Look mum no hands!

Hanging with Hackney St Cloud

Naomi Mahendran, founder of new functional cycle style brand Hackney St. Cloud, reveals what's in store for her launch party on Thursday 30th July.

Tell us more about Hackney St. Cloud....

Hackney St Cloud is an online retail concept I started in May 2015 with a carefully curated collection of unique and independent brands specialising in cycle-friendly clothing and accessories for style-conscious women who commute by bicycle. I started the brand with the intention of making it easy for women who cycle to arrive at their destination looking chic and put together. All of the labels I stock are selected for their functionality and practicality, and a classic and modern aesthetic that perfectly complements a busy, urban lifestyle.

I started the brand with the intention of making it easy for women who cycle to arrive at their destination looking chic and put together.

Where did the name come from?
When I moved to Hackney from Sydney, Australia I was inspired by the incredible personal style of the women who cycled in the neighbourhood. The creativity and vibrancy of the area and the individual, eclectic style of the women of East London reminded me of how the rise of cycling changed and inspired women's fashion back in the 1890s, as it is also doing right now in Hackney.  The name brings together two areas (Hackney in London, and St Cloud in Paris) that have been integral to the rise in popularity of cycling from the 1890s to right now, and who’s residents have helped inspire changes in fashion to make it easier to look good and stay comfortable while cycling.

Do you have a favourite rides/place to roll around in Hackney?
I absolutely adore cycling along the canal from my home in De Beauvoir to Broadway Markets early on a Saturday morning before the cafe brunch rush when the towpath is still super quiet. I’ll stop in for a quick flat white at Look Mum No Hands on Mare St before browsing the just-opened stalls and saying a quick hi to a couple of my stockists who have weekend sites there. After an afternoon at the markets, there’s a lovely cycle route through London Fields and Victoria Park to Hackney Wick, where I love watching the sun set from an outdoor table at Crate over a glass of wine and a delicious pizza. 

What can I hope to find in the store?
Right now in our summer range, we have the award-winning Bike Geek shoes by Tracey Neuls, comfortable and luxurious cycle-friendly clothing by Folk, lightweight and sturdy helmets by German brand Radkappe, vintage-inspired knitted cycling gloves by Veeka, beautiful pannier-ready picnic blankets by new lifestyle brand Okka Found, summer-ready sunglasses by Kaibosh, and much more. At our launch night we’ll also be showcasing a sneak peek into our Autumn/Winter collection. Look out for brand new products and more unique labels exclusive to the UK!

If you were looking to get into cycling what three products would you recommend?
I never compromise my style in favour of functionality and practicality - I expect them to work in balance. 

I can’t live without my Michaux Ada backpack - I carry my laptop everywhere and it’s inner laptop pocket keeps it safe and secure when riding. It’s roll-top and adjustable sizing also means after a busy day of riding around to meetings I can stop off at the grocery on the way home to do the evening shopping. 

A good pair of cycling gloves like these ones by Veeka are essential for commuting, not only to keep my hands warm during cold mornings, but also to protect my palms and keep them soft. 

A helmet is a must when cycling in London, don’t let anyone try and dissuade you. Radkappe’s peaked version with a unique cutaway back means I can keep my hair up in a ponytail and cycle in safety. 

You've got three inspirational speakers on the night... tell us more about them.

Jools Walker

Jools Walker is the incredible woman behind the leading cycle fashion blog Velo-City-Girl. Her elegant and eclectic cycle style is an inspiration to women who want to cycle and keep looking fashionable and chic. 

Caren Hartley

Award-winning frame-builder Caren Hartley of Hartley Cycles talks about the craft behind creating bespoke frames and building beautiful bicycles for a personalised, luxurious ride.

Sarah Morpurgo

Sarah Morpurgo of The Bike Project (winner of Community Project of the Year, LCC Cycling Awards) talks about supporting the UK refugee community, teaching new skills and creating a cost-effective method of transport. 

What else can we expect on the night?
Also on the night, browse our brand new range before it goes online to the public, and take advantage of a special 30% discount for any purchases made at the event. We’ve also got a leading east London DJ spinning tunes, canapés and some more exciting surprises on the night (I can’t reveal all right now, but keep your eyes peeled for updates on the Facebook page!)

Where can find you / buy stuff from Hackney St Cloud?
We’re not going to be online-only for much longer. From 10th - 16th August, and 31st - 6th September we’ll be opening a small concept boutique at Pop Brixton (49 Brixton Station Rd, London SW9 8PQ) where you’ll be able to browse our range and pop in for a chat. We’d love to say hello and meet you face to face! Sign up to the mailing list for updates: hackneystcloud.com

Hackney St. Cloud Launch Party

The launch party is from 7pm on Thursday 30th July, featuring (short) talks by inspirational women in cycling from 7.30pm.

Jools Walker, aka LadyVelo of Velo-City-Girl.blogspot.com
Caren Hartley, award-winning frame builder, Hartley Cycles
Sarah Morpurgo, The Bike Project, winner of Community Project of the Year (LCC Cycling Awards)

FREE - open to all
Register on their Facebook page here.

Freshly prepared food, craft beers and Square Mile coffee available.

Look mum no hands! EAST
125 - 127 Mare Street,
E8 3RH

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