Step inside the colour-saturated world of jetsetter Belma Gaudio, fashion entrepreneur and founder of London’s concept store, Koibird.
Born out of the desire to capture the exoticism of travel in a retail experience, Koibird curates a fashion edit for specific travel destinations where shoppers can find ready to wear and accessories from the emerging designers around the world. It’s all about the niche and the undiscovered. “I started Koibird out of the desire to provide women an outlet for the excitement they all have ahead of travel, and a one stop shop for all their travel shopping needs. It is a concept fully related to travel and the edit is specifically designed around a particular destination. This time the beach, next time the mountains, and many more exciting destinations. This is for a woman who wants to feel unique, discover something different and experiment,” says Belma.
In print and in colour – whether at home or OOO, from a far-flung beach to snowy ski slope, it has your sartorial needs covered, 365 days a year.
As a resident in London, we get an insider guide to London with style icon Belma Gaudio.
When is the best time of year to visit London and why?
June – the probability of the weather being good is higher, summer is in the air, summer parties, outdoor theatre, late night park strolls. I also like London in October for Frieze week, there is a great buzz in the city.
How would you spend a weekend in London?
Walk around Regent’s Park, take a picnic there. Then get a Matcha Latte from Monocle Café and then go next door to Shreeji News and browse through some amazing magazines and take in the beautiful design in the back of the newsagent at The Artichoke. Lunch is great at Delamina on Marylebone Lane, right next door to Koibird. I recommend the Turkey Shawarma there. Saturdays are good for browsing shops, strolling, having coffees and then getting ready for a nice dinner.
Sundays are Museum days for me and my family. Tate Modern is a must, Serpentine is nice when strolling through Kensington Gardens, the Royal Academy will always have some great exhibitions. Before the crowds come out I like to stroll St James area and take in the beautiful architecture early in the mornings, such a pretty part of London when it is quiet!
How has your city influenced your work?
I started my store on the basis of wanting to offer my city fashion and design that is not widely available. London has influenced what we do, by offering us a void to fill.
Where do you go to get inspired?
I travel a lot. That’s where I get inspired. In all the different countries and cultures that I see.
Which is your favourite neighbourhood & why?
Marylebone. It has that Greenwich Village feel of NYC. It is villagy, cosy, but cool, with great shops and restaurants. Its small and quaint but it has everything you need and feels very much like a neighbourhood.
Best café for people watching?
There are some OTT cafes out there like Feya Café, Saint Aymes and Elan Café.
What’s the best way to get around?
My first choice is on foot if it’s close enough however, I do use black cabs whenever I’m in a rush and it’s too far to walk. I try get the electric black cabs as they are brilliant and much better for the environment.
What should I wear for a trip in London?
Sneakers for walking around – I love our Anita Quansah Koibird exclusive high top sneakers, they are comfortable to wear and stand out making any outfit cool, a light jacket, I usually wear our Flapper Cassandra Kaftan as its light (super easy to pack) and is rainproof, in London it can rain at any moment. It’s best styled with jeans or trousers to roam around in and a Cool oversize light sweater. At night people do dress up for restaurants. I will usually throw on a dress at night, an Area dress is always my go-to.
Essential item to pack?
Flapper raincoat, very light and easy to pack.
Favourite Hotel? Why?
Chewton Glen in the New Forest because of the Tree Houses you can stay in.
Best place to workout?
Where are your favourite shopping spots?
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Sunday Brunch, we go to…. Where the Pancakes Are – Pancake restaurant in SE1
Best place to treat yourself is… Sarah Chapman facials
For a spot of culture, I would go to… The Soane Museum
For a perfect night out in London, I recommend… Annabel’s, dinner and dancing in one spot!
And when I get some downtime, I go to… Get my nails done at Cupcake nails.
The one place only locals know about… La Fromagerie, the little boutique grocery store off Marylebone High St.
If I had an afternoon free, I’d head out of London to…Richmond Park, go riding and see the deer and eat at Petersham Nurseries
When I want to escape from the UK, I go to… Croatian coast.
Souvenir to take home?
Tea and biscuits from Fortnum and Mason.