Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mr Wingate

Today we catch up with inspiring designer Sam Wingate, who is behind the brand Mr Wingate, which is stocked in Harrods, Selfridges and the British Museum. Mr Wingate is featured in "Inspired:London - A Guide to Handmade in London", and we are delighted to catch up with him and hear more about his company & products. 

What is name and background behind your company?
My Company Name is Mr Wingate

And My Background is: 
'Back in 2006, fresh out of art school, with a passion for architecture and an eye for detail, I set up, Mr Wingate.

Initially selling hand printed T-shirts from a market stall on Brick Lane.  This seemed like the right idea as I had already played around at art school printing my own clothes and found I was getting a great response.  The market stall proved popular and before long Mr Wingate T-shirts were available not only from the stall but also small boutiques across the UK and even in Japan.

In 2010 I  felt it was time to move into the home wares market, and launched a range of hand printed cushions featuring illustrations of East End pubs. It was a fruitful move for the company, and it wasn’t long before top department store Selfridges were selling cushions from the Mr Wingate range.

More recently, I have starting working with retailers to produce bespoke and exclusive ranges, including cushions for Harrods, Selfridges and the British Museum.' Designer Sam Wingate

Where are you based?
I live in Hackeny but I work in my studio, which is on Fish Island in Hackney Wick.  It’s in an old peanut factory overlooking the Olympic park.

How long have you been in business for?
6 years.

What do you love most about living in London?
There are so many things.  I think mostly I love the amount of stuff going on, and the amount of people working in a similar way to me.  Its great to have friends in similar situations run things over with, and bounce ideas off.

Its also pretty good being able to get about everywhere by bike or bus, I grew up in the country side where the public transport equated to three busses a week, each going to different places, so I love just being able to hop on a bus and meet your friends for a drink.

Who or what inspires you?
I’m really inspired by architecture.  I’d had plans when I was at school to become an architect, but didn’t do too well in my A-levels. 

What advice would you give designers starting out?
 Don’t expect it all at once.  Generally, It takes a long time to get anywhere, which is a good thing because you can figure out what you’re really all about along the way.

What is new for your company?
I’ve got two new commissions launching for Oxford University Shop and the British Museum in time for Christmas.  I’m also working on a non textile product which I’m pretty excited about, but its in the early stages so I don’t want to jinx it.  Keep checking my website for now.

You can pre-order your copy of Inspired:London  by Mary McDermott from We Make London
Follow the link to get your copy here

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