Lulu O’Connor is the Founder and CEO of Clothes Doctor, a business delivering perfect repairs, alterations and customisation, straight to your doorstep across London. After reading Economics and Management at Oxford, Lulu spent nine years analysing the consumer, retail and luxury goods industry in the City: first at Credit Suisse, then Goldman Sachs, and then a hedge fund.
She packed it all in to found Clothes Doctor in 2017, after experiencing the frustrations of trying to find a good seamstress near home in Earls Court. Her vision is to reinvent the traditional seamstress and tailoring industry for the 21st century, focusing on convenience, quality, trust, and clear prices upfront (check out their amazing reviews to see the results so far). In doing so she hopes to reinvigorate this age-old industry, and to help spark a revolution where our throwaway culture and fast fashion addiction is replaced by more sustainable shopping habits. Lulu splits her time between Hackney, Earls Court and Cornwall, with her trusty King Charles spaniel, Otto, in tow. She has a passion for travel, good food, fashion, mountain hikes, yoga and the perfect G&T.
We caught up with Lulu for the latest in our ‘My London’ interview series.
I love my local neighbourhood of Earls Court. It has everything you could possibly need right on your doorstep, and I adore being in the centre of things – great pubs, cafes, parks, old fashioned local shops, a Sunday food market, a wonderful day spa, and as I travel so much, it’s perfect for me – so easy for an early flight, train or to jump in my hybrid and get out of town.
Favourite place for brunch:
The Troubadour beer garden on Old Brompton Road – I’ve been going there for years, and it never changes, apart from the creepers and vines get leafy and thick in the summer. It feels ageless, and that’s part of its charm.
Best coffee in London:
Coco di Mama on Fleet Street – it was my absolute lifesaver for nearly 5 years when I was starting work at Goldman Sachs pre-7am every day. And its damn good coffee!
Favourite gallery or museum:
The National Gallery – an obvious choice, but it has a couple of amazing paintings which I can look at for hours without getting bored, and it’s where I met my boyfriend for our first date, so holds a special place in my heart!
Tell us a secret:
I know nothing about art or wine.
Favourite place to shop:
At home in front of my laptop – I never go out to shop for clothes anymore! My new favourite online shop is Wolf and Badger – I love their smaller brands like Paisie, and their activewear ranges.
Favourite place to find inspiration:
In bed at 4am. This is when I do all my best thinking. That said, I came up with the idea for Clothes Doctor on the dance floor at a festival in Arkansas, so maybe it’s just anywhere where I’m relaxed that works for me.
Best London destination for a date:
Apart from the National Gallery, Sunday lunch in a cosy pub like The Phene, and then a walk in Chelsea Physic Garden.
That bit of Hyde Park near the Round Pond, where there’s long grass and oak trees – my dog and I get lost there together in the summer.
Favourite food market:
Broadway Market – it has no question the most delicious shrimp burgers in town, full of samphire, red onion, avocado, local shrimps and garlic mayo. Yum yum.
Your sanctuary in the city:
My roof terrace. It has the most beautiful view and peaceful vibe, and I’ve planted roses, lavender, jasmine and a Japanese acer in pots, so it smells great too!
What inspires you?
Amazing, intelligent, independent women who know their own mind and stand up for themselves. It makes me proud and humbled, and sometimes a little bit emotional.
This season I’m loving:
Redesigning my old evening dresses into jumpsuits. I have to admit I have a huge collection of gowns, collected over the years from sample sales and Net A Porter. They are beautiful colours and fabrics but slightly dated now. I have been working with my seamstresses to design jumpsuits out of them, and I just wore one to a wedding in Venice last weekend. It got so many compliments and I loved that my outfit was totally unique. Plus you have the fun of being your own dress designer for a day!