A few weeks ago we were delighted to interview British designer Sebastian Wrong about his latest venture, Wrong for Hay.
Sebastian chatted away about the new collection, what his plans for the future were and what a typical day is like at the gorgeous Wrong for Hay headquarters in St. James Park, London.
Read on for the full interview.
Hi Sebastian, we’re delighted to be official stockists of the Wrong for Hay collection. Can you tell us a little bit about the venture and how the collaboration with Hay came about?
I was introduced to the Hay team by a mutual friend that was working with Hay at the time. He felt it was important for me to meet the rest of the Hay team as we shared similar interests and had a synergy with regard to age and experience etc. The initial meeting was in Copenhagen in June 2012 and there was no talk of a collaboration at this point, it was simply a chat. However it soon became clear that there were opportunities to explore and develop. We spoke about the possibility of looking into developing a lighting collection, however Hay came back within a couple of weeks and we chatted about the idea of developing something a lot more substantial, maybe even a whole collection. The concept spiralled from there really.
Hay are known for its great designs at an accessible price point. How much of a role does price play in the Wrong for Hay collection?
Price is really, really important to us. We are aiming to democratise design and to produce items at a great price point. It can be argued that design is moving into a black hole, as it becomes even higher and higher in price. I mean how many people can realistically afford a £15,000 sofa? We don’t want to be like that, we want our designs to be accessible to all.
The collection is instantly noticeable due to its use of bold, printed textiles from Nathalie Du Pasquier. Have you always been a fan of her work?
Yes, I have always really liked her work and I was aware of her work quite some time before our collaboration. A friend of mine at Apartmento magazine ran a feature on Natalie and suggested that we should meet up for a chat. Natalie is a pleasant, informal woman who is open to ideas so it was great meeting her. After our chat it was clear that there were many opportunities to explore. There was a revival on interests in the Memphis group, of which she is a member, and again it all spiralled from there.
Your offices are based in London. What are your favourite things about living in the capital city?
I have lived in London for, what, 30 years now. It is dynamic, multicultural, it has a lot of energy, a lot of diversity and a whole lot of opportunity, so I feel lucky to live here. I grew up on a farm in Hertfordshire so it is certainly very different! There is something for everyone and you never get bored but it can be exhausting at times.
What is a typical day like for you at the Wrong for Hay head office?
There is no typical day. I’m on the phone a lot, I’m in meetings for large chunks of the day with designers, suppliers and development. I also have to travel a lot for my work so I can be away from my desk for long periods. We are very lucky that we have beautiful offices and showroom in a Georgian townhouse overlooking St. James Park in London’s west end.
What are your ambitions for the Wrong for Hay brand? How do you see the collection developing over time?
We want to grow steadily by producing good quality products at a great price point. The brand offers a diverse range of items from something super normal, to radical, colourful and expressive pieces. We want to explore all elements of the collection fully; expand the product family from within, in a way. For example, we are currently working on a ceramics collection which has 8 pieces, but this will inevitable grow to include many more items, and that’s what we want to do – produce a clear body of work based on quality. We want to refine every product as much as possible. Sometimes in this industry there is a tendency to follow your heart as opposed to your head and sometimes you have to pull back and see the bigger picture, think about the business side of things. Essentially you need to know when to stop. So, going back to your original question, I suppose essentially we want to be bigger and better, and a major player in the design industry.
Don’t forget that we’re holding a launch event at our Sheffield showroom for the Wrong for Hay collection. Join us this Saturday 2 August for British nibbles, a glass of fizz and the chance to view the colourful collection. Just head over to our showroom page for the full details.