There’s no shortage of design talent in Sydney, but the reality of running a business can deter talented people just starting out.
One of our latest short-term creative tenants, The Design Residency, is here to nurture young designers working in fashion, product, textiles and jewellery. The project by Amanda Talbot and Lorraine Lock, will take designers from fledgling to a completely realised business in a program lasting six months to a year.
“Young designers are full of energy, enthusiasm and of course, talent. All too often that enthusiasm is dampened by the harsh reality of bad press, poor sales, dwindling bank accounts and stolen creative ideas,” says Talbot, a globally renowned design consultant and author, who has held the enviable posts at Elle Decoration UK, worked with design icon Ilse Crawford and consulted to Ikea and WGSN.
Talbot’s partner, Lorraine Lock, is a seasoned marketer with longstanding expertise in fashion (she started Fashion Week with then-husband Simon Lock). With years of knowledge and Lock’s guest lecturing position at The Fashion Design Studio Ultimo (TAFE), the pair understands the problems designers have firsthand – “no idea about business and marketing, no capital for start-ups, no contacts, no industry support, no creative environment in which to work.”
The program includes a dedicated workspace, mentoring program, publicity strategy, access to a showroom and inclusion in specialised talks and workshops. The costs range from $180-$250 per week and can be tailored for interstate designers.
There are six designers already in place – all at different stages in their process. “We have one designer who only has concept, one who is in the process of figuring out her manufacturing, one who has an amazing brand but no business ideas and one who has a finished product but needs a big PR push,” says Lock.
We hear the residents include a fashion designer inspired by the work of Francis Bacon, a visual artist who reworks her paintings into homewares, a fair-trade and ethical furnishings duo, an illustrator debuting a range based on Australian botanics and an ex-oil rig worker and sailor launching a light fittingly titled ‘The Buoy’.
The Design Residency is already on the lookout for their next lot of designers. They’ll be searching for talented people who are authentic to their story and able to work collaboratively in the program.