By Sarah Howell

Brick lane is the beating heart of east London’s creative and cultural body, its evolving mix of businesses fuse the old with the new- vintage with modern- to create an area buzzing with creative potential. But what of its lesser-known cousin Cheshire Street?

Linking Brick Lane with Bethnal Green and Whitechapel, Cheshire Street has played a quiet but crucial role in the spread of art and culture across east London. Full of olde worlde shops, it sometimes gets missed amid the in-your-face facades of others in the area.

But Cheshire Street is getting louder.

This Friday sees the launch of Creative CENSUS, a collaborative identity project by the street’s business community. Back in September they shot a series of photographs to showcase the individuals behind each business, and are now launching this photographic business portrait publication with a night of free live performances from the likes of The Kings Cross Hot Club.

“The photographs were about exposing the characters behind the businesses, to give the street an identity,” explained Richard Connor, Managing Director of CENSUS.

“We have an unusual combination and collection of creative skills and interests on the street: collectors, artists, designers, and we have the vintage connection. Each shop is a unique experience and we are trying to translate that through these images.”

The brainchild of Richard and partner Gemiliana Assorgia, founder of bespoke dressmaker Millana Atelier, the project grew from an event in September, where Gemiliana held a Market Day Couture Promenade to promote her designs.

“It was really inclusive, we had a performance art installation and people seemed to enjoy it; and we got a taste for what events like that can do to build an atmosphere in an area and create a buzz about a business,” said Richard.

“I know that Gemiliana loved the idea of doing a community event after the success of her own one- so we pushed for it.

“We got some of the local photographers on board and Garrett and Garrett made a video charting the production of the photographs.

“Friday’s event is going to be something special. I think it’s the first time this has happened- when there has been a concerted effort to promote a street. People are doing their own individual event inside their businesses and there’ll be live music.”

It’s hard to stand out from the crowd in area saturated by creative originality, but Creative CENSUS have nailed it; and with plans to further evolve the Cheshire Street brand, it looks like tomorrow’s event is just the beginning.

Go along to Cheshire Street tomorrow from 6pm to see what all the fuss is about!

Check out the programme below:

  • Gypsy swing group The Kings Cross Hot Club will be performing.
  • Vintage Bean Café is presenting Historical Cheshire Street, a photographic exhibition of Cheshire Street’s past with a late bar and music by Jamie Castle DJ.
  • OSCARS Interiors will be hosting a paid pop-­up cocktail bar with a ukulele playing siren, singing a selection of tracks from her latest album.
  • Vintage Basement is staging a live acoustic guitar and vocal set performance by Ottilia Kjulsten.
  • Morena Bakery is planning a cookie-painting workshop which will be accompanied by live harp music and is open to both children and adults!


A selection of businesses will have late night shopping with refreshments and event specific discount promotions.