Waiting in Ottolenghi in Spitalfields, I feel a little nervous about having breakfast with Taller Than Your Average founder Irene Agbontaen. The reason being that when Black Ballad was formed there were a long list of black British women on my hit list - my interview hit list to be clear. While I won’t run through all of the women, as not all have been featured yet, there have been a few black women I’ve managed to check off; Yrsa Daley Ward, Denise Rawls and now I was about to check off another, Irene.
As a black woman who stands at 5’10 with 36 inch legs, there was a bundle of excitement and pride when I was introduced to TTYA. Finally, there was a brand that catered to my needs, that incorporated a sense of style and was founded by someone who looked like me. #winning.
When Irene walks in, she’s wearing the belted suede mini dress from the latest TTYA X LTS collection, complete with the Textured Maxi Cardigan, black knee high boots, silver accessories, circular-rimmed sunglasses and loose flowing waves in her hair. She looks like she’s just walked off the set of a festival fashion shoot - effortlessly boho chic. Not only is she stylish, she’s warm and personable and goes in for a hug, rather than the formal safe handshake most ‘strangers’ go in for when meeting for the first time over breakfast.