Seven Dials celebrates Start Up Initiative Finalist Billi London’s debut store launch

Shaftesbury has officially announced the opening of Billi London at 35-37 Monmouth Street in Seven Dials, marking the third winning retailer to launch as part of the ‘Start Up With Seven Dials’ pop-up incubator initiative.

Billi London, a revolutionary 100% certified biodegradable tights brand founded by entrepreneurs: Sophie Billi-Hardwick and Marie Bouhier, was one of four female-led brands to be selected from a pool of 30 entrants following a comprehensive judging process with a panel of industry experts and given the opportunity to launch a pop-up retail space. The prize includes full operational support from Shaftesbury.

The recently opened 819 sq ft Billi London store marks the first bricks and mortar space for the previously online-only brand and provides the opportunity to showcase their 100% certified biodegradable tights collections in full. Billi London has launched an exclusive store-only collection to coincide with their Seven Dials launch; aptly named ‘SEV7N’, the collection features leggings and socks made with the same innovative 100% certified biodegradable yarns. The brand and its store are aiming to transform the way people purchase and connect with hosiery, with revolutionary new designs that are durable, stylish and respectful to the planet.

The Seven Dials retail space has been designed to feel like an exhibition and includes a standalone ‘care, repair and upcycle’ area to help the consumer learn how to look after tights, repair and upcycle them.  The large changing rooms, a first for a hosiery brand, allows Billi London tights and leggings to be trialled in store with other ethical and sustainable designer brands such as; Fanfare Label, Samuel Gui Yang, Ganor Dominic and Joao Maraschin and  the whole store space will be used experientially to educate consumers with dedicated sessions on the product and its unique biodegradable design.

Designed in house with creative experiential designer Margherita Poggiali, Billi London’s Seven Dials store has been fit out in a bold and contemporary style featuring eye-catching colours and decor that allows for future collaborations with environmentally engaged artists and designers.

Samantha Bain Mollison, Retail Director at Shaftesbury, commented on the winner’s debut: “It has been a pleasure to discover unique and entrepreneurial brands such as Billi London throughout the ‘Start Up With Seven Dials’ competition, and it is fantastic to have secured the bricks and mortar debut for the brand. Billi London has transformed this space, bringing to life a new physical home for their revolutionary product offering, including innovative features, such as the tights repair station, to highlight the brand’s commitment to the circular economy. We are so pleased to have welcomed Billi London to our ever-evolving community, and feel their presence in Seven Dials showcases how much value a physical retail presence can bring to an emerging, digital-native brand.”

Sophie Billi-Hardwick, Co-Founder of  Billi London added: “We feel our brand has a real affinity with Seven Dials and its longstanding commitment to sustainability and environmental causes. To be in a physical store and alongside so many other innovative and creative brands align seamlessly with Billi London and our efforts to become the world’s leader and specialist for the biodegradable hosiery industry. This is such an important time for retail, especially as shopping habits are rejuvenated post-Covid heralding in the rise of the conscious consumer.”

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