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Wayne Hemingway on Camden Create Festival

9 May 2014 | Charlie Kenber

“There's something for everyone whether you're looking for career advice, love the arts and culture or want to discover somewhere new.”

Next week sees the first edition of Camden Create, a festival celebrating the culture and creativity of Camden. Award-winning fashion designer Wayne Hemingway will be giving a talk as part of events – we caught up with him to find out a bit more…

London Calling: How did you get involved with Camden Create?

Wayne Hemingway: I was asked by the organisers and said yes straight away. I only get involved with projects that have a social conscience and as this is all about improving Camden which is an area that played a role in giving us a start, I was more than happy to be involved.

LC: What are you most looking forward to about the festival?

WH: Young people hoping to get a start in their career can gain a lot from hearing from “elders”…it's really important to give something back. My wife Gerardine and I started our stall at the Camden Market at the turn of the 80s when we were 19 – we didn't have a degree or qualifications but we loved fashion and culture and were creative and determined. We have a story to tell about starting up that is as valid today as it was back then.

LC: Who is Camden Create for? Who will it most appeal to?

WH: The diversity of the programme reflects the area itself. There's something for everyone whether you're looking for career advice, love the arts and culture or want to discover somewhere new. It really is a great line-up.

LC: Your own career began in Camden Market – how important does the area feel to you personally? Has it continued to influence your work?

WH: I've never forgotten how it influenced me when I started out. I didn't realise you could actually be part of the creative industries and be a designer until Camden Market happened. Without it, I wouldn't be here and the lessons I learnt have served me well over the years.

LC: You’ve worked in fashion and design for a long time – how has the industry changed in recent years? 

WH: I've been away from it from 15 years so I can't really say, other than when we started out in the industry, our mantra about being affordable designers was seen as strange by many - the concept of affordability and design was seen as strange bedfellow. Today Top Shop are one of the main shows at London Fashion Week so I hope that's a sign that things have changed and improved for the better.

LC: Has your own taste for fashion changed since the sale of Red or Dead and the start of HemingwayDesign?

WH: Nope, I know what I like: timeless classical, non-fashiony menswear and I take that through life with me.

LC: Vintage seems to be taking the London fashion scene by storm at the moment – do you see the trend fading any time soon?

WH: How can it? Substitute the word “vintage” for timeless, good quality, well thought out design and its obvious it has to be something that will always be sought after.

Camden Create takes place on 13th – 15th May. Further details and tickets available here.

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