We've been neighbours and long-time fans of L.F. Markey at our Dalston Roastery for quite a while now. Forever looking for an excuse to collaborate with businesses we admire, we knew Louise was the best person to give our barista aprons a revamp. The result is an iconic mix of both brands and we're so excited to see these in the wild.
We sat down with Louise to chat about working for some of London's finest fashion brands and going for it on her own with L.F. Markey.
Q: Have you always wanted to be a designer? What inspired this?
I've been creative from a young age, inspired by my mother who is a calligrapher. I always enjoy building things — I initially wanted to be an architect but found later that I enjoyed working on shorter-term design projects.
Q: You spent a lot of time designing for high fashion houses before starting your own label. What gave you the nudge to set out on your own?
I've always been entrepreneurial and starting my own business was always the end game. I worked at Burberry and studied at Central Saint Martins as a way to give myself the best experience and foot forward when I eventually took the plunge.
Q: Your designs are super functional — lots of workwear-inspired pieces. How did that become your signature style?
I have always loved traditional bleu de travail and artist's smocks. When I started L.F. Markey, the market was missing functional pieces in bold and bright colours, that would also flatter the female shape. So I decided to create my own pieces for my creative friends and me.
Q: Your sister label Meadows is a big departure from that signature style you’ve become so well known for over the years — what inspired a shift into a more feminine direction?
I wanted to explore this other side of my personality that is more interested in folklore, Victoriana, Laura Ashley and historical costume. I decided to create Meadows to explore this further.
Q: We hear you’ve got an exciting out-of-town project coming up, tell us more.
I was getting weighed down with city life, especially having three young boys, so I decided to move to the countryside in Gloucestershire. I will be opening a branch of Meadows in a village called Painswick. The shop will house the collections and also serve Allpress coffee, deli foods and a wide array of gifts. We will be eventually hosting workshops in the space too
Q: What’s your coffee ritual? Is this going to change now you’ve got a shop with your own machine?
My coffee ritual was always to start the day, nice and early with a strong cup of coffee! In Painswick there are currently no coffee options until 10 am, it was one of the major reasons I decided to put a coffee machine in the shop. I'm clearly an addict!
As well as our new apron, we're excited to collaborate with Louise on another project — the new Meadows store in Painswick. You can now grab an Allpress brew while you shop.