The 96-store Seven Dials area of London’s Covent Garden has yet more newcomers.
They include the winner of the ‘Start-Up with Seven Dials’ competition series by landlord Shaftesbury, lifestyle brand Tihara Smith with its very first brick and mortar store on 37 Neal Street.
Last summer, Seven Dials launched a competition giving budding entrepreneurs the chance to set up their first store and operate their lockdown-born business from one of area’s streets.
Chosen over almost 100 applicants, Tihara Smith’s new store is rooted in its Caribbean influence, featuring original “vibrant and distinctive” stationery, accessories, gifts, and prints, complemented by a customised, made-to-order service.
Founded by designer Tihara Smith, a graduate of the University for the Creative Arts Epsom, and showing her Windrush-inspired collection at Graduate Fashion Week 2018, Smith’s pieces take inspiration from the Caribbean, with a London twist.
Each piece is hand-crafted in London, using a combination of contemporary and traditional craft techniques. The collection takes inspiration from distinct textiles, with bright colours and tropical flora and fauna, allowing people to have a little piece of the Caribbean with them wherever they go.
Smith said: “After so much hard work in establishing my brand, the launch of Tihara Smith’s first store is a huge milestone.
“I have traded online with my own website and with online marketplaces such as Etsy and Jamii in the past, but this physical retail space will give me the platform to establish a stronger connection with customers and enable visitors to personally experience the spirit and story of Tihara Smith.”
Karen Baines, head of Group Marketing & Communication at landlord Shaftesbury, added: “When we launched the Start-Up with Seven Dials campaign, it was important to us that we champion the brands that truly embody all the qualities that the area represents. Tihara Smith is a one-of-kind brand, inspired by real experience and one we are delighted to welcome to our seven streets.”
Another finalist of the Start Up with Seven Dials competition is biodegradable tights brand Billi London. Opened on 6 September on Monmouth Street, founders Sophie Billi-Hardwick and Marie Bouhier have launched the ‘Sev7n’ collection, a store-exclusive collection named after the area.
Last month, Seven Dials also welcomed independent fashion label Olubiyi Thomas and essential oils brand anatome. September will also see the launch of independent Scandinavian lifestyle brand White Pine.
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