LR.D Women edition #1: inNEOSS
Introducing LR.D Women edition #1. Talking to women who inspire us.
To kick off the series we spoke to Georgea Charlambous and Natalie Bouloux, owners of boutique inNEOSS in Newington Green and in house swimwear brand NEOSS. Georgia and Natalie had experienced success with pop-ups before opening the shop in 2019, creating a space for small sustainable designers with timeless designs.
LR.D all began over breakfast one morning, do you remember the moment you first came up with the idea for inNEOSS?
'The shop came about when we were trying to gain exposure for our own brand; NEOSS. Getting stocked in shops was our biggest hurdle and we knew that many designers faced this same problem when they were first starting out. The idea for the shop grew from that, creating a physical space to showcase new and exciting designers.
We started with pop-up shops and used them as a tool to grow our brand alongside others. It wasn’t until we had curated our first pop up with some incredible designers did we realise how exciting and special this idea was. People were and still do comment on how there isn’t really anything like this anywhere else. We had a few years of running pop-ups until we realised that a permanent shop was quite necessary for our growth and people definitely wanted it so that pushed us to take the leap.'
What were you up to in your life/work at that point?
'We had been working on our brand for a couple of years at that point and we also had other jobs in hospitality and retail. Having a job and running a business alongside is very common and also very necessary when you are starting out. '
What drew you to fashion in the first place?
'We were always into designing things together at school and then Nat went to LCF and studied Fashion contour and G went to LCC to do Book Arts and Design. At the end of uni we came back together over bags and our brand started from there really.'
What do you think makes inNEOSS different from other boutiques in London?
'We work really hard not to follow the template of independent boutiques. We have no interest in stocking the same thing as everyone else because we know it will work. It's about challenging people and also working that bit harder to find unique brands and help them get into physical stores. We want to be a space where you go to find things you’ve not seen before and that have a social and sustainable conscience.'
What do you look for in the designers you stock?
'We look for brands with an interesting aesthetic and their ethos has to align with ours. Sustainable and ethically made products are imperative to be stocked with us.'
What do you wish people knew about inNEOSS?
'That there are only two of us! We don’t always have lots of time together to get things done, we have a lot of brands in the shop to manage and our own designs to create so it is a lot of work.'
If you could redesign the fashion industry, what would you change?
'The speed, scale and price to which the mass market produces. It’s unnecessary, it's damaging our planet and garment workers are exploited with long hours and low wages. If we could slow everything down and pay people a fair wage, yes it would mean the end product is more expensive but we don’t need to buy clothes all the time. We need to buy less and cherish the items we own.'
Who inspires you?
'The next generation! Our friend introduced us to a podcast that Greenside primary school produce in west london. They did an episode on sustainability in fashion. It was so lovely to hear kids talk about things we never knew when we were their age. It makes us hopeful that things are changing.'
LR.D’s founder & CD, Lily Rose often dreams about a life as a restaurateur or buying and selling vintage art & furniture… Are there any other areas of work you lust over?
'Well G has always wanted to open up a restaurant/ deli with her family. We both like interiors so maybe we could’ve been an interior design duo or had an interiors shop. The dream is to have our very own little department store so let’s see what happens…'
Where would you like to see inNEOSS in the next five years?
'We’d like to have another store … abroad. We are definitely excited to start exploring cities where we feel the vibe would suit us and potentially taking inNEOSS there for a pop-up. Test the waters before setting up abroad.'
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as female business owners?
'Probably that people have on occasion not taken us very seriously but to be honest we don’t really let any of that stuff phase us or get in the way. Staying focused is very important.'
What advice would you give someone opening their own fashion business?
'Do your research, there’s a lot of people doing similar things, what is different about yours? Be transparent and stay true to your brand ethos.'
You can stay updated with inNEOSS via Instagram, Facebook and their site.
You can also try LR.D pieces on in store, along with many other independent brands.
Address: 129 Newington Green Rd N1 4RA, London