Sisters Faye and Erica Toogood. Photography by Romain Duquesne
Studio Toogood; two sisters who have joined forces to create clothes “fashioned by industry, not the fashion industry”
I have known her work for many years, actually she was the one who inspired me to take the step. Get out from the box. To create like a child. Without no limits, no fear and enjoy the journey. I´m talking about Faye Toogood. The Faye Toogood. You will know Faye for her design work. You need to know her work. Her studio house has creatives of all disciplines, from furniture to sculpture and architecture. And I´ve been there, the studio is amazing place. Read more from my visit there here and here.
Last spring when she was in Stockholm invited by Grand relations, I got some time to talk to her and I took the chance to ask her the questions that a creative want´s to ask other talented creative… Just creatives talk. And here is what I asked her about.
AnnaLeena: You are known as a leading interior designer and stylist with you own unique world. And the latest years you also started to work more with your sister Erica Toogood. Btw it looks amazing! Tell me more about this..
Faye Toogood: Thank you! I´ve created environments rather than sets and for these enviroments and installations I often needed or wanted a uniform element or clothing element. A lot of times we where also working on projects together, so even tho she was working for her, she was tailoring for the time, some cuture work, that she would come and work on some projects. There was one specific projekt 7 by 7, a public artpice, where we hung 49 coats around the streets of London for the London Sewing festival. Giant coats. All celibrating the traids and the manufacturing and the professions loved and lost. That was really the project where we said, right, we want to do this.
We want to take coats as the essense of what we are going to do. Now I realise that its much eaiser to sell coats than chairs.
AL: My blog readers are creative people, and many of them students and I want to ask some questions for them also and for me. So first, how would you describe yourself?
FT: Answer Oh….dragon fly, greedy, impatiant, outsider and very emotional.
AL: What is a secret skill that you have?
FT: Photographic memory I think…I see the whole world purely in images, and like to have whole conversations just through images. And I`m married to someone who sees the world completely through words acctually. Completely different.
AL: How did you choose your profession?
FT: I dont think I chose the profession. I thought I wanted to become an interior architecht. And I worked for a architect firm for a year and I very quickly realised that it wasn’t for me, it didnt suit my temperament. I found myself in magazines. I think originally, when i was very small I wanted to be a sculptor. Now I’m coming round to that but through objects, clothes and furniture. But I think, I have many titles and it can be very confusing, schizophrenic.
AL: When was the first time you knew that you wanted to work with design?
FT: I think as soon as I understood what that was. That would be about when I was 8 or 9 years. I went to Barbera Hepwoth, a british sculpture, I went to her house with my parents. I stood in that room and it had such a powerfull effect on me. The geometry the sculptures , pictures of her. I remember thinking, that´s what I want to do. I dont thing that I knew that it in any way was related to art. And the second part was when I was finished University and I studied fine art, I realized I didn’t want to become an artist, I was much more interested in creating things for people rather then myself.
AL: What advise would you give to young designers out there?
FT: I didn’t train in design so I often feel like the the wrong person to ask, but I think the most important thing from my experience is not really care about what anybody thinks. Believe that anything is possible. Your carrier can be your learning and can be your experience. You can find your way along the way. You choose a carrier and you take a step towards that. You can turn yourself in to anything at any moment, as long as you belive it, it really comes from within.
AL: There are so many influences. How did you stay true to what you like, it feels like everything that you do is so you?
FT: Thats so interesting because if someone ask me, I think its really difficult to describe my style. There is so many saying that is so you. But probably the people looking in have a much clearer view than I do, looking at it. I think actually my personal style only really started when I started to make my own objects, when I went from being an stylist which is basicly to absorb and edit to commit myself to make my own objects. Then I got to grips of who I am.
AL: How do you keep yourself inspired?
FT: I have had periods of feeling not very inspired, feeling overloaded, as someone who are very visual and aware can be very overloaded, in terms of blogs, instagram, pinterest and so on there is a overload. So sometimes you have to be in the middle of nowhere, probably nature, landscape is always a place where something shouts out.
AL: Whats the braves creative thing you ever done?
FT: I think it was the Hermes project. When I took up the handbags from groundflloor covered the whole place in red, put red foam interior and neon
lights in a very traditional brand store in London. Some called it a appatour, some people loved it. But for me it was proabably the bravest thing, a moment of slicing thru, which i am quite proud of, and im not normally proud. (See the Hermes projekt here)