News for May 2014

Commercialising Creativity

A number of months ago I took part in an informal interview with an MBA student from London Business School who was writing a report commissioned by the British Fashion Council about the state of the industry and designer practice. Little did I know then that my involvement, sitting on a bench in the sun outside the Truman Brewery, would mean a credit in the acknowledgements of the report alongside the likes of Sian Westerman of Rothschild, Marigay McKee from Saks Fifth Avenue and Andrea O’Donnell from Lane Crawford.

And as for the report itself? Titled ‘Commercialising Creativity‘, the findings make for a compelling read. I’m sure many of the industry’s stalwarts will think these obvious and unnecessary to repeat, but for designers, especially those in the early stages of their businesses, the report will be invaluable not only as advice for best practice, but as a guideline to follow to keep them on the straight and narrow towards commercial success.

With that in mind, now feels like an apt time to quietly announce the arrival of my new project, The Bridge Club. Too often I have seen designers with inimitable potential yet little to no business acumen or infrastructure. I’d like to change that. I’ll be working with a select number of exciting London designer brands offering a 360 degree view and tailored strategies to help them grow, form meaningful partnerships and become self-sustaining. Watch this space for its official launch post-LFW and keep an eye on Twitter/Instagram @TheBridgeClub_

Exploring Lincoln

I felt like I was doing Wallace & Gromit proud when last weekend I set off for a mini break in Lincoln. It’s so lovely being able to explore England in a way that is usually reserved for European jaunts.

The reason for the trip was that 4 Uni friends, myself included, were long overdue a catch-up, especially considering we are now spread about the country. Lincoln was a totally arbitrary pick save it being more or less a half way meeting point, but when we arrived and took the 20min walk to our BnB we discovered that we’d struck gold – mini break heaven!

Lincoln town is split into the modern, flat part – the high street, the wharf and its stretch of restaurants (chains, pubs, the Odeon); the second half feels like another world – ascending up Steep Hill (it ain’t called that for nothing!) the modern shops dissipate in favour of antique shops, tea rooms, independent homeware boutiques and art galleries. The Cathedral and castle sit atop this part of the town and make for a gloriously scenic stay.

We stayed at the Goodlane BNB which I can’t recommend highly enough. Situated just outside of the Newport Arch (the old city wall) its proprietor Sue and dog Jack were incredibly welcoming, and it felt just like staying in a home rather than a hotel.

We could barely tear ourselves away – fave haunts included Bells tea room (Bunty’s is also highly recommended), Browns pie shop,  Roly’s Fudge Pantry, Lincoln castle (currently undergoing huge regeneration but still open in part), the square that connects the Cathedral & Castle (the Magna Carta pub looked popular, but we also liked the Wig & Mitre) and Shambles antiques centre where I fell in love with a £5 1930’s butter dish.