Ready to deep dive into the history of one of our most popular and established artist names? We thought so.
In perfect harmony with our Mid Century Modern collection Haus, (it's almost like we planned it?) we caught up with Wayne from the juggernaught design house Hemingway Design. It's an epic story that started from humble beginnings. Grown and developed by Wayne and partner Gerardine, they have left a truly unique mark on the design and festival scenes in the UK. We talked the history of the organisation and the evolution of their astonishing multiple-industry-spanning design presence.
What's your earliest memory related to art? First museum visit or first artwork that really caused an impact in you? It was a Vladimir Tretchikoff , Lady of the Orient , my Nan bought it from a catalogue , probably Littlewoods
Wayne and Gerardine, can you sum up the night you met in Angels in 5 words? “Bobby Hutton Lend a Hand” ..first record we danced to and we both had it on 45 , and we both still have those lovely 7” slabs of vinyl
Do you have any funny anecdotes from being a young designer or even Wayne from being in your band that you would be willing to share? Our band, Diversen , were playing at a fetish club , Stallions on Charing Cross Road , it had been arranged as a showcase for the A & R cohort from various record labels as we were starting to make a name for ourselves . Most of the band were so nervous and out of their comfort zone with all those people in leather full ace masks , on all fours being led round on leads , some with red balls in their mouths( which was almost as scary as the A & R’s ) , that they got totally p*ssed and gig was the worst we played . We packed in after that and I concentrated on building Red or Dead
You have an enormously broad base of creative enterprises, Red or Dead, Land of Lost Content, HemingwayDesign and The Vintage Festival to name just a few. Do you have a favourite or do any of your ventures stand out as being particularly close to your hearts looking back? We are , of course , proud of coming to London with nowt and building Red or Dead into such a massive brand (not that enamoured with what the brand turned into after we sold it though!) but equally proud of what HemingwayDesign has produced and is delivering over the past 20 years or so. We love so much of what we do from our first large scale housing project The Staiths South Bank in Gateshead , to our festivals we instigated The National Festival of Making , The Festival of Thrift , First Light and more , our placebrand and placemaking work around the UK and we are just about to deliver something amazing in The Good Business Festival
Which magazines can we find on your coffee table? Guardian , FT Weekend
How have you coped with the challenges of lock down? Business wise we have been able to keep going with no redundancies , minimal furloughing and delivered some great work and projects . As a family we have been fully locked down as we have been shielding a family member at risk. Luckily we have a lovely home which we designed ourselves , lots of indoor and outdoor space so we have been luckier than most .
Has this period led to any new ideas of valuations of how you operate as a design house? We know that our purposeful path and our mantra “ Design is about improving things that matter in life “ is even more important now . We know that our summer 4 day week was forward thinking . We know that we have to travel less now and that video conferencing will do the job on many occasions . We also know how being physically together as a team is good fun.
The best album ever made to your knowledge? Songs in the key of Life
Name 3 songs that are currently on heavy rotation in your studio when it's time to get to work.
Martin L Dumas Attitude Belief and Determination
Mark Capanni I Believe in Miracles
Russ Abbott I love a party with an Atmosphere
Cats or dogs? The office dogs Minnie and Mo
What's your go to sandwich filling? Last nights left overs (or some stuff past its sell by date) in a pan with an egg
Huge thanks to Wayne for taking the time to share this gold with us. You can fine all of the Vintage By Hemingway prints here and don't forget to have a mooch of Haus, Mid Century Modern collection which is live now.