New premium womenswear indie EKA is hoping to reignite Notting Hill’s passion for independent boutiques with a collection featuring up-and-coming designers, several of which are exclusive to the UK.
The 250 sq ft corner store, which opened on Westbourne Park Road in May, is the brainchild of Emma Kavanagh, who has held a variety of roles across the retail and fashion industries but has been working on the launch of EKA for the past 18 months. Her last full-time role was in sales for iconic fashion label Ossie Clark, which briefly relaunched in 2008 but closed a year later.
EKA, a play on Kavanagh’s initials, is the exclusive UK stockist of US labels Wren and Erin Kleinberg and is also stocking womenswear from contemporary labels Avelon and Aaron Ash, Swedish designer Diana Orving, and Studio Nicholson from up-and-coming British designer Nick Wakeman. The latter has been the store’s best-seller to date.
Kavanagh, who has funded the store herself, is keen to support new designers and those who are established in other countries but looking to establish a UK presence. “I travel quite a lot and everywhere I go I see the same labels. I wanted to create a point of difference.”
Kavanagh designed the interior with the help of friends that work in design. She aims to replicate a “chic flat” using individual pieces of furniture. The store is only on one floor but Kavanagh is planning to expand into the remaining 250 sq ft on the floor above “over the next season or two”.
“I am off the beaten track at the other end of Westbourne Park Road to a majority of stores but I am hoping to attract locals that are looking for something different. It has gone very high street around here as so many boutiques were forced to close.”