This street has had mixed fortunes over the years. Henry VIII was fond of the area in his time and as a result it became popular amongst the wealthy for its up-market shopping, theatre and amenities. The tide turned in the 1900s as the area became neglected and the smarter shops and wealthier people moved out. Nowadays much of Islington has regained its historic popularity (though some areas on the fringes remain run-down) and as such shops and resturants are clambering to cater for the tastes of the middle classes once more.
Islington's shopping facilities are all focussed on Upper Street which stretches between Angel and Highbury & Islington tube stops. The street is full of trendy bars and restaurants as well as being home to many of the high street names which you will find in the central shopping districts of Oxford and Regents Street. The appeal of Upper Street is however, that it is less crowded than the central London locations and that it still has some of the quaint little shops you would expect from a historic district.
Wander down the Camden Passage for assorted anitque shops, try Reckless Record to buy, sell or exchange old and long-lost vinyls, or look for some querky furniture at Twenty-Twenty-One or Coexistence. Chapel Market provides choice in clothes, fruit and veg and homeware, whilst The Mall is a centre housing over 35 antique, decorative arts and porcelain items amongst others. If it is high street names you're after - the N1 Centre has all you could want, but the appeal of Upper Street is really the small and independent shops which are dotted up the entire Upper Street.