My London: Bianca Saunders

 (Artwork by Silvia Prada for ES Magazine)
(Artwork by Silvia Prada for ES Magazine)

Home is…

South-east London where I’ve lived for seven years with my mum, two sisters and brother. I’ve always lived in town. I don’t think I could ever leave.

Where do you stay in London?

The Standard is definitely my favourite. It’s got mid-century furniture, is so comfortable and the area is prime, they always throw really good parties.

Where was your first flat?

The only time I moved out was when I was studying at Kingston University but my Hackney studio is basically my flat, it’s where I spend most of my time.

What shops do you rely on?

There’s a great organic grocer on Mare Street for fruit, vegetables and plants. I bought three cheese plants and a coconut palm from there. I love an M&S! I definitely have a lot of their food at lunchtime when I’m busy working in the studio.

What was your first job?

Gosh, I’ve had about 70 jobs, I wouldn’t have been able to do my degree without working part-time. I worked on the food concessions at Wembley Stadium when Take That played. And I made friends for life in my retail jobs.

Who is the most iconic Londoner?

Victoria Beckham. She just had so many eras — a Spice Girl, a wag, she was on the TV with her show and a fashion designer. Iconic.

Are you a Spice Girls fan?

Definitely… my favourite song is ‘2 Become 1’!

Have you ever had a run-in with a London police officer?

One time when I was pretty young. I was picking flowers off someone else’s tree and there was a policeman who said ‘you’re going to go to jail’. From then on I was always a goody-two-shoes.

What’s your London secret?

Going to Columbia Road flower market after 4 o’clock, when all the deals happen. If I want to buy some beautiful, fresh plants and I have a Sunday free, that’s the goal.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

I would make the buses free. We used to have the bendy buses and I’d jump them all the time.

Favourite work of art in London?

It’s not a piece of art but I like the Hayward Gallery — it’s the brutalism of the building. It had David Shrigley’s work there once.

Best thing a cabbie has ever said to you?

All black cabs are from south London, or at least I think they are! Once, like 10 cabs cancelled on me but luckily a cabbie was just on his way home and let me get in.

Best meal you’ve had?

That’s hard… Jolene in Hackney Central, they have a really good dry wine selection. It’s actually a bakery in the day and at night it’s something else. If I ever have the opportunity, I’d open a restaurant like theirs because it’s so vibey. I go to Peckham for South African food, they have a lot of cassava and thick desserts with wine to match.

What are you working on?

My new season collection AW23 is being shown this week in Paris. It’s the beginning of the year, I’m just trying to set my goals to be a household name.

Who is your professional hero?

There’s so many people but I definitely look up to Vivienne Westwood for sure. When she passed away, I was reminded of how beautiful and fearless she was. Just to care less about what people think — that’s her legacy. She just did what she wanted to do and played with her art.