Described as ‘Colefax and Fowler on acid’, House of Hackney takes the traditional concept of homeware and subverts it entirely. Wallpaper is both chintzy and grungy, bed linen is dip-dyed and ombre’d and prints depict sloths smoking hookahs and badgers drinking cocktails. The life and business partners and founders of this new label Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle speak to Dazed Digital about their new creative venture ahead of their pop-up shop opening at the end of the month.
Dazed Digital: What's the concept behind House of Hackney?
House of Hackney: House of Hackney is about taking the concept of traditional British homeware products and breaking the rules associated with them to appeal to our generation (dip dyed fine bone china anyone?) Largely conceived for selfish reasons, House of Hackney was the homewares brand that we wanted to buy but couldn't. After a decade of minimalism, disposable throw-away homeware and everyone's homes looking the same we craved wallpaper, texture and colour and a return to maximalism.
We wanted well crafted products that are traditionally made and could be lived, loved and passed down. Although we are fascinated by older furniture blocks and textiles we wanted our collections to speak to our generation and so we have taken traditional home wares products such as wallpaper, bed linen and furniture and reworked them with playful and irreverent prints.
DD: How does House of Hackney sit differently beside other homeware brands?
House of Hackney: We've broken a lot of the traditional rules applied to interiors. Where traditionally the trends lag behind fashion, we're putting them out as soon as we feel it coming through. As our backgrounds are fashion and its what we know, we have applied a fashion mindset to the ranges - we put models in our campaigns and have collaborated largely with a fashion based team of photographers and stylists who through their editorials, perfectly captured the spirit of House of Hackney.
DD: Which process do you find the most interesting?
House of Hackney: Researching and designing the ranges, people's reactions to the ranges and traveling the country sourcing and meeting the lovely artisan factory workers who make our product.
DD: How do you collaborate on a personal/professional level?
House of Hackney: Very easily, we design together, one of us will have an intuition for a design and the other person will take it one step further. For example for the collection Dalston Rose I was feeling an English rose with dark overtones and Javvy came up with the genius idea of the ombre effect. We cover each others shortcomings and bring different things to the table with complimentary skills. Having separate offices on separate floors also helps. Parentwise we oscillate between good cop and bad cop with our beautiful little boy Javi.
DD: What inspires you besides interiors?
House of Hackney: Music, the soundtrack we work to (Zola Jesus and Genuflex), the company of our friends around our kitchen table, the work of set designers (Rhea Thierstein and Shona Heath) and photographers (David Dunan and Michael Baumgarten), Hackney City Farm, but mostly our beautifully boisterous son Javi.
DD: What are the future plans for House of Hackney?
House of Hackney: Big plans which we'd love to tell you but we'd have to kill you!
House of Hackney opens its first pop up shop on from March the 31st- 3rd April 2011 in a Dalston townhouse, 76 Stoke Newington road, Hackney N16 7XB