What is name and background behind your company?
I’m a costume designer & maker based in London. I trained in textile design (specialising in embroidery) and have a background in film & TV
Given my background, I was delighted that my son had a natural passion for dressing up from an early age. He dressed in whatever he could find lying around the place (a marigold glove, a piece of string or cardboard cut to his requirements, a vintage fur hat, a fringed leather waistcoat). I watched how freely he played when his games sprung from his own imagination. He invented characters and stories to go with each (somewhat eclectically styled) outfit. He became the creator of his own world. He became the inspiration behind iwishiwasa...
I started to make pieces ‘on demand’ for him, then for his friends and over time, this evolved into iwishiwasa…
My mission is to produce pieces which are vibrant, fun, beautiful and well crafted with an emphasis on colour and design. I value imagination and my costumes are designed to encourage creative play. Each piece is made by hand in my studio in South London and the detailing and finishing I do myself.
Where are you based?
I have a studio space just 5 mins from my house at the vibrant Bussey Building in Peckham
What do you love most about living in London?
The energy, vibrancy, sense of community, Londoners’ open-ness and friendliness
We are lucky to be living in such a culturally rich city with so many things to do and see, many for free. Ranging from ‘high’ culture: art, galleries, design etc, to the cultural and ethnic mix of people living here and diversity of street culture, music, food etc etc
Who or what inspires you?
Inspiration can strike at any time… I often have great ideas whilst just chatting with friends (a kind of informal and lighthearted brainstorming) I enjoy talking to kids and getting inside their heads (usually a very interesting place!) and watching how they play. I find the work of many photographers and childrens writers/illustrators inspiring as they have the power to transport me to another world.
What advice would you give designers starting out?
Don’t work in a vacuum… Get out there, get seen, get feedback from customers, ask for help, there is a lot of support for new designers in terms of business, creative development and community.
What is new for your company?
New collections just about to launch for Christmas 2012 and lots of exciting new products in development for 2013