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To be fashionable these days, it seems you need to be in pop-up format. Walls, foundations and just plain standing still have become deeply uncool, due to a recent flurry of fold-away activity, from eateries to bars, boutiques to parties. Smith HQ jumped on the (unstable) bandwagon a while ago – we’ve lusted after vintage gems at the Pelham‘s vintage boutique, rummaged through the annual Brooklyn fleamarket and quaffed gin cocktails at the Hendrick’s Horseless Carriage of Curiosities. So we’re more than excited to share our latest pop-up swap-shop tip-off: Wish You Were Here, brought to our attention by consummate cool-hunters, The Future Laboratory.

Find NY chic at Carnaby Street in October

Wish You Were Here is a collaboration between two of the coolest kids on the global shopping block: London’s Newburgh Quarter, Carnaby Street, and New York’s Lower East Side. These two creative hubs are sending some of their finest home-grown shops to set up temporary residence on each other’s turf. (A bit like when you were at school and parcelled off to France on a foreign exchange programme, only a whole lot cooler.)

The Face, Newburgh Street, and one of its offbeat Brit creations

Currently, pop-up outposts of London stores (including Cowshed, Twenty8Twelve, Dolly Dare, Fred Perry, the Face, Concrete and Savage London) are plying their wares in LES, bringing louche London style to Manhattan. The pop-ups boutiques will fly the banner for Britain until 13 September, when there will be a wrap party on Orchard Street. The all-day shindig will have a God Save the Queen theme, and bands from both sides of the pond will be performing.

Wish You Were Here will host a NY-style breakfast

Then in October, NY will be returning the favour, dispatching hip Big Apple labels such as Earnest Sewn, In God We Trust, By Robert James, Still Life, Wendy Mink Jewellery and Reed Space to set-up shop(s) on the Newburgh Quarter. Again, there’ll be a bevvy of events and parties, including a ‘lifestyle event’ launch on the morning of Saturday 3 October, with coffee and bagels served up on Newburgh Street. There will also be a block party and a closing night bash.

See New York with your own eyes

If you don’t recognise some of the designers mentioned, don’t be surprised – many have never traded outside their own country before, so this pop-up partnership is a bit of an exclusive. However, in case you should prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, visiting shops with longevity and seeing a city with your own eyes, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite West End and East Side hotels below…

The Haymarket Hotel's reception

Haymarket Hotel
London, United Kingdom

Style Witty British bolthole
Setting Theatreland thoroughfare

Country‑house charm meets London sophistication at this central boutique hotel right on Piccadilly Circus. Kit Kemp’s quirkily colourful interiors, an eye-popping indoor pool-cum-bar and a made-for-people-watching restaurant make the Haymarket Hotel a lavish and relaxing base from which to explore the city’s world-class theatres, shops and galleries.

Room 102 at the Covent Garden Hotel

Covent Garden Hotel
London, United Kingdom

Style Low-key London luxury
Setting West End world

The wonderful thing about Covent Garden Hotel is that while it caters for the well-heeled, it also works hard at a genuinely laid-back, home-from-home atmosphere.

The Penthouse living room at the Gramercy Park Hotel

Gramercy Park Hotel
New York, United States

Style A bohemian rhapsody
Setting East Side storeys

A beguiling muddle of styles, colours and spaces, the boho Gramercy Park Hotel is clearly a product of Ian Schrager’s idiosyncratic imagination.

Hotel Rivington in New York's East SideHotel on Rivington
New York, United States

Style 21 floors of cool
Setting Lower East Side

Located in the Lower East Side, the hip NY Hotel on Rivington is contemporary, lively and cool, with spacious rooms, many with a breathtaking view of that famous skyline.

And of course, there are plenty more London and New York hotels for you to browse through at Mr & Mrs Smith.

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