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Top of the Shops: Johnny Cupcakes (comes with a health warning)

Thanks to a heads-up from one livid cake-deprived friend, I was not expecting to find baked goods upon entering Johnny Cupcakes’ Carnaby boutique. Sadly, judging by the murderous comments left about the store on US message boards this puts me in the minority among angry customers who find limited edition t-shirts a poor substitute for a sugar fix. Clearly they hadn’t read the company disclaimer: 0 carbs! 0 sugars! 0 fat!


So with sweet treat already purchased to avoid starvation, I am introduced to the store by a chubby cake-eating cartoon sandwich board. The first thing you see is a large vintage-style deli counter; so far so cupcake. But the display consists of t-shirts and hats as meticulously displayed as you would expect from a collectable range. Most styles come in men’s and women’s sizes, but this shop is definitely tomboy friendly – beanie hats and boxer shorts outnumber the kitsch touches on offer.


The brand’s signature motif (a cupcake, what else) is worked into various guises across the range of products, but as these are mostly humorous the shop feels a little bit like the silly younger sibling of Pharell Williams’ foray into concept retail with his label Ice Cream. However, fact fans will be interested to know that Johnny Cupcakes predates Ice Cream and it’s own parlour style boutiques by about four years.


Extra touches and super friendly staff make this a fun place to browse – the ‘bake sale’ discount section at the back and the ipad on the wall are particular favourites. So though the franchise might be bigger stateside this is definitely a light hearted alternative to some of the minimalist t-shirt ‘emporiums’ in the area.


And obviously, replacing cakes with shirts is good for the waistline.


Johnny Cupcakes is at 10 Fouberts Place, Carnaby, London W1F 7PF


- Carys Kirkpatrick

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