Posts tagged Urban Outfitters

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbour’s Shoes

I’m working on Miffy licensed girlswear this week which unusually for licensed is quite a lovely brief.

I spent the weekend visiting friends in London. While mooching about the usual haunts (Urban Outfitters/Shoreditch/Angel) I came across the work of James Hamilton Butler which I find very inspirational. I’d like to think its the style of illustration I’d be producing if all my time weren’t spent on commercial projects. And I was interested to find out he also studied at Manchester.


While in london I also did some digging and found out that the Ash Viper trainers I so covet are sold out worldwide but will be available again in January. Counting the months…

I feel honoured to have been mentioned in a blog of a designer I admire, Jen of Frilldesign. I’ve been a fan of social networking online for almost 10 years now and I love that you can connect with likeminded folk so effortlessly

Directional ladies fashion prints

I’m working on ladies fashion today which makes a nice change from kids and nightwear. The brief (and I use that term loosely - when I do ladieswear, I rarely get a nice clear, specific brief) calls for etherial, ambiguous imagery with hand sketch and paint techniques. I always struggle when I’m faced with this kind of project as in essence its got to look like nothing, but its still got to be something and that’s a real challenge.

I’m enjoying splashing the paints around and doing some hand rendering though, and the eagle design above it the fruits of this mornings labours. I’ve got to produce at least another 3 in that vein though so I’d better get on…

Pick of the new prints at Urban Outfitters, Lost in London & Susie Ghahremani


My London trip was very worthwhile, dispite getting lost in the Elephant & Castle subway system and getting to the LCC too late to get in to see the Images33 exhibition. Luckily, the show is touring so I will catch it later in the year at Birmingham or Nuneaton.

I did manage to do all of the other things I’d planned though. I met with my customer who I design nightwear for. I had mixed feelings after the meeting. While I’m really upbeat about the fact they’ve managed to secure some new business and have plenty of work for me, I couldn’t help feeling downhearted about the quality of graphics they’re using as design direction.

Perhaps its a result of working at Next and enjoying real investment in beautiful design, but the placements and appliques the nightwear customers are settling for is truly dire. This level of the market is always going to be more commercial, I always accepted that this easily accessible mass-appeal design isn’t going to push any design boundaries.

It struck home more than ever yesterday that the designs I’m being asked to create versions of and the ones being manufacted by my customer which have been created by my peers are saddeningly poor. I’m trying not to dwell on it too much though and the only thing I can do is try and keep my designs to a standard I’m proud of regardless of customer.

I also made it to the Dover Book Shop which exceeded all expectations. Kid in a sweet shop doesn’t even come close. I’ll save the details for another day…

Urban Outfitters is probably my favourite retailer. The store is like a treasure trove especially when you don’t have one nearby and only get to visit on the odd occasion. It quenches my relentless thirst for constant newness and while many of their lines don’t appeal to me directly as a customer, I find it all pure gold from a design-inspiration perspective. I got the images at the top of this entry of my favourite prints currently in store and had there been any Ps left in the filigree 3-d alphabet, I wouldn’t have been able to restrain myself. Instead I had to settle for a hen-adorned hook rack from Top Shop to satisfy my newfound compulsion to procure obscure objet.



I also bought this set of notecards by Susie Ghahremani, my latest inspirational illustrator. Her work is so lovely. I’m dying to put pen to paper but I’m now booked up till late next week which is great from a paying-the-bills point of view but not so good for developing a self-directed body of work…