. Or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org