At the end of November, Sian Emmison and Tom Morris, founders of Bobbin Bicycles of London, formally opened their new shop. It’s their third premises in two years, as they have outgrown their former premises each time.
Now, with a basement, a back-yard, and a lightly trafficked square behind the Islington shop for customer test runs, Emmison and Morris feel they’ve secured the perfect property. They’ve signed a 15-year lease, confident their take on ‘cycle chic’ is at the base of a long growth curve.
“The maker can trace the yarn back to the farmer, so we are thinking of producing labels showing the actual goats which produced the wool,” said Fleuriot, famous for getting her products into TopShop earlier this year.
There were also stalwarts of the Tweed Run, the cycling event where riders dress in tweed suits, some of the garments being cycling specific, from the hands of Guy Hill of Dashing Tweeds. His suits – famously worn by Gary Fisher – are veined with retro-reflective yarns –and cost a bomb.
Sam Safa of Bronx was also at the event. He’s the sourcing agent for Bobbin Bicycle’s own-brand, Dutch bikes, all produced in Taiwan.
Bobbin has sold one thousand bikes to date, including Pashley Princesses and Electra Townie Dutch bikes. The shop operates an appointment system for customer test rides, a throwback to when the business premises weren’t public-facing.
The new shop is close to Sadler’s Wells, near the Angel tube in fashion-savvy Islington.
So, who’s buying the bikes? “A small army of retro girls, Euro city-slickers, models and mature country folk,” said a Bobbin press release.
Bobbin bikes has featured in countless style magazines. As well as bikes, Bobbins sells accessories. Knog Frogs sit cheek by jowl with products not found in a trad bike shop, such as bicycle helmets fashioned to look like bowler hats or deerstalkers, a ‘Hello Sailor’ collar with retro-reflective bands, or the shop’s own tweedy spats.
There’s a famous set of 1950s photos of Audrey Hepburn looking chic, riding a classic roadster in heels and a flouncy dress. She would have felt at home at Bobbin Bicycles.