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Suitcase Series

Suitcase Series: Hayley Menzies

Hayley Menzies is a bundle of joy and enthusiasm, and this vibrancy transcends into her colourful and eclectic womenswear label.

Launching her eponymous label over 10 years ago, Hayley started selling her designs on a stall in her beloved Portobello Market, somewhere she still goes for inspiration. “I’m like a magpie, drawn to sparkles and unique objects. I’m deeply thrilled by vintage clothing so my idea of a dream day is a Portobello Market mooch – I never leave empty handed! I can feel my heart rate soar when I find a treasure,” she laughs.

Having launched a pop-up store, just off the Kings Road, in 2020, the boutique is now permanent and serves as a showcase for her larger than life designs, nestled within vintage rugs and lamps she has accrued – her eye for detail transcends beyond fashion evidently.

Travel is important to Hayley: “To recentre, breathe, and dream. To practice yoga, meditate, and connect with beautiful nature,” she muses. In fact, a recent trip to Costa Rica inspired her latest collection, ‘My Name Is Rio’: a cacophony of silk separates in hot-weather prints that will look as good on the beach, as, well, in Chelsea.

Here, we delve into Hayley Menzies’ suitcase psyche for a dose of sartorial escapism.


What is the first trip you remember taking?

Camping in the South of France with my whole family. My aunt made me a jade green rara skirt, which she gifted to me during the trip. It made my life!

What’s your most memorable trip and why?

Thailand in 2010 where I became a yoga teacher and a Thai massage practitioner. I stayed for three months and the trip changed my life: it’s led me to where I am today.

 

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Where or what is your escape?

Somewhere alone, in nature, with clean food and yoga.

If you could go anywhere tomorrow it would be…

I’ve just got back from two weeks in Costa Rica, so I’m satiated on the beach, sun, and yoga front… for now. I would opt for a ski trip somewhere in the Swiss Alps with a group of friends.

What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

A simple, chic, and elegant retreat in the jungle with world-class practitioners.

Where do you get your holiday inspiration?

Word of mouth.

 

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How do you switch off?

By losing myself in music; ideally on a dance floor or in a field.

If you could be sat next to one person – dead or alive – for a long-haul flight who would it be?

Eckhart Tolle.

What is your ultimate bucket list destination?

An African safari. I’m just waiting for the perfect companion to come along, as this is a trip I’d love to share with someone special.

 

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What’s on your travel playlist?

Madonna – La Isla Bonita.

What is your jet-lag recovery tip?

I love the jet-lag when you wake up super early and maintain this rhythm throughout [your] trip. I tweak it ever so slightly so that I wake at a slightly less obscene hour on day two or three, but wake early enough to catch the sunrise. The tip is to stay awake as late as possible, and no afternoon naps. That way you should acclimatise more quickly. I have it down to a T!

Who is your favourite travel companion?

It very much depends on the type of trip. I have yoga/spiritual friends, ski friends, and party friends. I adore them all, but wouldn’t take my party friend on a yoga retreat, or my best ski friend to Ibiza!

What is your suitcase stalwart?

A sarong.

What is your number one packing tip?

Edit, edit, edit! I rarely use everything I pack, so always edit my selection a few times. For my retreat-style holidays I live in activewear, bikinis, and a sarong, so can pack super-light! But if I’m going somewhere to party, I take a ginormous case with a pair of shoes and something slinky for every night.

What is your most-treasured purchase from your travels?

A pair of huge, embellished gold crucifix earrings from Sicily! Oh, and a vintage 1980s three-piece suit from New York!

Where is home and what are your must-do’s for any tourists visiting?

Home is Notting Hill. Tourist must-do’s are a leisurely browse round Portobello Market on a Friday for fashion, or a Saturday for antiques and fashion.

First thing that comes to your mind…

Hand luggage essential?

Face wipes and moisturiser.

Beach or city break?

Beach.

Packing: roll or fold?

Fold.

Music or podcast?

Music.

In-flight book or in-flight film?

Both.

Time filler on a long-haul flight?

Sketching.

Holiday tipple of choice?

Piña colada.

Ultimate holiday treat?

A daily massage in places like India or Thailand where they cost £5 for an hour!

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