Pipa Greenbank
and Olivia Hegarty
“Turn the wigs around”

Olivia and Pipa moved to Hackney in 2004 and have been collaborating since 2006. Originally from Dublin and Liverpool, they work as freelance fashion designers, Olivia in menswear and Pipa in womenswear, and as costume designers for musicians and performance artists including Theo Adams. Pipa also co-runs a shop called 3939 and Olivia co-runs a menswear label called Percival. “Hackney is a magnet for creativity and lots of the people we collaborate with are based

Afro World,
7 Kingsland High Street

Shabbir Dhingersi, from Tanzania, began renting this shop in 1995 and ran it with his two brothers before moving to the UK in 2003 to manage it full time. He says people travel from across London to visit Ridley Road. “We try to be friendly with everyone and treat them as our own. We used to get many thieves and when we caught them we let them keep the product saying, ‘Pay when you can’. Many of those thieves are now paying customers.” He doesn’t believe in recession: “We call it a challenge. Without challenge you can’t move forward.”

here,” explains Olivia. “It has a certain character, a proper mix of people. It hasn’t been made bland by development yet – although the ongoing worry is that we’re on the cusp of that.” Their window piece for Afro World is called “Turn the Wigs Around”, which is a quote from the film Dreamgirls. “It’s a celebration of our favourite divas and an ode to Theo Adams.”