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News: Hackney pop-up shop ft. Atalanta Weller and more

The Hackney Fashion Hub, in collaboration with the Hackney Council, has just launched The Hackney Shop; a boutique space for local designers to showcase their talent by selling one-off samples and exclusive rarities at discounted prices. Located on 99 Morning Lane, E9 6ND, the pop-up shop is now open daily from 10am – 5pm, until this Sunday. Manned by the young designers themselves, this exciting retail space gives shoppers the opportunity to meet the next big names in London fashion while grabbing their bespoke bargains. PlanetNotion caught up with luxury shoe designer Atalanta Weller to learn more about the event and her experiences in the industry so far.

PlanetNotion: The Hackney Shop gives emerging designers a great opportunity to boost their business. Apart from this initiative, what’s the current environment like for young up-and-comings in fashion?
Atalanta Weller: In the difficult economic climate, I think it’s a matter of adapting your business to the environment and the current market. I do think in some respects we are fortunate that the fashion industry is very international so we can look into exporting. We are having a great year so far, so we’re pretty optimistic.

PN: Why is Hackney important for London fashion?
AW: There is a great concentration of creative talent in Hackney, which makes it a very vibrant and exciting place to develop ideas and work with other people. The council is also very supportive in general business terms, such as rate relief etc, which make a big difference to a new business, and more specifically on a more direct level where they are supporting businesses through ventures such as the Hackney Shop.

PN: The pop-up shop gives the fashion-forward a chance to grab one-off pieces at discounted prices. Can you give us any clues as to what you have in store?  
AW: The store looks amazing! There are various pieces from my past collections, I love the skyscraper super hot glossy red wedges from last year, but also our more relaxed black and white cuban heeled boots for the kind of day that might just turn in to a long night.. I’m also a huge fan of Holly Fulton’s prints and dazzling jewels, I have my eye on more than one of James Long‘s amazing knits, and Noel Sewart just does the hottest hats in town.

PN: You and the other designers will be manning the shop yourselves. Did you have any day jobs before your brand took off, like working in retail?

AW: I did have various jobs as a teenager and a student, though actually more in pubs and clubs than in retail. I find it really exciting and fun to meet people in the shop and tell them about what we are selling.

PN: How did you get into shoe design? 

AW: I initially studied sculpture at art college, I loved the sculptural possibilities of creating something for your feet that is beautiful and also functional. For me it’s the ultimate and endless design challenge.

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PN: You’ve worked with a star-studded list of clients. Who’s been your favourite so far?
AW: I’ve been lucky to work with some wonderful people, I love working with anyone who is passionate and open minded.

PN: Could you pinpoint any particular highlights in your career so far? Were there any specific moments when you thought ‘I’ve arrived!’?
AW: I’ve been fortunate to have some great opportunities and it’s good to stop and appreciate them. When someone fabulous wears my shoe for example, or we get a great new stockist and I also love the unexpected things – like going to 10 Downing Street etc. But I’ve never stopped thinking I might have arrived.

PN: How would you describe your studio set-up?
AW: Cosy but clean.

PN:What music are you listening to at the moment?
AW: I listen obsessively to single artists, at the moment it continues to be Lana del Rey, her voice is so wonderfully melancholic. With the weather changing I might just move on to something else soon.

Meet Atalanta and her stunning collection at The Hackney Shop this week.

- Ally Russell



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