Friday, 18 May 2012

Foot through the Yellowdoor

Amber Wood, PR Director at Emslie Creative has worked in many great PR agencies including Yellowdoor and Spin Publicity on accounts including Clarks Originals, Matalan and Radley. Most recently she has opened her own PR Agency called Emslie Creative and represents LA celebrity Nicole Richie's labels, House of Harlow 1960 and Winter Kate, cashmere designer Madeleine Thompson, scarf brand Beta Fashion and jewellery labels, Firouzeh, Kat&Bee and Mia Lia.

FD: How did your studies influence your business venture?
AW: I studied Fashion Promotion at UCA Rochester. The course ultimately guided me towards PR and Marketing. I absolutely loved the course and worked really hard on every project. I also dedicated much of my free time to work experience to gain as much knowledge as possible.

FD: You previously worked at Yellowdoor, tell us a little about your time there?
AW: Yellowdoor was a great company to work for. I worked on great accounts and at many legendary events.

FD: Did you have any particular inspiration to start up your own PR consultancy and how did you decipher on selecting a title for your company?
AW: I have always wanted to run my own business. Every job I have had in the past has been working towards this moment. Emslie is my middle name and runs in my family.

FD: What did you find most challenging / rewarding when setting up your own pr consultancy?
AW: Learning about the business side of things. I am an expert in my field of work, but when it comes to the business side I am learning as I go along!

FD: What do you see for the future of Emslie Creative?
AW: Representing more great brands, building the Emslie Creative brand and to continue working with great people.

FD: Who/What would be your dream company/person/brand to be associated/work with?
AW: My dream is to continue what I am doing now. All of my energies are focussing on the amazing brands I represent now.■


Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Merchandiser from Mulberry

Laura Heritage, Creative Visual Merchandiser for Mulberry for the last 3.3 years divulges us with her steady journey through fashion and why to persue those 'accidental' opportunities.

" I love developing window ideas, visiting factories, travelling to showrooms and walking around new places with my eyes open in the name of work. I also really like all the Frame Publishers magazines, swimming in the open air and good fresh coffee."

FD: What did you study at University/where? and how has your studies aided you in terms of your career?
LH: Fine Art, at Nottingham Trent Uni. I don’t think the course had a direct impact on my job, but then I always knew that my degree choice wasn’t a vocational one. Instead I opted for doing something I would really enjoy for 3 years, leaving the career decisions to a time when I could slowly work out what I wanted to get into from the safety of my parent’s house.

FD: How did you find yourself working for Mulberry?
LH: By total accident – I managed to get my foot in the fashion door through a tip off from my Petersham Nurseries manager. Stella McCartney had previously launched her care range there, so I used their Press Director contact to worm my way into an internship in the Press department. After a few months of non-stop send-outs to magazines and celebrities I started to feel creatively stifled and pushed for a stint in the more creative Golborne Road office, where I fell into the VM team. When I heard, through a headhunter, about a vacancy at Mulberry I jumped ship and have been here ever since.

FD: Have you always been aware of Visual Merchandising and what it entails?
LH: Not at all – in fact I think it’s something that most of us in VM learn on the job.

FD: Do you look at other brands for inspiration/as competition?
LH: Of course, you’d be na├»ve not to. I try to take half days here and there to do comp shopping in London, and make a point of wandering the streets of Paris/Milan/NY with my camera when I’m out with work. Super multibrand stores like Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Liberty and Selfridges, as well as Super luxe brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Stella and Lanvin are usually on my hit list.

FD: What is your favourite season / event to plan/design for?
LH: Autumn Winter is my favourite season to design for – Mulberry always pull out the deepest, autumnal colour palettes and thickest printed knits which I find are the best inspirations for window schemes and fashion shows.

FD: What would be your dream idea? (any location/ unlimited budget / resources...)
LH: This is the hugest question! As I’m always restricted by store window dimensions I’d love to design something for an outside space. I’m massively into craft so there would have to be elements of knitting, paper or ceramics. Although I have developed a keen eye for luxury finishes, I’m a big fan of chipboard and cork…and not adverse to a bit of chickenwire or cardboard either. Anything can look good when used en masse, especially if juxtaposed with something classy to give it an element of style. At the Milan Furniture Fair this year there was a lot of marble and mirror on show which could be fun to throw into the mix! A bit mental but definitely full of impact.■

Images supplied by Laura Heritage; Bond Street Halloween A/W11 Window, Bond Street Halloween Visual, Bond Street 40 days of Christmas A/W11 Window, Christmas Trunk Visual

A: Mulberry, 30 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4HA

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Detailed Designer

Originally from the North East of England, however currently residing in Leeds while she completes her final year studying Visual Communication at Leeds College of Art, Printed Textile Designer and Print Maker, Sarah Renwick of & (check it out for previews of her designs and inspirations) shares some of her aspirations, possible future ventures and her love for Eastern art.

"Sarah Renwick is a printed textile designer, particularly inspired by geometric shapes and interested in traditional theories regarding tessellation and repetition.

She uses traditional printmaking methods such a silk screen, mono, block and lino to add texture and depth to her designs."

FD: Your designs have come far, what has been your main influence for your different designs?
SR:I mainly take inspiration from geometric shapes and colours used in Eastern art. As a western designer, I enjoy seeking inspiration from different cultures and allowing this to form an underlying visual language to my work. My most recent collection is a contemporary response to traditional Islamic tapestries and quilts.

FD: What different mediums do you use? / What is your preferred medium?
SR:During my time at Leeds College of Art, I have become aware of the fact that there has been a revival in the use of traditional printmaking techniques. By reconnecting with these craft based skills, such as silkscreen printing and monoprinting, I have discovered a way of creating contemporary prints, which are complemented by the use of traditional printing processes. I have coupled this passion for printmaking with my interest in geometric shapes, natural forms and theories regarding tessellation and repetition, resulting in an exciting and unique approach to image making.

FD: What are your future aspirations?
SR:I hope to work within an environment that promotes and supports traditional printing methods, in an attempt to prolong the existence of craft based skills. I also plan to continue designing and making printed textile homeware products to be sold online and hopefully to be stocked in stores nationwide (a girl can dream, right?). I'm also currently in discussion with a company who are interested in selling my designs as wallpaper which is really exciting for me.

FD: Who's work inspires you? / Who do you look to for inspiration?
SR: This is a tough one, I find inspiration anywhere and everywhere! As I mentioned earlier, I am mainly inspired by traditional Eastern works of art, however, there are a few contemporary designers whose work I particularly admire. I find the simplicity and subtlety of Scandinavian inspiring and I'm often referring to Lotta Jansdotter's Print and Pattern book for ideas and inspiration. I also look to John Robshaw, who like myself, references the East and his cultural experiences in his designs. His eye for colour and use of simple geometric shapes is particularly inspiring.

FD: Where would you see your designs in the future?
SR: I mainly see my designs in interior settings, whether it be in homes, cafes or hotels. I think the main selling point of my work is it's versatility. The colours and shapes that I use in my designs are bold, but they look at home in any environment.

FD:Would you consider moving into a different industry i.e clothing?
SR: Never say never! Interiors is my focus at the minute, I have made t-shirts and bags with my designs in the past, however, I feel that because my patterns are often quite bold and colourful, I think they are better suited to homeware and are more versatile in that environment.■

Images ''; Hand printed 'hungarian cross' tea towels, Leeds Gallery Pop Up Shop, Cushions

T: +44 (0) 7792018475

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Man of Many Talents;

1/3rd of Queensland band HorseFight and stylist at boutique hair salon Pimps & Pin Ups in the heart of Spitalfields Market, London, Luke Dunell talks about modern influences within male grooming and how the music scene is one of the biggest inspirations of all.

FD: What are you finding is influential to most men in terms of male grooming at the moment?
L: I think at the moment theres all different types of things, you have your sort of ‘shabby chic’, which a lot of guys are going for which I think is quite good. In comparison, you have the really sharp meterosexual looks that were around maybe two, or three years ago. But it’s all depending, around here at the moment Spitalfields and Shoreditch guys are really going for stuff that’s quite edgy, so you’re going for disconnected cuts, which is basically like shaved pieces [runs fingers down from temples and around the back of his head] and then maybe long at the top. But it does range from that to really sharp cropped, well cut classic barber cuts aswell.

FD: What are the most prominent grooming trends you’re seeing at the moment?
L: It depends on the guy obviously, but definitely going back to old school, a sort of sharpness at the moment. So you’ve got classic fades, going from skin up to maybe a grade three and guys are really open to that at the moment.

FD: Are you finding males to be more aware of current grooming trends in this day and age?
L: I think so yeah, I believe especially our clientelle, they thrive in it you know? They like to look around and see what other people are wearing. They come into the salon and will ask us “will it work?” and we’ll just go “yey” or “neigh” you know?

FD: Are your clients more specific in what they want, or do they let you take reign? L:I’d say it’s probably 50/50 the percentage of guys that are really definite in what they’re gonna get and other ones will leave it up to us a little bit. You know we’re sort of getting inspired by the stuff thats around us and whats happening. We definitely get inspiration from parties (laughs) and bands, I don’t know, music. I think anything thats going round and has got a little bit of, and I hate to say it but a scene to it you know? Something thats actually got a bit of a movement maybe.

FD: How have you seen trends in grooming shift over the years?
L: As I said earlier, a few years ago there was a sort of meterosexual movement which saw a lot of guys getting their straighteners out and straightening their hair, which is great. But it’s kind of progressed to a point where guys are a little bit happier to be a male, to be a bit shabby, yeah they still care about the way they look but they’re not worrying too much. I think it just depends on whats happening in the scene or area in which you’re around.

FD: Advertising plays a huge role in the marketing and promotion of male grooming especially now in the twenty first century, what do you feel has the most impact?
L: Just the stuff you see on TV or the way guys are wearing their hair in movies or ad’s is a massive factor. As far as products being designed towards men, every season each hair company is bringing out different products and I think more and more we are seeing stuff that is more open to maybe the ‘normal’ guy. It’s rare to see a guy now who has bad hair and I think that is becuase of advertising and because of magazines and maybe girlfriends going “look this is just not on!” Which is great, I think it’s really good, theres no reason to have shit hair, you know what I mean?! (laughs)■

A: 14 Lamb Street, Spitalfields, London, E16 EA
T: +44 (0) 2074262121