Dear Readers, I think I have found you a true little gem but no need to thank me ;)! There are eight of these stores all over London, including Queens Park, Wimbledon Village, Chiswick, Dulwich and Barnes… they stock mega brands such as Isabel Marant, Custommade, Ba&sh, Frame and Veja, to name just a few, AND the face behind the brand is two delicious Mama’s who started the business on their maternity leave, I kid you not! Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to IRIS FASHION.
Founded in 2004 during both Annie Pollet and Sarah Claassen’s maternity leave, IRIS’s aim was to achieve a store that would benefit all women. Inspired by their own passion for all things chic and fashiony, Sarah and Annie decided to open up a stylish, easy to wear but exclusive shop in their neighbourhood of Queen’s Park.
With a fashion working background with the likes of CK, Nicole Farhi and Earl Jeans, Annie dedicated her strengths and knowledge to this end of the business, while Sarah’s background of jewellery production and sales at leading jeweller, David Morris allowed both women to combine their strengths and make IRIS what it is today – a one stop shop destination for all things fashion, accessories, kids and home.
IRIS also stock their own label, BY IRIS. I was lucky enough to interview Annie about this accomplishment and more:
Tell me more about your own label..
By Iris was created to complement and style with the brands we buy in. The pieces can be worn alone or combined with our existing brands, and we encourage our customers to mix up labels. The range features easy-to-wear separates such as vests and tees, cosy cashmere knits and has evolved to include pretty print skirts, blouses and dresses as well as stylish footwear and some great babywear.
Where do you see Iris going in the next year?
In two weeks’ time, when our new large flagship store opens on Northcote road we will have eight Iris stores operating in London village destinations which will be keeping us very busy! We will be focusing on nurturing each new store, getting to know our new customers and their local areas. Our own By Iris label is another big focus for us as it continues to evolve in popularity and sales.
Do you have any new brands launching soon?
As the expansion of Iris has taken place and we have merged with another boutique fashion business (Question Air), we have been very keen to build on the success of their business whilst maintaining the essential essence of Iris. So we have analysed the brands that sold really well for them and have introduced them into our Iris edit. As a result we are introducing some new brands into Iris including Australian designer Rebecca Taylor, Essentiel Antwerp and Rag & Bone. We are very keen to work with each individual area that we have a store in, as a result some brands will work better in some areas than others. So each branch will be a little bit different and though they will feel essentially like an Iris, they will have a subtly different brand offering.
What’s been your greatest achievement so far?
I’d say both the success of our own By Iris label but also the luxury of working for ourselves with a growing team of like-minded inspirational women who love fashion but also value the benefits of shopping locally and spending quality time with their families.
My Wishlist for the kids: (all available HERE)
For us breastfeeding MAMAS, all available HERE:
A shout out to the Wimbledon Village store employees who were amazing when I popped in to have a nosey. So warm and helpful – often a rarity these days!