The arrival of a fresh, bricks-and-mortar independent to the London retail scene is always a happy-making occurrence; as well as continuing to expand the diverse offering of the Capital’s shopping scene, it further evidences the city as a hub for opportunity and a melting pot of upcoming talent.

New on the block are Wei Yue and Tijana Djordjevic, whose concept store Gentlewench is promising an injection of niche, high fashion and homeware to East London. "It started as a very long conversation, which began getting traction and gathering steam in the last six months," explains Buying Director, Tijana, whose background includes Browns, Dover Street Market and Chiltern Street’s Mouki Mou. "I’ve known Wei for a very long time, and one day he said ‘I want to open a shop’ – and that’s basically how it started."

Keen to learn more about the Projects & Design-conceived space, we quizzed Tijana about the brands to look out for and exactly why we should all be heading East for our retail fix.

Image courtesy of Max Barnett.

What makes Gentlewench unique?
We have a different point of view; a sense of surprise. The product mix includes both established and emerging brands. With our constant research into exciting designers and makers, we have created our unique Gentlewench brand offering, and it’s always evolving.  We wanted the space to have a feeling of a walk-in wardrobe for our specific customer.

What is the significance of the name ‘Gentlewench’?
The name captures the dual character of the store, and the dual character of the woman we dress; it is the refined lady of splendour, but also the audacious woman of hedonism. We explore and celebrate what these women have in common, bringing together their traits through clothing and homewares.

Tell us about the brands you’ll be offering.
It’s important to us to support brands that are lesser known, as we sell for the woman who wants something new. At Gentlewench, you can find elegant and chic labels such as Ports 1961, Lemaire, or Andrea Jaipei Li – whose designs are modern with luxurious textiles. Brands like Nehara capture an airy femininity that’s channeled through strong and defiant reference points; they have fabrics that flatter the body, hugging the silhouette while offering liberation elsewhere. 

Image courtesy of Max Barnett.

We also have brands such as Neith Nyer, who are transgressive and champion inclusion and diversity in fashion. Lado Bokuchava, a Georgian brand, produces fun, feminine and refined womenswear; with its clean colour palettes, focus is drawn to the 1970s and 1980s style silhouettes, which the designer interweaves with playful contemporary motifs.

We love the seasonless nature of many homewares; it allows the dedicated section in our store to be ever evolving. Brands included range from Jude Jelfs, who produces ceramics that celebrate the female form – almost Picasso-esque – Grain & Knot, which makes kitchenwares that use wood in its natural form, and beautifully scented Joya candles.

Visit Gentlewench at 16 Chance Street, London, E2 7JB.

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