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Start Up With Seven Dials finalist Billi London opens pop-up store

Tom Bottomley
16 September 2021

Biodegradable tights brand Billi London has opened a new 820 sq ft pop-up store at 35-37 Monmouth Street as part of London landlord Shaftsbury’s ‘Start Up With Seven Dials’ incubator initiative.

The previously online-only brand can now showcase its 100% certified biodegradable tights collections in full.

Billi London has also 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, founded by entrepreneurs Sophie Billi-Hardwick and Marie Bouhier, is 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 space and includes a standalone ‘care, repair and upcycle’ area to help the consumer learn how to look after tights and 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.

The whole store space, which will be open until the end of November, 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, the store has been fitted out in a bold and contemporary style featuring eye-catching colours and decor that allows for future collaborations with environmentally engaged artists and designers.

Billi London

Samantha Bain-Mollison, Retail Director at Shaftesbury, said: “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, aligns 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 the rise of the conscious consumer.”

Billi London 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 in order to be given the opportunity to launch a pop-up retail space. The prize includes full operational support from Shaftesbury.

The launch of Billi London in Seven Dials follows other initiative winners, Olive Jennings and overall winner Tihara Smith, who recently opened retail pop-up spaces on Monmouth Street and Neal Street respectively, and precedes the launch of KATI KAIA, due in the coming months.

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