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Sub Couture, Louise Aiken

21st Jan 2014

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Where did the idea behind Sub Couture come from?
My sister Jaqui and I originally started Sub Couture as a dress label made with a unique thick swimwear fabric that sold to shops all over the country; Selfridges, Harrods and Hyper Hyper. It even went as far as Europe and USA. It was my husband to be Derek Aiken that came up with the idea of opening a flagship shop in Notting Hill., introducing other labels to compliment the Sub Couture.

I believe Sub Couture was opened in the early 90s, what were you pursuing before this venture?
Before Sub Couture my husband and I were heavily involved in the club scene and running big nights across London like Quietstorm, Billiondollar Babes and Choice. Music has always been a big part of my life. I still dj at the Supperclub down the road, which I absolutely love!

How do you find working as a husband and wife team?
We’ve been together for 21 years and when we decided to work together we outlined our different job areas and goals which I think saved a lot of problems creeping up. We balance each other out and I am sure most people would agree we are very tight.

What has been the most exciting part in establishing Sub Couture?
Being the first cutting edge boutique in the area!

What made you choose Notting Hill as the location for Sub Couture?
We first looked at Covent Garden but we were both always drawn to Notting hill and its diverse cultures thrown together. Also at the time there were no other boutiques.... mainly antique shops.

Would you ever think of expanding or moving away from Notting Hill?
No it’s in our blood.

What are you plans for the future with Sub Couture and with life in general?
Our main focus is developing our website and linking in with other small business in the area like Beauty Works West, The Library Gym, 10500 Hair, Hydro Healing, Essenza- things that compliment a day out in the area.

Sub Couture has been running now for 17 years, and has become almost one of Notting Hill landmarks! How have you managed this?
We are honest professional sales people that know our products. Each customer is an individual and we tailor our service to our clients needs. Once you’ve told us what the event is, your needs, your budget, we put a selection of clothing together for you to try on. We’ve often driven dresses round to clients in the evening when they’ve had a fashion crisis’s and been seen speedily sewing a dresses straps shorter so that a client can wear her dress out of the shop. Once I asked a regular customer if she told her friends about our shop she said “Darling, I’d never tell my friends about this shop your my best secret..” Good service and knowing what someone needs....

Have you noticed Notting Hill to have changed much since opening in the 90s?
The area is more commercial, less eclectic now up by Wesbourne Grove but the Market stalls and Antique Markets keep that Bohemian, contemporary heart still strong and beating. It’s what gives Notting Hill that village feel. The restaurants and food in the area is second to none in London.

How do you choose which designers to feature in Sub Couture?
Every designer in our shop is different from each other and has its own style. We are big on colour and shapes, and more so now than ever we focus on quality and affordability.


Who is your favourite designer?
Sophie Harley Jewellery Gold and Silver jewellery is amazing she just won Jewellery designer of the year and she is always creating new and wonderful gems.
Feather & Bone previous designer to Baby Ceylon is a new label we’ve taken on which has had a massive following from Potobello Green. Efforless ethereal dresses perfect for the sun.
Hale Bob LA answer to Hollywood style bold colours and amazing oriental to geometric prints in heavy jerseys
Patrizia Pepe Italin sexy glamour at its best
Hoss Intropia Spanish Boho with unusal cuts and applicay
Tara Jarmon French tailored sixties chic
Ingenue that can be worn day or night and travels well that are inexpensive and a dream to wash.
We love them all and so will you....