We had a chat with Claire and Marc from Slowdown Studio about them and their beautiful blankets some time back – This short interview came out of it.
They are both from Sydney, Australia, and have been friends since they were awkward teenagers. They had the idea to start Slowdown last year when they were chatting about homewares, and decided that blankets should be more fun and unique.
How did your partnership start?
We actually used to make t-shirts together about ten years ago, so we’ve always had a similar creative spirit. Making blankets was just another one of these creative projects, except this time we had years of experience of creating brands, so it was a little easier to get it up and running!
Why did you decide to make blankets, and not clothing or other products where you can show the same artistic style?
We both run clothing labels already! Claire has P.E Nation (pe-nation ) and Marc has New Albion (newalbionsports), so getting away from the clothing world was a nice escape! Making a product as simple and relaxing as a blanket breaks up things for us both really well. Plus there’s no limit to how crazy you can go with blanket design, and both of our styles of clothing can be fairly minimal.
What do you look for when you are searching for new artists?
I can’t really say what it is, but it jumps out at us when we see it! Anything that is fun, unique, crazy, or beautiful. It can be black & white or coloured, minimal or filled with patterns. We do a lot of artist research on instagram, so it helps if they create a lot of art and are active on instagram.
How has your origin affected you designing mindset?
Being 80’s kids from Australia we grew up surrounded by a lot of colour and bold art, like Ken Done and Reg Mombassa. Between artists like these and Aboriginal art, I think we’ve always loved the use of colour and pattern in art and design.
You call it a nice escape from the fashion business – what is the differences between the two that you like?
The fashion world is very fast paced, there’s just so much going on – it’s an industry where you have to be meeting new people every day. With Slowdown, we really just work with artists and a select few retailers, so it leaves us time to focus so much more on the design and photography, how we want the brand to be seen by people.
What advice would you give a person starting from square one, creating his/her first brand?
I would work in the industry first, so you have basic knowledge, contacts, and hopefully someone to act as a mentor for you. And expect to make a lot of mistakes! Also if you can explain your brand in a short sentence that always helps.