Professor Mike Press has written and researched widely on design, innovation, contemporary craft and the management of creativity, speaking at conferences worldwide. He was a member of the selection panel for the Design Council’s Millennium Products, and is a former Chair of the European Academy of Design. Current research interests include design entrepreneurialism, craft and design innovation, and social design.
William is the show director of two of the UK’s high profile design events: the country’s largest contemporary design exhibition, 100% Design and the leading independent design festival Clerkenwell Design Week. A design promoter since joining the Design Council as Public Affairs Manager in 1999, his experience includes working across international exhibition programmes, content and business development, communications and business strategy.
As the Deputy Director of the London Design Festival for eight years William has extensive knowledge of establishing brands, large scale events and the positioning of design content within both commercial and cultural contexts. William has worked with a huge range of designers and design businesses, advising on promotional, product and strategic development.
Award-winning designer Ella Doran first set up her homewares business in the late 90s, quickly winning fans and plaudits for her pioneering application of photography-based images and patterns onto functional, household products.
Ella’s photography, mark-making and textile design skills have since been commissioned by everyone from The Royal Society of Arts to the Tate, John Lewis, Portmeirion, The Glasgow School of Art, and Paloma Picasso – and used on everything from interior accessories, stationery, fashion items and textiles to large-scale environmental projects. She has gained both commercial and critical acclaim for her work including numerous awards and accolades; successfully working in collaboration with well- known brands, retailers and manufacturers.
Doran’s visually-arresting and award-winning designs are the result of creative partnerships and collaboration. She is never happier than when acting as a catalyst, setting off a chain of interlocking innovations. Recurrent passions include travel, the use of colour and helping to advance the circular economy.
Managing Director Very Exclusive: Shop Direct
Sarah Curran started her career working at L’Oreal, before moving to News International as a Sub-Editor.
Following nearly six years at News International, Sarah made the decision to set up her own business. In 2003 Sarah opened Powder in Crouch End, North London, a unique boutique offering an edited mix of the more accessible luxury leading and hard to find designer brands.
Sarah took her business online with the launch of my-wardrobe.com in April 2006. my-wardrobe.com positioned itself firmly in the center of the luxury market, focused on offering a curated edit of the collections of accessible luxury designer brands, along with bite-size editorial and a focus on customer service. Under her direction as Founder and CEO, my-wardrobe.com grew to be one of the world’s leading online retailers, with offices in Australia, the Middle East, Scandinavia and the US. Sarah left my-wardrobe.com in 2011.
Sarah joined Shop Direct as Managing Director for the new luxury ecommerce business in December 2013. In February 2015 as Managing Director, Sarah was responsible for spearheading the launch of Very Exclusive – a new luxury etail site, as part of the Shop Direct retail portfolio.
As part of the Queen’s Birthday Honors List, Sarah was awarded an MBE for services to fashion, in June 2013.
April Crichton is a freelance fashion designer who worked with Sonia Rykiel in Paris for 22years.
Working as right hand man to Mme Rykiel she then went on to create Sonia by Sonia Rykiel and latterly became Creative Director for the House whilst commuting from Glasgow.
She now has returned to Scotland to work on projects and collaborations in the UK.
Involved with: SR:D 2015 - Glasgow Showcase
David Watts is a consultant Fashion Industry Adviser based in London. He is an international director with a successful career at building and leading world class sales, marketing, creative development and brand strategies within the Fashion and Creative sectors. With a career spanning more than thirty years he has worked across the fashion, consumer product licensing and brand development in the UK, USA, and Japan.
With a passion for contemporary art, in 2000 he was a founding partner of The Art Attack Project – a contemporary art gallery in Hoxton, East London and developed a following for many of the then YBA’s [Young British Artists] many of whom are household names today.
Today his passion and knowledge of the fashion industry is both extensive and renowned and he views a designer’s career and brand with a 360 degree holistic approach, both from a creative and importantly a commercial viewpoint. He has been responsible for mentoring and assisting the career development of some of Britain’s brightest emerging designers today.
Rosey Blackmore is Merchandise Director for Tate Enterprises, the company responsible for commercial activity across the whole of Tate- Modern, Britain, Liverpool, St Ives, Online and beyond. She has been in this current post for 4 years, and held previous roles at Waddesdon Manor (part of the National Trust), Tate, and Debenhams, and has worked in a consultancy capacity for the Museums of Berlin and The Arts Council.
A passion for supporting emerging creative talent is a theme that has run through her work, with many projects developed over the years with students and young people.
She lives near Windsor with her 2 teenage sons.
Annoushka was founded by Annoushka Ducas in 2009. The founder and creative director of her eponymous jewellery brand, Annoushka grew up in London, later studying French language and civilization at the Sorbonne. From Paris, she moved to Hong Kong in the late Eighties and began to work with local artisans, designing jewellery for herself and her friends and family. Three decades on, she continues this passion and exploration with Annoushka.
Inspired by her extensive travels, and fuelled by a collector’s passion for the exotic and unique, Annoushka is the culmination of a lifetime’s obsession with the timeless romance and sensual magic of jewels. “My design philosophy is very personal,” Annoushka explains. “I create what I like to wear. It must be comfortable, versatile, unfussy, yet also tell a story. I love colour and my jewellery reflects this.”
Travelling the world to discover extraordinary stones and inspirational production techniques, her designs exude an irreverent sense of fun juxtaposed with a timeless elegance. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, for example, frequently wears her Annoushka Baroque Pearl Earring Drops to complete her ‘classic contemporary’ daytime wardrobe, and Rihanna and Gwyneth Paltrow are loyal supporters of Annoushka’s layered style.
“Everything is made to be cherished and handed down,” says Annoushka. “The aim is to create collections that sit happily alongside heirloom jewels but which are fresh and contemporary. My work encourages experimentation.”
Her studio at the flagship boutique in Chelsea is a cornucopia of photos, mementos, fragments of colour and ancient jewellery, ensuring Annoushka is always close to her sources of inspiration and can add to her collections as and when she likes. Her Russian heritage has given her jewellery a very particular flavour, inspired by fable and fairytale, and tinged with colour and opulence. This combination of spontaneity and narrative lends newness and integrity to her collections, and a particular sense of discovery to the experience of visiting her boutiques.
In 2012, Annoushka was awarded Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to British jewellery industry, which spans three decades and began with Links Of London, which Annoushka and her husband John Ayton founded in 1990. She has been named Jewellery Designer of the Year, Gift Designer of the Year, Brand of the Year (twice), and she was short-listed for the Veuve Cliquot Businesswoman of the Year. She has also taken an active role in nurturing creative talent, initiating a very successful annual jewellery design project with students at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design and working alongside a small number of handpicked guest designers, mentoring them and exhibiting their collections at selected Annoushka stores.
Involved with: SR:D 2015 - Glasgow Showcase
Having worked in retail for almost 20 years, Darren has a rounded knowledge spanning High Street to Designer. Darren has extensive knowledge of both the Merchandising and Buying functions, across womens, mens and accessories.
Darren was most recently Head of Menswear at Harvey Nichols where he was responsible for overseeing the total Menswear offering in all 8 HN stores. Darren had been fundamental in championing British brands and Harvey Nichols Menswear, under his stewardship, boasts one of the biggest offerings in the UK. Currently sitting on the BFCNEWGEN panel Darren is a leading figure in the Men’s designer market. Darren is now consulting with brands looking to enter the industry.
Chris has worked with designers at widespread events including LFW, the Tea Building in Shoreditch and other ventures with artists and designers such as Timorous Beasties, Jonathan Saunders, Jim Lambie, and Christopher Kane. He works behind the scenes advising, showcasing and mentoring in the creative sector. He also runs Genuine PR, an international PR & events agency.
Involved with: SR:D 2015 - Awards, SR:D 2014 - Glasgow Showcase, SR:D 2014 - Commonwealth, SR:D 2014 - Awards, SR:D 2014 - Go North, SR:D 2014 - Scottish Anti Illicit Trade Summit, SR:D 2013 - Edinburgh Showcase, SR:D 2012 - Chicago Showroom, SR:D 2012 - London Olympics, SR:D 2012 - Glasgow Showcase, SR:D 2012 - New York Showroom
Navaz Batliwalla is a freelance fashion editor with over 15 years’ experience working with international brands and print, digital and mobile publications. Following a successful freelance styling career in the late 90s, she was fashion director of teen title CosmoGIRL! for six years. In 2007 she launched her anonymous fashion insider blog, Disneyrollergirl and returned to freelancing the same year, creating content for publications and brands including Asos, Oasis, Glamour and Grazia Daily. In 2008 she worked on the launch of Grazia India in Mumbai and continues to write a monthly fashion column for the title from her UK base. An early digital adopter, she uses Disneyrollergirl.net to share her fashion and beauty industry insights, editorial shoots, brand collaborations and cultural commentary with like-minded creatives and quality-conscious consumers. Her 360-degree approach to online content has an engaged following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as over a million followers on Pinterest. She will publish her first book in 2016 with Laurence King.
Involved with: SR:D 2015 - Glasgow Showcase
Katie Treggiden is the founding editor of Fiera, the independent design magazine discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs, and award-winning blog confessions of a design geek, established to discover, champion and inspire new designers in 2010.
She is also a respected design journalist, writing for the likes of The Guardian Magazine, the Telegraph Magazine, Elle Decoration, Dezeen and Design Milk. Her second book, Makers of East London, will be published in September.