Here at Exposed Designers we love their use of rich, sophisticated colours and think they would add warmth to any home. We caught up with Eleanor Nadimi, the founder of ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE, and asked her a few questions about her brand. Her passion and determination is really inspiring and has some great advice for other designers. We feel Eleanor has been on a great journey and achieved something exceptional, so keep reading to find out more.
Tell us a bit about your background before you launched your own business. Before I started working on ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE I was living in Stockholm. I lived there for 4 1/2 years and worked as a print designer for H&M, I moved there for the job. The job was fantastic, I travelled the world, lead a team, designed prints and forecasted trends, I learnt so much working there. I was lucky because I managed to move around quite a bit within the company working on their mens and womens youth collections as well as their homeware department giving me an insight into a lot of different aspects when it comes to collection planning, buying, trend forecasting etc all the things you don't get taught at school but after a while it felt like there was something missing. Since I was a kid I have always wanted to be an artist, be my own boss, have my own brand, I am a true believer in following your dreams so that's eventually what I did, I quit! I left Stockholm, moved back to London to live with my mum, brother and sister and set up ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE. It's been an emotional roller-coaster but I wouldn't change it for the world.
Where does your inspiration come from? I'm inspired by lots of different things, almost too much, movies, exhibitions, architecture, clothing, anything visual, my mind has a tendency to jump from one thing to the next way too quickly. To keep focused I try to simplify so I use high fashion as the main source of inspiration when creating the seasonal trends for ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE. I love fashion week, I get really excited to see what the houses are presenting for the next season and choosing what I believe will be key whether its a colour way or print direction. I have always loved styling, creating an identity, using clothing to represent who you are. My style completely changes depending on my mood, I use clothing to reflect who I am without even thinking about it. I see a home as the same thing, it is a reflection of who you are just in a different form.
Can you tell us a bit about your process and materials you work with. My process begins with researching and collecting inspiring imagery in line with the trend direction I have chosen for the season. Once I have gathered the initial material I draw, collage and paint, I usually do this with my music on really loud and just zone out. It's very important for me to draw without thinking too much about the collection at this stage otherwise my work can sometimes get a bit stiff. I tend to draw for a few days straight and then step away, leave my work for a day or two and then continue drawing with fresh eyes, analyse, see what stands out the most and then filter the drawings. Once I've edited the drawings I put them onto my computer and re-work the pieces into repeat or placement patterns depending on the product that it is aimed for. There's a lot of editing, printing out and reflecting, sometimes I can stare at the prints for hours, tweaking the tiniest details. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, too much of one at times!
ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE uses ethically sourced materials, can you tell us why this is important to you? Sustainability has always been very important to me, I love nature and appreciate how amazing the world is. I think that when you start your own brand it becomes an extension of who you are and as a result ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE needs to be a brand that has an ethical approach in all aspects of the business. I think that the world we live in is extremely precious and everyone has a duty to do their bit in maintaining it. I wanted to create a brand that has core values such as using ethical processes, being dedicated to creating British manufactured goods and working with recycled fabrics wherever possible, all of these points are super important to me and hopefully to others too.
Describe your brand in 3 words. British, Diverse, Contemporary.
If you could give one piece of advice for other textile designers that are wanting to set up on their own, what would it be? Be flexible and willing to adapt! Apart from the obvious things that you need like ambition and the sheer determination to succeed you need to have a flexible plan that is constantly evolving ready to tackle the latest hurdle in your way. Flexibility and problem solving is key. Starting your own business is not easy but it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. The trickiest thing I have experienced so far is that nothing plays out the way you expect it to which isn't necessarily a bad thing because something amazing can come from something unexpected. You have to be constantly on your toes, be assertive and ready to adapt to the situation that has presented itself to you whether it be needing to changed a supplier, fabric, re-work a product or marketing scheme. Don't be scared to reassess or edit strategies to get to your goal but make sure that you do this whilst keeping the integrity of who you are and what your brand stands for, those core values should never change as this defines you and gives you your USP.