Women of Covent Garden
From iconic leading ladies to some of the best female entrepreneurs in the world, Covent Garden is proudly home to some incredible women.
London-born Charlotte Tilbury is the world’s number one make-up artist with a client list filled with more stars than the Oscars and a make-up brand that has taken over the world. After the ground-breaking success and rapid expansion of Charlotte Tilbury counters in the UK, US and Canada since the brand launched in September 2013, Charlotte has created her first standalone magical makeup haven in none other than Covent Garden.
Charlotte Tilbury’s mission statement is to “make every woman the most beautiful version of themselves”.
“The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she's treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will; but I know I can be a lady to you, because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.”
One of the most iconic leading ladies of Covent Garden, Eliza Doolittle was first brought to life by George Bernard Shaw in his career-defining stage play ‘Pygmalion’ and then forever remembered as Audrey Hepburn dancing her way around the cobbles of Covent Garden’s Piazza. Eliza is an independent-minded and streetwise woman who knows she can rise to the challenge of Professor Higgins.
The movie may be over 100-years-old but Eliza’s tune still sings strong.
Taking the reins of Petersham Nurseries in 2011 as Managing Director, Lara Boglione was the creative visionary behind bringing Petersham Nurseries to Covent Garden in 2017, whilst remaining actively involved in all aspects of the business to ensure brand values are maintained. True to the horticultural origins of the family business and the heritage of Covent Garden’s past, Lara felt there could not have been a more fitting location for this new venture into central London.
Maintaining her passion for simplicity, flora, fauna and responsibly sourced produce, Lara has created an unparalleled lifestyle destination within the urban environment of Covent Garden.
Today, she leads a growing aspirational brand in the heart of central London, inspired by nature and her family’s Italian heritage, yet motivated by the principles of sustainability and ‘slow living’.
Kristina Karlsson is the Founder and Creative Director of global Swedish design and stationery business, kikki.K. As an international speaker, a self-confessed passionate learner and self-improver Kristina has set an ambitious target to inspire and empower over 101 million people. Her book entitled ‘Your Dream Life Starts Here’ is your guide to creating a one-page roadmap for your dream. The book features stories from Dr Tererai Trent (Oprah Winfrey's all-time favourite guest), Arianna Huffington, Stella McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, and others.
$1 from the sale of every book will be donated to the Tererai Trent International Foundation, helping Dr Tererai Trent build on the generous foundational support she received from Oprah Winfrey, and supporting her dream to provide universal access to quality education for children, regardless of their gender or socio-economic backgrounds.
One of the most remarkable female writers in the world, Jane Austen was once a resident of Covent Garden's 10 Henrietta Street (now home to Oliver Sweeney's flagship store).
Known for her sharp commentary on dependence of women on marriage and their will to be financially independent, Austen’s novels have stood the test of time with her most notable work ‘Pride and Prejudice’ being retold dozens of times including the iconic film with Colin Firth, a Bollywood version and the unforgettable Bridget Jones’ Diary.
Jane Austen by Cassandra Austen © National Portrait Gallery, London
Featured on Forbes' 30 Under 30 List for 2019 and at just 26 years old, For Art’s Sake's Creative Director, Xiwen Zhang, is a force to be reckoned with.
In only three years, Xiwen and her Co-Founder Yannis Makridis created one of the biggest eyewear brands to come out of London. Stocked in the likes of NET-A-PORTER and Saks Fifth Avenue but having their one and only store in Covent Garden, this brand has been worn by everyone from Beyoncé to Eva Chen, from J Lo to Kristen Bell. At only in her mid-twenties we cannot wait to see what Xiwen Zhang does next.
Dame Margot Fonteyn
Covent Garden is known for being the heart of theatreland and what stage is more iconic than that of the Royal Opera House. Dame Margot Fonteyn was an iconic figure in British ballet and was living in a flat on Long Acre, Covent Garden during her time as the Royal Ballet Prima Ballerina Assoluta.
Working with Ninette de Valois and Frederick Ashton she was particularly renowned for her performances in the classics and as a muse for Ashton. Fonteyn’s dancing was distinguished by its perfect line and exquisite lyricism, qualities evident in the roles created on her by Ashton. These include Ondine, Cinderella, Chloë, Marguerite and roles in Symphonic Variations and Homage to The Queen.
Starting her career as a Luxury Jewellery Buyer at Harrods, Kirstie Gibbs has become one of the biggest names in the jewellery industry. Whilst working in Harrods, Kirstie identified a new breed of modern, mindful woman, searching for pieces through which they can express their individuality and then in 2015 The Alkemistry was born.
The Alkemistry focuses on timeless jewellery which is exclusively curated from international female designers and complemented by their own unique personalisable collection, handmade in London. The first store opened on Floral Street last year and it's the perfect place to start your own personal alchemy journey.
Bringing a piece of her family heritage to Covent Garden, Aurelia Delclos opened Chez Antoinette in 2014 where it is now it a true piece of France in the heart of London. The restaurant is named after her grandmother and everything on the menu is inspired by the authentic recipes of Antoinette.
Since opening, the restaurant has flourished from an insider’s secret to a cult destination where people can eat, drink and be transported to the South of France. Watch out, as later this year Aurelia opens Chez Antoinette’s second restaurant in Victoria. Next, the world!
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