Amelia’s Magazine | Simeon Farrar, The Great British Summertime: New S/S 2012 Season Preview Interview

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Madi Illustrates
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Madi Illustrates

What began as an ‘art experiment’ by London-based Simeon Farrar has now turned into a successful fashion label; winning not only international acclaim but also the prestigious NEWGEN award three times along the way. Despite being crowned a fashion buyer favourite with stockists such as Liberty in the UK and many more in Paris, Tokyo, and Sydney (to name a few), Simeon hasn’t lost sight of his Fine Art training gained at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. Every collection begins with a philosophical root from which the designs and drawings develop and each one-off piece is then created with Simeon’s trademark dash of humour delivered through experiments with colour and print, done by hand in his Shoreditch studio.

Simeon Farrar
Simeon Farrar, all photographs courtesy of Iroquois PR

As someone who trained as a fine artist, what was it that made you want to turn your hand from canvas and paper to fabric?
I’ve always been into printmaking and I used to use a lot of screen-printing in my paintings. I would load them up with all sorts of images and paint over them to form multiple layers. I started putting some of these images on to t-shirts purely as another surface rather than as fashion. The first t-shirts were so loaded with paint like the canvases that they could never be worn. I got so into this that it soon evolved into fashion.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by JL Illustration
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Jason Lear

As a ‘non-fashion’ person, did you expect to make such a big impression when you first exhibited at London Fashion Week?
Absolutely not. I had no idea what people would think of me. I didn’t even have an order book so I guess I didn’t expect to write any orders. Suddenly I had all these people wanting to order this junk I’d made which I found all a bit weird. It was still an art experiment at that point.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Abi Hall
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Abi Hall

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about being a designer and the way the world of Fashion works?
As an artist you develop a certain degree of snobbery towards anything that isn’t ‘Art’. I can safely say that I have been cleansed of that snobbery after being welcomed so openly into the fashion world. I’ve learned that it’s all a load of rubbish and an artist just does what ever he/she feels is the most honest path for their creativity and it doesn’t need a label to make it valid.

Neon Butterfly Chiffon Maxi
Butterfly Chiffon Maxi

Your ‘Kate Mouse‘ illustration has become a widely recognised and coveted t-shirt graphic. Why do you think it’s had so much success?
For me it was one of those magical moments when an image just works perfectly. I’d drawn the image for a nursery rhyme collection we were doing at the time and I wanted to do Three Blind Mice. So, to name the file on Photoshop I used ‘Kate Mouse’ so I would recognise it. Then it just clicked, like a light bulb coming on above my head. I think it’s been a success for the same reason. It’s not forced or contrived, just simple and genius. There’s been such a demand ever since her birth that she’s featured in every collection since, with various additions. She gets pimped up every season. Except this forthcoming A/W 2012.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Alia Gargum
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Alia Gargum

What personally inspired you to create a ‘Kate Mouse’ t-shirt with Net-A-Porter especially for the Japan Earthquake relief appeal?
Two of my staff are Japanese and they have been with me for years so due to that I feel a certain closeness with Japan. We sell a lot in Japan, and since I began the label the Japanese have been so supportive and loyal to my brand that when the earthquake hit it felt like an opportunity to repay some of that. The Kate Mouse print was our obvious big hitter, so I thought it would make the most money if we offered it for the appeal. We did it by ourselves at first, offering a free t-shirt with every donation to Save The Children. That went very well but as we were paying postage we had to limit it to the UK only. My PR company Iroquois and I approached Net-A-Porter so we could take it further. They were amazing with how they took it up and offered so much percentage of the profit to the appeal. I was very impressed with their instant generosity.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Dana Bocai
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Dana Bocai

Your current S/S 2012 collection not only has your own charming take on the uniquely temperamental British summer through neon colours, raindrop prints and a nod to the new Royalty, but a uniquely feel-good quote that runs throughout. How did the slogan ‘You Are My Silver Lining’ form in your head?
There is always a sense of romance in my collections, and no matter what the theme I always like to bring that in. I like the idea of someone being your Silver Lining. No matter what happens in life there is someone who’s very presence brings with it a sense of hope or a way out of darkness.

Slogan Print Tote with Leather Handles
Slogan Print Tote with Leather Handles

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Alejandra Espino
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Alejandra Espino

What are your favourite colours to print in (at the moment) and why?
I loved using the neon colours in the S/S 2012 collection. I like printing images in neon then overlaying that with a black print and washing it all out so the greys defuse the neon a bit.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Mitika Chohan
Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Mitika Chohan
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Mitika Chohan

What can we expect for A/W 2012 from Simeon Farrar?
For S/S 2012 we had a ghost print that did very well, so I’ve built the next collection round that. So I guess it’s a Haunted House collection. We’ve got lots of ghost drawings, howling wolves, that kind of thing. But, there’s also a romantic side to it. I’ve always been interested in the tragic side of vampires and the sense of undying love that runs through it. So I’ve brought a lot of that in to the collection. And for the first time, NO KATE MOUSE. I didn’t want to cheapen her and put some fangs on her or something. Kate Mouse is dead, you heard it here first.

Cloud Print Tote Bag
Cloud Print Tote Bag

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Simeon Farrar’s current S/S 2012 collection is available to buy in store and online at a variety of stockists, and his forthcoming A/W 2012 collection will be exhibited at Tranoi this March.

Categories ,Abi Hall, ,Alejandra Espino, ,Alia Gargum, ,Autumn/Winter 2012-13, ,british summer, ,canvas, ,Creativity, ,Dana Bocai, ,drawing, ,Fine Art, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Haunted House, ,illustration, ,Iroquois, ,Jason Lear, ,Kate Mouse, ,liberty, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Madi Illustrates, ,Mitika Chohan, ,Neon, ,Net-A-Porter, ,Newgen, ,painting, ,paris, ,Romance, ,royalty, ,Save The Children, ,screen-printing, ,shoreditch, ,Simeon Farrar, ,Spring/Summer 2012, ,sydney, ,T-shirts, ,tokyo, ,Tranoi, ,University of Creative Arts Farnham, ,Vampires, ,You Are My Silver Lining

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Moko Sellars, Founder of Design Studio Moko


Based in East London, Moko is a Design Studio with a passion for form. Set up by Moko Sellars in 2012, Moko burst onto the design scene with the launch of Ceramiko, a slip-cast ceramic stool produced in Stoke-on-Trent. This was closely followed by a range of bone china rings (to give your fingers a bit of pizzazz). Looking through her portfolio, you can see a strong focus on space and a passion for design. The simplicity of her pieces reminds me that it’s simple, well executed ideas that have the most impact. This is shown by her chopstick drumsticks and prototype book-shaped book light.


Moko’s pieces are always unique, and nourished by a fanatical passion for product design and antiques, she creates ‘simple, contemporary products with a nod towards the familiar’. Made to be cherished, her work puts an individual slant onto traditional homeware and accessories; resulting in neat little ‘inventions’ that you will treasure forever. More than just products, her work represents a study of how people interact with the world around them, and this influences their design. Simple but beautiful, these minimalist products are all handmade, which only adds to their appeal. I spoke to founder Moko Sellars about notebooks, furniture and unexpected paperwork.



You set up Moko in 2012, is there anything you wish you’d known when you started out?
There’s more admin to do than you’d think!

Where do you get your inspiration?
It can come from the past, maybe an object from the past or how they used to do things ‘back in the day’. I love looking around antique markets and I tend to buy vintage clothes and old furniture. Also by watching people! I find that the best ideas come to you when you’re not trying. You see someone doing something and it just clicks and you’re like “bingo”, I’ve got a product!


Have you always had a strong interest in design?
I always liked making things: cards, clothes, bags etc. I remember when I was young, when something broke, I would take it apart and try and work out what happened to it and how to fix it. Sometimes successfully, sometimes I’d break it even more.

How did you develop such as strong knowledge of materials?
I studied Furniture and Product Design then worked as a Packaging/ Product Designer for few years, so I had the chance to work with different materials. My favourite materials to work with are ceramics and paper.


Books appear a lot in your work, are you a big reader?
I do love books, but I think more their form rather than the contents! I love notebooks, I have about twenty on the go at the moment! I actually have a notebook design coming out next month which I designed for a company called Suck UK.


You’re also an illustrator, do you feel your drawing is a vital part of developing your ideas?
My illustrations are just for fun really, I find mocking things up in three dimensions (usually in paper) more important and enjoyable than sketching.


You design both packaging and products; do you feel the two are inextricably linked?
I think so. I’m really passionate about packaging design and how it can make or break a product. I sometimes spend double the amount of money on things just because they have nicer packaging!

Your work is very conceptual, is it important to you that your products are more than just functional objects?
Definitely! Function is very important, but I think concept is as important, if not more.


Do you have any favourites among your pieces?
I love all my designs equally. BUT the new Bone China ‘Diamond’ Ring Collection is the first design that people can wear on them for others to see, which is very exciting.

What’s your own most cherished piece of furniture?
It would have to be my ceramic stool. It took a while to get it made but I’m very happy with the result and I think it’s very cute.


What are your plans for the future?
I would like to design some more jewellery pieces, whether it will be a whole new collection or just a few select pieces; you’ll have to wait and see! I also love food so it would be fun to do some food related projects!

You can see more of Moko‘s work at


The beautiful photos (which remind me of craft mag Mollie Makes) are by Wang Wei & Moko.

Categories ,Antiques, ,Bone China, ,ceramic stool, ,Furniture, ,Graphic Design, ,handmade, ,illustration, ,jewellery, ,Moko, ,packaging design, ,slip cast, ,Suck UK

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