SquidLondon Chats To IndependentBoutique.com!


We chat to the lovely ladies behind SquidLondon who are now selling their super funky Squidarellas on IndependentBoutique.com - umbrellas that change colour as soon as the rain hits the panels, creating the ultimate walking piece of art, brightening up the gloomiest of rainy days. A very necessary accessory this A/W!

How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?squidarella-bird-squit

Usually with lots of excitement and hand gesticulation we enthusiastically explain that we create these amazing walking pieces of art in the form of an Umbrella, which we have coined the ‘Squidarella’ that change colour when the rain hits the panel creating colour explosion. We then continue on to say we have a range of designs for example the NYC skyline, which turns into artistic photographs we took of New York in 2010. Our style embodies urban, fun, creativity, quirky and some times a bit tongue and cheek.

What sort of comments do you get about your designs?

A whole range of positive comments – the most common is probably “WOW! That’s so cool! I want one!”
They are something different and because an umbrella is so practical, people particularly in Britain cant live without one, it adds such an excitement to such a mundane product that people are generally excited when they first hear about the Squidarella.

What is your background?

We met at the London College of Fashion in 2004 and have been friends ever since. Both studying a 4-year degree in Product Design & Development. Viviane originally from Switzerland and Emma-Jayne New Zealand, both now residing in London.

Tell us about your design process from concept, production and to the shelves…

Fun is a huge part of the Squid ethos. It is a fun product and a fun brand. We are also quite good at talking (the word chatterbox come to mind) so we tend to always discuss our ideas based on the theme of the design. Complete lots of visual research and build up a story of what we are trying to achieve through the design including colours and emotion that suit the target audience. Once we have developed the concept and finalised the idea we then make it production ready in terms of the artwork so that we can forward it to our manufacturer and have a sample made and signed, off.

squidarella-antoinetteHow do you think your brand has developed?

Like us I think. It started off as a baby Squid learning how to swim and absorb as much info as quickly as possible and it is growing and one day it will be a giant Squid ;-)

What do you hate most about your job?

Feeling the word ‘hate’ is possible a tad strong…. Things we find challenging about our job is probably the inability to never totally switch off, it is a huge responsibility, all consuming – we even have dreams about SquidLondon!! (Sad, we know).

What are your main achievements and what do you aim to achieve now? Past present and future

A big achievement for us is that we are actually producing and selling our own concept and designs. It is not just a pipeline idea or portfolio after portfolio full of designs – they are literally on the market, selling. We are now aiming to increase the availability of our brand in more countries and cities within those countries. And of course, developing our product range – it’s looking rather exciting… Romeo Capes and Kiddies jackets here we come!

What advice would you have for anyone starting out in (your field)?

Make sure you research the market you are planning to enter and know who your customer is. Ideas are easy; making them a reality is the challenge. If you are up for that, go for it.

Why do you think British design stands out on the global stage?

Because the British have Wit, Vision and Passion.
There is no denying the incredible talent that Britain has and has always had – you only had to watch the incredible Opening Olympic Ceremony to see the huge celebration of British People, past and present, and their achievements from music to art and fashion to the medical and science industries. Amazing.

Shop SquidLondon today!

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