Earlier this year Mi-Pac had the opportunity to collaborate with a truly playful designer, who’s memorable prints for the AW14 season were inspired by London’s Elephant and Castle roundabout, the British Museum and the notorious rat. Kit Neale, who celebrated his first standalone collection at the beginning of this year, applied his colourful prints to our eager Mi-Pac backpack, duffel and tablet set - and we loved the result! So to find out more about the collection and the designer himself, we talk to Kit about his inspirations, his advice for the emerging talent and in particular, his own little doggie.
Tell us about your A/W14 collection. We’re especially loving the Elephant and Castle print. Can you tell us how this came about?
For our Spring/Summer ’14 collection we explored an area of South East London called Peckham. It’s where I grew up. Autumn/Winter was a progression from this... we hopped on the bus and went up the road. The area is fascinating and made for some really cool print references.
Your playful prints are really stand-out. How do you get a starting point for your designs? Do you start with print drawings and develop the garments from there?
It’s always slightly varied. We always draw inspiration from the imagery from our research. We always create our prints from scratch – usually creating our own imagery unless it is a collaboration where we might re-work another brand’s imagery. We usually do draw the imagery by hand, though sometimes we might draw them digitally. All prints are reworked on the computer and then either digitally printed or screen printed. The process is varied and depends on the print.
We understand you’ve become pretty big internationally, could you tell us about your presence in Japan and in the US in Opening Ceremony?
We have a huge export market – not just in Japan and the US, but also in South Korea, Russia and the Middle-East. I guess this is the nature of the internet and digital world we live in. You can communicate on a global scale and I guess this is how we’ve managed to build an international following. Lots of K-POP artists have worn Kit Neale, this also helps.
Your very own Sky Digital box? How did this happen?
Sky approached us and I’m obsessed with TV so it was a fun project to undertake. We thought it was pretty humorous to have a lobster print Sky box sitting on the mantel piece! It was a great project and I love my box – it’s always a conversation starter when entertaining.
Do you have any advice for young designers trying to make it in today’s fashion world?
There is so much advice out there which can often be conflicting and hard to absorb so I don’t like to add to the confusion. It’s really hard to give general advice – I think honestly anyone who wants to do it needs to find their own journey, make their own mistakes and take control of their own destiny. Do not underestimate how hard it is to start a brand/business... let alone in fashion!
What high street trends are you expecting for A/W14?
Can you share with us a picture of Pigeon the dog?
Here he is busted while reaching for the doggy treats above my desk..!
And a final quick fire round...
Your favourite colour – can you not tell... I don’t have one!
One thing you never leave the house without – leaving the keys behind is pretty dangerous.
Your favourite Mi-Pac – the mini Elephant and Castle rucksack!