New Designers 17

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New Designers is one of the main events that us textile designers look forward to, it is always filled with exciting, unique ideas from the new generation of designers. It is a chance for fresh, new talent to showcase their best work to a vast audience of industry experts. An exhibition not to be missed! You can book your tickets here..

As your entire final year of study builds up to New Designers we thought we should dedicate a blog post to this fantastic event. So, New Designers is just two weeks away and most of you are probably prepared (hopefully) for the show. If you need some last minute tips and advice then read on…

We chatted with Faith Bland from UCA who is exhibiting at ND17. She will be showcasing her project “Cheeseplants & Pineapples” which was inspired by a trip to Kew Gardens, London. Her project is bright, bold and energetic & we love it! Brighten up your kitchen with her colourful tropical prints that translate the beautiful colours of the tropics in an everyday environment. Taking inspiration from her photography of Kew Gardens, Faith has interpreted the vibrant colours through her digital drawings of plants and flowers. Faiths project really stood out to us as she has taken a modern approach to quite a classic theme. Her mix of drawing and geometric shapes creates a collection of unique, modern prints.

Designer: Faith Bland Photographer: Tommaso Montino
Designer: Faith Bland
Photographer: Tommaso Montino

What are you most looking forward to?
I am extremely excited to network with people in the industry and to have the opportunity to talk to many experienced people that can give me advice and some insight on what it is like to work in the Textiles industry. Also I am looking forward to visiting all of the stands there and seeing such a beautiful variety of designs. I love looking at other people’s work, as each designer has a different approach when creating prints, whether it be the different drawing styles, or the different colour ways that have been chosen, it makes each individuals work unique.

Is anything worrying you in particular?
Hmm, no not really… I wouldn’t say that there is anything worrying me in particular, however, one concern I did have previously was that as mentioned I will be exhibiting amongst other students in my class, so I was worried that my work might not get as much attention as my peers. Hopefully my work can offer something different that will catch people’s eyes. Apart from that, New Designers is a fun and exciting place to be so I can’t wait!

What are you hoping to gain from exhibiting at the show?
I am hoping to build relationships with like-minded people that share the same interests and passion for print design as me. Obviously a career would be the best possible outcome from this, however, I would be extremely grateful for an internship or any kind of work experience. After New Designers I have a couple of internships lined up which I am very excited for! I can’t wait to get some experience in the industry. After I’ve completed a few internships, I’d love to become part of a print design team. I love creating prints for all products whether that’s accessories, stationery, fashion or interior, so to work for an established design team would be amazing!

Do you have any questions for someone who has already experienced ND?
Yeah definitely! I would love to know what their best bit of advice would be for how to prepare for the week? Also I have spoken to so many different people about New Designers and it seems that New Designers benefits people in all different ways. So, I’d love to know how New Designers benefitted them and were any opportunities opened to them? Also, what should I aim to take away from New Designers in order to make sure ­the experience is utilised to its full potential?

Designer: Faith Bland Photographer: Tommaso Montino Model: Elizabeth Whibley
Designer: Faith Bland
Photographer: Tommaso Montino
Model: Elizabeth Whibley
Designer: Faith Bland Photographer: Tommaso Montino Model: Elizabeth Whibley
Designer: Faith Bland
Photographer: Tommaso Montino
Model: Elizabeth Whibley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here to answer all of Faiths questions is an experienced New Designers exhibitor, exceptional knitter & textile designer. Introducing Harriett Grist

Harriett exhibited at ND16 and found it very rewarding. Since the show she has built up her own business which includes two ranges which we adore! The ‘hg.’ range is beautifully designed with a soft neutral palette combined with very exciting accents of brighter colours. Each bespoke product crafted by hand using a variety of knitted techniques to create contrast and texture to create a unique products. Harrietts second brand, ‘CHICKPEA’ will modernise and bring luxurious comfort to any home. This collection of knitted home-ware products have a real sumptuous feel, the soft colour palette combined with the lambswool quality really accentuates this.

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What is the importance of prepping for the show? What should you take with you?
It is important to prepare your work and decide how you would like it to look and what story you want it to tell. As there are so many other graduates exhibiting their work as well, you need to put serious thought into your display to make sure yours stands out from the crowd. Come prepared, produce a press pack, portfolio of your best work, business cards, CVs and descriptions about yourself and your work for any potential businesses etc. that might want to work with you. As the days can be super long, and depending on the weather it can get particularly hot, make sure you wear presentable but comfortable clothing and footwear, as well as taking lots of water with you to keep hydrated.

Do you have any advice for this years exhibitors?
Exhibiting at New Designers gave me the experience in self promotion and the confidence to help my set up my own business. Talking to an array of people and expressing my passion about my work at the exhibition helped convince me that I should go ahead and do it! The help, lectures and awards the New Designers offer are a great launch pad into the real world and it also really helped with networking. My main bit of advice would be to be yourself, be confident, talk to everyone and always smile! Be sure to check out One Year On and talk to alumni as it could be you standing there next year!

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“This was my first time exhibiting and I found the experience really invaluable as it was great practice for exhibitions I went on to do afterwards. I was selected to exhibit at the National Centre of Craft and Design as part of the graduates of 2016, as well as being a part of the Launch Pad section at MoOD in Brussels. Those two opportunities came about as a result of the right people viewing my work and picking up a business card at New Designers, so you never know what opportunities will be afforded to you!”

 

 

 

 

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Good Luck to all the new & upcoming textile designers exhibiting at this years New Designers show. Remember to use our hashtag #ExposeMeND17 on Instagram for exposure throughout the show.

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THE BRAE EMPORIUM

 

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Introducing… The Brae Emporium!

Launched by Laura Kelmo, Brae specialises in beautiful silk scarves printed in the British Isles. Here at Exposed Designers, we love how each piece tells a story, we can really feel a sense of journey within her work. The bold colourful patterns are inspired by the landscapes of Scotland and we can really see how the beauty of nature is reflected within these prints. We asked Laura a few questions about her time working with her brand Brae.

Tell us a bit about your background before you launched BRAE.

After leaving university and before launching BRAE I worked for various design companies throughout the UK. Some very established brands and some still up and coming, which gave me a well-rounded view of the industry as a whole. I’ve gained skills working in very traditional, almost feather and quill type art studios to learning how to keep up in fast paced, tech-only design studios. I felt that it was necessary to get as much experience behind me as possible to gain the confidence I needed to start my own brand. I started laying the foundations for BRAE last December so it’s almost been a year in the making, and it’s been a massive amount of work but I’ve loved every minute of it.

What drove you to start your own textile business?

Throughout my career I have always found myself in a position that helps companies start a new venture, whether it be the launch of a new design or colourway, a new collection or even a completely new sister brand. Being involved in the entire process, from trend research and design conception to the product development and the ultimate store launch is something that really excites me, so it felt only natural to start doing the same process for myself. The opportunity to have creative freedom was a huge deciding factor as well and I think I’m happiest when I have my product developer hat on. Sometimes my imagination can run wild with all of the development opportunities within a design. I love exploring all of the different options and now with my own brand I can actually spend the time fine tuning them and turning them into reality, I just think its so exciting and it keeps me very motivated.

Tell us about your process? How do your ideas come to life. 

I like to do a lot of research! I think research is such an important tool in a designer’s bag of tricks. Whether it’s researching trends, current affairs and popular culture or traditional techniques. I quite often lose myself in the research process when making my mood boards and colour palettes. The deeper I delve, the more likely I’m going to come up with something that’s completely my own and original to BRAE. Most of the time I don’t really focus on an end goal with my moodboards and they can often take a lot of re-working. When I’m 100% confident in the theme I’ll take it to the next step, which is usually hand drawing and painting or hand dyeing fabric, playing with texture, colour and form. I love the fluidity and the unexpected aspect of working by hand, there is something so beautiful about something that hasn’t been too crafted and perfected. Whilst I love the wonders of Photoshop and I certainly couldn’t live without it, I also love the idea of ink over pixels. Overall, for BRAE, a healthy mix of both is key!

We think its great you consider sustainability, is this something that has always been important to you when creating textiles?

Definitely! I’m very passionate about it and I think it’s so very important to protect our beautiful planet and the people who live here. Recycling is huge for me and all of the packaging materials for BRAE are made from recycled components. I’m also dedicated to creating a brand that is an extension of my own beliefs and that’s why I’m so proud of Brae’s 100% made in the UK ethos.  As consumers, I think it’s far too easy for us to forget about our ecological footprint and in particular the devastating consequences of fast fashion. Materials and labour are expensive so if you are buying something with a very cheap price tag then you can be fairly certain that someone, somewhere is working in pretty poor conditions in order for you to get that cheap fix. Or at the very least, cheap pesticides or dirty fossil fuels were used somewhere along the manufacturing process. I hate the idea of big corporations exploiting workers and in this day and age it’s inexcusable. I urge people to think about the consequences of their actions.

Choose well and buy less  – live by that and you’re fine.

We love your use of bold colours and patterns, what inspires this?

For me it’s usually nature and the vivid colours all around me. I’m really lucky in a sense though, that I get inspiration from almost anything and I’m a very visual person. My mind is constantly looking at things, trying to figure out how I could translate what I see into a drawing or a painting. I particularly love the contradiction between the delicacy of flowers and the wildness of the Scottish landscape.  I love a good contradiction and the idea of things fighting against the odds, an underdog so to speak. That’s how I feel about a lot of the flowers in the Scottish Landscape so I’m quite often drawn to them. Water also played a huge part in the inspiration for the BRAE AW16 collection. I love the erratic but beautiful patterns that are created when paint or dye mixes with water.

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At the moment you focus on creating unique luxurious scarves, have you always been passionate about fashion? Would you consider designingfor interiors in the future? 

Funnily enough, for most of my career I have been primarily involved in the interior industry. When I branched out on my own I knew that I wanted to incorporate both sides of the industry into BRAE but I also wanted to step away from what I have done previously and be seen in my own right, so I decided to focus on establishing my brand in the fashion industry before branching into interiors. I wanted a challenge and I certainly got one! I’m hoping to launch some interior pieces into my collection as early as next year though, so watch this space!

Where do you see BRAE in 5 years time?
 
Well firstly I want to expand my own product base. I like the idea of a men’s silk collection and I will definitely be branching into interior textiles and hopefully ceramics too at some point. My main goal however is for my website, THE BRAE EMPORIUM to become a place where new, up and coming designers can sell their designs too. This has always been my end game and the reason I named my website THE BRAE EMPORIUM. BRAE is my brand and the name of the label but THE BRAE EMPORIUM website will hopefully become a home for carefully selected and curated design talent. I’m already on the look out for other brands that complement BRAE and would like to hope that I could be approaching other designers in this way as early as next year.

What advice can you give to other textile designers looking to start their own business? 
 
To be 100% confident in yourself, your designs and your core values is the first step. Confidence is infectious and if you are confident in yourself other people will be confident in you as well. The second step would be to realise that starting your own business is completely achievable, it’s not a pipe dream and with a lot of hard work it’s very much a reality. Sure, you’re going to do a few late nights…okay more than a few but the end result is incredibly rewarding. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help, very few people have ever got to where they are without asking for help. Constructive feedback is a powerful tool and it’s basically gold dust when you’re working for yourself but you need to keep your core values at the heart of things and know when something isn’t right for your brand. At the end of the day it’s your ideas, your heart and soul and YOUR late nights that you are pouring into it, so you just have to own it.

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Website: https://www.thebraeemporium.co.uk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brae_uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBraeEmporium
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/TheBraeEmporium/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheBraeEmporium

ONE NIGHT EIGHT FIVE

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Exposed Designers is here to support emerging textile designers and as we love to promote new brands we thought we would introduce you to ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE. Established in 2016 and very recently launched in September, this London-based British lifestyle brand is recognised for their creative prints and colour combinations. Here at Exposed Designers we love their use of rich, sophisticated colours and think they would add warmth to any home.  We caught up with Eleanor Nadimi, the founder of ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE, and asked her a few questions about her brand. Her passion and determination is really inspiring and has some great advice for other designers. We feel Eleanor has been on a great journey and achieved something exceptional, so keep reading to find out more…

Tell us a bit about your background before you launched your own business.

Before I started working on ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE I was living in Stockholm. I lived there for 4 1/2 years and worked as a print designer for H&M, I moved there for the job. The job was fantastic, I travelled the world, lead a team, designed prints and forecasted trends, I learnt so much working there. I was lucky because I managed to move around quite a bit within the company working on their mens and womens youth collections as well as their homeware department giving me an insight into a lot of different aspects when it comes to collection planning, buying, trend forecasting etc all the things you don’t get taught at school but after a while it felt like there was something missing. Since I was a kid I have always wanted to be an artist, be my own boss, have my own brand, I am a true believer in following your dreams so that’s eventually what I did, I quit! I left Stockholm, moved back to London to live with my mum, brother and sister and set up ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Where does your inspiration come from? 

I’m inspired by lots of different things, almost too much, movies, exhibitions, architecture, clothing, anything visual, my mind has a tendency to jump from one thing to the next way too quickly. To keep focused I try to simplify so I use high fashion as the main source of inspiration when creating the seasonal trends for ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE. I love fashion week, I get really excited to see what the houses are presenting for the next season and choosing what I believe will be key whether its a colour way or print direction. I have always loved styling, creating an identity, using clothing to represent who you are. My style completely changes depending on my mood, I use clothing to reflect who I am without even thinking about it. I see a home as the same thing, it is a reflection of who you are just in a different form.

Can you tell us a bit about your process and materials you work with.

My process begins with researching and collecting inspiring imagery in line with the trend direction I have chosen for the season. Once I have gathered the initial material I draw, collage and paint, I usually do this with my music on really loud and just zone out. It’s very important for me to draw without thinking too much about the collection at this stage otherwise my work can sometimes get a bit stiff. I tend to draw for a few days straight and then step away, leave my work for a day or two and then continue drawing with fresh eyes, analyse, see what stands out the most and then filter the drawings. Once I’ve edited the drawings I put them onto my computer and re-work the pieces into repeat or placement patterns depending on the product that it is aimed for. There’s a lot of editing, printing out and reflecting, sometimes I can stare at the prints for hours, tweaking the tiniest details. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, too much of one at times!

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ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE uses ethically sourced materials, can you tell us why this is important to you?

Sustainability has always been very important to me, I love nature and appreciate how amazing the world is. I think that when you start your own brand it becomes an extension of who you are and as a result ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE needs to be a brand that has an ethical approach in all aspects of the business. I think that the world we live in is extremely precious and everyone has a duty to do their bit in maintaining it. I wanted to create a brand that has core values such as using ethical processes, being dedicated to creating British manufactured goods and working with recycled fabrics wherever possible, all of these points are super important to me and hopefully to others too.

Describe your brand in 3 words. 

British
Diverse
Contemporary

If you could give one piece of advice for other textile designers that are wanting to set up on their own, what would it be? 

Be flexible and willing to adapt! Apart from the obvious things that you need like ambition and the sheer determination to succeed you need to have a flexible plan that is constantly evolving ready to tackle the latest hurdle in your way. Flexibility and problem solving is key. Starting your own business is not easy but it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. The trickiest thing I have experienced so far is that nothing plays out the way you expect it to which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because something amazing can come from something unexpected. You have to be constantly on your toes, be assertive and ready to adapt to the situation that has presented itself to you whether it be needing to changed a supplier, fabric, re-work a product or marketing scheme. Don’t be scared to reassess or edit strategies to get to your goal but make sure that you do this whilst keeping the integrity of who you are and what your brand stands for, those core values should never change as this defines you and gives you your USP.

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Website: http://www.onenineeightfive.co.uk/

Instagram: @onenineeightfive.official

Twitter: @onenineeight5

Giveaway Competition

Welcome to the Exposed Designers blog!

We will be featuring textile designers, sharing competitions, events and much more! Subscribe on our website to keep up to date. We have kicked off with a giveaway competition to celebrate reaching 11k followers on Instagram. Keep reading to find out more…

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This competition is an exciting chance to win an A3 print and a greetings card designed by Maya Elbourki. To enter into our competition all you need to do is repost this image on Instagram using the hashtag #ExposeMeMaya and follow @mayaelbdesign ! Maya is a textile designer and illustrator based in Manchester. She recently graduated and has been running her own business for around a year now. We have teamed up with Maya to showcase her beautiful botanical prints. We loved her bold use of colour and intricate design work. Below are some more examples of her work that you can purchase from her website.

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Website: www.mayaelbdesign.com Twitter: @MayaElbDesign Instagram: @mayaelbdesign Facebook: @mayaelbdesign