kink table by Sebastian Wrong
Can you tell us about your relationship with Established and Sons?
I founded the company in 2005 with 2 other colleagues, left in 2012 to work in a different area of the market for 5 years and then the opportunity arose to come back. New owners, new set up. And I felt like it was an interesting challenge. Because 5 years on, where the brand sits in the market is clearer. As a design director, to now be able to focus on and celebrate a special niche is a good opportunity.
And what is that niche? What’s changed in five years?
The middle market in the design industry has been filled by a lot of Scandinavian brands, which are producing great design, but it’s very competitive. Established is not in the business of making furniture for £200. It is in the business of making beautiful statement pieces with a strong identity. Taking risks, an outsider.
"It's always a tussle between the commercial and creative, but that's the game, that's life actually. No one's free of that."
Font Clock by Sebastian Wrong
So exciting! When we first started out in the design industry, Established was always a favourite.
A lot of people have got a place in their heart for the brand with great memories of what we did ten years ago. It’s a British design brand – there’s not many of them – with a strong voice. We made a lot of mistakes, but we also made great pieces that have stood the test of time. Iconic pieces.
Was there a part of you that wanted to ensure that legacy was maintained?
Yeah, very much so. It needs to continue. It’s a big part of me and I want to see that succeed and grow. I think there’s not a lot of companies out there working with such an array of designers, with such an eclectic collection.
Stack Drawers by Raw Edges for Established & Sons
Let’s talk about the cultural shift in the last year. Is it affecting any of your design choices?
The answer is no. It’s too early to say. Of course there is a lot of uncertainty…economically and politically. Brexit is not a particularly positive period for creative people, but on the back of that, strong work will come out because when people are backed into a corner they will react in a proactive way. A voice will be heard from beyond. I’m not into political products (laughs)…I studied sculpture so I understand that there is a functionality to a design. As for satirical design..? I dunno, maybe, who knows.
So what is your approach? What drives you to design?
Good quality. Functionality. Comfort. Purity. Objects with character. Often my designs are very subtle actually. I work on pieces in a way which is a little bit slow, but has stood the test of time.
Are you going to take a bit of time before you launch a new collection?
Well, we’ve got a year. I’ve got ideas. 5 or 6 pieces. There is freedom within this brand, which is not the case within other brands and that’s nice to be able to experiment a bit. I’ve learned a lot in the last 5 years…to not take your eye off the commercial…the end user. It’s always a tussle between the commercial and creative, but that’s the game, that’s life actually. No one’s free of that.
Is there any one piece that you love more than any other?
No (laughs). Im too professional. I have soft spots for the products because I have a personal experience with them. Different moments represent different experiences, so I’d say future products are going to be very interesting. No pressure. It’s not easy as a designer. It takes years to become established. It’s a slow process. But it’s driven by passion. Not money. And that’s what’s great about design and it shouldn’t be crushed.
Heidi Stool by Sebastian Wrong
So refreshing and honest and we couldn’t agree more. We can’t wait for next year’s new launch and we are sure the future of British design is safe in the hands of Sebastian Wrong. Looks like they are set to explode in 2018!
Go team Established! Keep breaking new ground!