Historically, Carnaby Street derives its name from Karnaby House, located to its east and originally erected in 1683. It is not now known why the house was so called. The street was probably laid out in 1685 or 1686. First appearing in the ratebooks in 1687, the street was almost completely built up by 1690 with small houses.
By the 1960s, Carnaby Street proved popular for followers of both the Mod and hippie styles. Many independent fashion boutiques, and designers such as Mary Quant, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin,Lord John, Merc, Take Six, and Irvine Sellars were located in Carnaby Street as well as various underground music bars such as the Roaring Twenties in the surrounding streets. With bands such as The Beatles, Small Faces, The Who, and Rolling Stones appearing in the area to work (with the legendary Marquee Club located round the corner in Wardour Street), shop, and socialize, it became one of Swinging London's coolest destination associated with the Swinging Sixties.