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"There always used to be a particular city that was the centre of cool at a particular point in time," says Ted Polhemus, style anthropologist and author of Streetstyle: From Sidewalk to Catwalk.

Once, style tribes defined themselves by their music.The band that defined the US branch of the global scene was The Strokes, a quintet of monied Manhattanites posing as Lower East Side hipsters.Lead singer Julian Casablancas's vocal persona is insouciant, unimpressed, too cool to try harder.The bewildered boy clutches his fruit salad and searches for a seat at the back of the bar.He's wearing a vintage flannel shirt and skinny jeans, a pair of pointed brogues and pink plastic-framed sunglasses.Across the alley from the bar, Rough Trade East – London's coolest independent record store – is celebrating its first birthday with a limited edition run of Rough Trade-branded Converse All Stars, the global scenester's shoe of choice.Next door, there's a hairdresser cutting the "do" of the day, its clients reclining in Japanese Belmont Cadilla styling chairs "for ultra-comfort and design".What Sato was looking to replicate, he recently told Creative Review, was "the ultra-contemporary cool aspect of Japan, its pop culture rather than something traditional and Japanese-y." He'd tapped into the global scene.Down the street from American Apparel, past the London College of Fashion, is The Old Blue Last, a shabby-chic pub where Vice magazine, style bible to the global scenester, hosts regular parties.Until 2004, the chain was known as a cheap and nasty Asian C&A equivalent.Its first move into the UK, in the early Noughties, met with little success.