11 July 2009

The Hemingways

I mentioned Wayne Hemingway one of the founders of Red or Dead, the fashion label, in my previous post. But now that I look at my seminar notes I have many interesting bits to share with my fellow readers that came straight from the brilliant Hemingway himself. Not only was he hilarious, but he successfully explained how he didn't study design but found himself as a 'designer', sharing how he came to terms with that as a career.

Wayne's current project is called the Kiosk Kiosk pop up retail space. Sick of the high street stores taking over every creative hub in the city Wayne set about designing the Kiosk concept with Boris Johnson(loony mayor of London). The Kiosk concept is all about bringing back spaces of creativity and beacons of energy to our streets. You don't planning permission for these kiosks, they can be plopped anywhere.

Kiosk Notes:
  • Rent of shops in Covent garden rose from 600 pounds a week to 4200 a week. Its hard for creative start ups to lease stores in expensive locations.
  • Pop up shop concept has been a success in Japan
  • Kiosks in London sell touristy things and ice cream and faker footballer shirts in ugly green kiosks.
  • Council can profit from it and lease it to locals
  • Creativity makes things exciting: Wayne wants to bring t he serendipity back in shopping
  • 60,000 student applied for a kiosk. They had products and wanted a space.
  • Kiosks would rent for 400 a week.
Red or dead notes:
  • Started Red or Dead Label with wife Geraldine in 1982.
  • Having no money for rent they went to sell their second hand clothes and Geraldine's sewn clothes at Camden Market. They sold it all in the first day.
  • They sold through Kensington Market and had their first huge order by Macy's.
  • Don't need to be a designer to understand quality of life.
  • They have come from the mass market and design for it.
  • He didn't talk the language, he didn't draw, felt inferior to all designers.
  • Design is about making things better, and wanting to change things for the better.
  • He buys the Economist and Business week to know more about livability.
Hemingway now runs his design company with his wife. Their projects are in fashion, urban design, interiors and projects. Hemingway studied urban design in UCL and its amazing that after his stint with fashion he's back full circle doing what he loves, designing for the world and taking a special interest in housing and environmental design.
My notes:
  • Wayne is warm, funny, humble.
  • He joyously explained that anyone can be a designer for a better quality of life
  • As a designer you must have another existing principle other than design. Its the essence of your brand;your purpose.
  • It is important to give back to your community and create channels for other people to give back as well.
  • A label is not just about the person but about the team behind it.


Ondo Lady said...

I have always liked Wayne Hemmingway because he has always come across as so down to earth yet passionate about what he does. I think the pop up store sounds like a great concept and one is being slowly embraced. With money being tight and lots of creatives starting out then the pop up seems like an economical way to go in retail.

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