To celebrate our collaboration with British brand, Alice Made This, we met up with the founder Alice Walsh to discuss her process, how the brand started and who is her design inspiration.
To shop the Marwood x Alice Made This collaboration, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org - whilst we no longer sell the pieces online, we do have a few left in stock.
Interview by Ozi Enver
Product photography by Ali Mobasser
Interviewee: Alice Walsh
BF: Can you tell us a bit about Alice Made This. How did the idea come up? What was your starting point?
AMT: Alice Made This launched in 2012 after Ed, my husband, and I struggled to find a clean refined pair of cufflinks for our wedding. Cufflink was a great introduction to the fashion industry and an opportunity to use a product to illustrate industrial craftsmanship in Britain. It all began in our garden shed!
BF: Why men’s accessories? Would you ever design for women?
AMT: I have grown up with two brothers and am a bit of a tomboy at heart. I get tools as gifts and prefer DIY to cooking. Designing for men seemed like an appropriate path. An accessory for a man is a refined mix of form and function. Whether it is a cufflink, a watch, a wallet or a glove… they can highlight a mans character but they also have a job to do.
BF: Why are Alice Made This products different from the rest of the market? Tell our readers more about your unique process…
AMT: My career background prior to Alice Made This was in product and industrial design. I fell in love with being in factories and have made this passion integral to the brand. With our designs, we celebrate materials, manufacturing processes and industrial craftsmanship and offer our customers something unique that continues to tell its own story, for years to come. Our pieces reflect the process by which they are produced. Our collaboration is made in a factory that specializes in aerospace and engineering parts. They are made on a precision automated lathe and this dictates the machined, graphic aesthetic. They are then post produced in an industrial electroplating facility which specializes in precious metal plating for the electronics and nanotechnology industry. Again the metals reflect those, which are used in the process and its industrial products.
BF: Who is your customer?
AMT: We have a broad customer base. On one hand it is the stylish man looking for a detail to finish his outfit. On the other hand it is the female shopper looking for that perfect gift. In both cases it seems to be someone that is drawn into a story and someone who likes to see provenance and design as a benchmark.
BF: You have recently grown the team and got a new studio. Tell us more about this…
AMT: Yes – I am very excited to have grown the team. My husband has come on board to take on the commercial side of the business and this allows me to focus on the bits that I am good at and that I enjoy most. We have a lovely studio in Bermondsey that gives us a space to show our products and grow.
BF: The process is the most important part of creating new products. Whose process inspires you and why?
AMT: Alan Fletcher is a great source of inspiration to me. His motto of “Design is not a thing you do. It’s a way of life.” Strikes a cord. His graphic thought process and visual thinking was amazing.
BF: Why collaborate?
AMT: Becky and I are both women designing for men. Standing side by side at the fashion week we learnt about each other’s product processes and materials. We have an equal passion for British manufacturing and material tactility that has turned into a collaboration. It was a really lovely process and a great way to explore and implement both parallel and juxtaposed ideas.
BF: Finally, do you have exciting new projects coming up?
AMT: We are about to launch some gifting solution for Christmas and the holiday season, and a creative collaboration with cocktail maker! January sees the launch of a new production story, which I am really excited about as the process and its history is close to my heart.