The Village Bicycle. Young minded and free spirit individuals will fall in love.

Willa Keswick opened the doors to her new lifestyle boutique in Notting Hill in March. Village Bicycle is her first project in the fashion industry after moving on from her Mayfair club ”Willa”, that closed down last year. 

Vauxhall Fashion Scout review this store for young minded customer who still love superman and pray to neon crosses. To curb our curiosity, we decided to have a chat with Willa.

What is the concept behind Village Bicycle and how did the business start?
I registered the name of the store The Village Bicycle when I was fifteen. The concept behind The Village Bicycle was essentially to bring a new offering to Notting Hill, I wanted to create an environment where people felt inspired which would eventually become a destination.

What brands do you carry?
There are so many varied brands at the store including; Felder Felder, Mark Fast, Hannah Warner, Daisy Knights, Craig Lawrence and Style Stalker. We also have a few exclusives including Senso Diffusion and Tripp Jeans in addition to The Village Bicycle collaborations, we’re launching a brand new diffusion line with Craig Lawrence which is really exciting.

How would you describe you typical customer/target market? (Lifestyle, age, style, occupation, personality etc)
I’d say that our typical customer would be someone who doesn’t take themselves or fashion too seriously, open minded and someone who likes to have fun. I don’t think age or profession really comes into it but as long as they’re young in mind and spirit they’ll find something to fall in love with.
What is the price point of your products? (price range)
The price point varies from  £2 - £2,500 so there’s something for everyone 
What kind of pieces do your customer tend to buy? 
Generally I think most people buy accessories as a really quick and easy to update their wardrobes but also separates are quite popular particularly the Tripp jeans!
What and where are you looking for when acquiring new brands/designers? How can a new designer gain you interest?
I am always on the lookout for new and exciting brands to work with, I'm just like a magpie! if I see a hot girl looking amazing I have no shame in asking her wear she’s got her outfit from. Also, I’m always looking at interesting street style blogs, magazines.
What are you terms of buying from a designer? Do they sell on commission or do you buy their collections etc?
It completely depends on the designer, if they are just starting out it is usually a good idea to sell on a sale or return basis to test the product with our clientele. But it really does depend on the designer.

Who is head of buying? Who should a interested designer contact?
I am very involved in the buying process at the end of the day I make the final edit however I have a great team, but I’d say get in touch and through The Village Bicycle website and I’ll take it from there.
How are you connected to and what function will that have for the business?
The website is called IMAVILLAGEBICYCLE.COM and it’s amazing! Alice Kodell is the web editor and she has created this incredible E-Zine. In the E-Zine it will have everything from videos featuring the likes of Rosie Huntington –Whiteley and Eliza Doolittle to music compiled by music editor Mel Blatt. The website will also be fully E-commerse allowing customers all around the world to buy the items available within the store.
You are stocking designers such as Bodyamr, which has showcased with Vauxhall Fashion Scout, how important is it to support emerging designers vs selling more established designers?
It’s really important to me that I work with emerging talent as well as more established brands. I love the feeling of working with a new brand and taking a risk because I want my customers to come into the store knowing that they’ll find things which they won’t find anywhere else.
What are the future plans for Village Bicycle?
I have so many plans for The Village Bicycle, I want to collaborate with more brands there may be an exciting collaboration with Felder Felder in September. I’m launching the leather range which again is really exciting.
Your boutique is located in Notting Hill, is there any specific reason for the location?
I’ve grown up in Notting Hill so I’ve always been fond of the area. However shopping wise, I felt intimidated by some of the stores and felt that there needed to be something which catered to a slightly younger demographic which is something that The Village Bicycle brings.
What is the inspiration for the store design and interior?
I get inspired by everything from films to art galleries however the film Romeo and Juliet by Baz Lurhman inspired the walls with all the neon crosses and the wonder wall is inspired by a trip to Toy Land in Tokyo and I worked with a brilliant company Saucy Cow who helped to source all of the pieces.

What artists/songs are on the playlist in the store?
There is such a real mixture, our music editor Mel Blatt has great taste when it comes to music and her taste is really varied. I’d say you could be listening to a bit of reggae one minute and hip hop the next – visit where you can download some of our exclusive playlists.

The Village Bicycle
79-81 Ledbury Road
W11 2AG 
020 7313 9031

Yohanna Mannelqvist
Pics: The Village Bicycle