At what age did you start to take an interest in the field you work in?
From a young age of approx eight years old I began to notice how one’s appearance can dramatically change someone’s opinion of you indeed even change the direction of their intended conversation. I starting working in global fashion twenty years ago and was first to develope China’s fashion and retail industries in 1998 working with multiple global Plc corporations. It was at the same time I began to see how soulless multi-national corportions can be irrespective of their shiny inviting global marketing campaigns thus my interest in the need for change albeit philanthropy began to take hold and started changing my creative process namely akkadenim.
Do you listen to music when working? If so, what?
Good question and yes even as I type. I suspect my work process regards music is back to front however as I don’t listen to music when I am designing or developing a new concept as there are several concepts always ready to go and queued up in my mind. I listen to music when I am piecing together a corporate business proposal say bringing together multiple companies across multiple countries. If I can’t see in my mind’s eye the navigational operational route map for all companies to partner together for the benefit of all involved then I will go for a walk sit somewhere alone within nature and listen to deep house 1994 – 1998 and then all is revealed within minutes.
Name three creatives who have inspired you over the past 10 years?
My business partner of 17 years Hill Law CEO or as I call him The King Of Denim. I have witnessed Hill develope, sample and deliver an entire collection in 17 days whereas it would take a full team from a well known High St retailer six months. My role as Chief Vision Officer is complex and Hill allows me total creative freedom as my sounding board. I could say to Hill I want to create a website offering ultra-violet broccoli supporting space travel and he would no doubt say ” sure let’s do it however allow me to ensure it is profitable “.
Secondly a huge inspiration to me over the years is Hector Pottie the world’s number one typographist and graphic designer or as I call him Hector Hector Design Director HHDD. Hector’s work is a master class in minimalism yet laced with hidden cognitive messages. Hector created the akka icon, a classic example of his approach to simplicity yet the akka icon when viewed for the first time is instantly imprinted on one’s sub-conscious.
Finally, Ben Banks, CEO of oki-ni has always inspired me. It was Ben that gave me my first job in fashion twenty years ago as brand manager for Katherine Hamnett. I was a very troublesome employee as I hadn’t learnt how to process my relentless creative drive. I will always meet Ben when launching a new global concept such as I did with akkadenim launching exclusively on oki-ni.com. Ben posseses that most rare of talents being highly creative yet equally corporate representing the world’s best known designers.
Have you got any exciting projects coming up in the near future ?
akkadenim proudly partners with Dara Children’s Trust in Cambodia with the truly inspirational founder Marijke Timmers addressing the much needed educational issues in Cambodia specifically Andong region to build new schools as from 2016. akkadenim is currently competing in the Denim World Championships with our world first record breaking 100 % hand woven interlaced 32 oz Tibetan selvage denim and I am equally honoured to be a judge for the Denim World Championships. We are also working hard on akkakoncept.com being the world’s first philanthropic m-tail and e-tail platform supporting our children’s charity partners.
Who would be your ideal client?
His Imperial Emperor of Japan Akihito as I have always been fascinated by the unparalleled stalwart culture of Japan. When akkadenim launched in 2014 we collaborated with legendary Denim MasterMartin Ksohoh and Denim Grand Master Sakamoto being the world’s oldest denim family. Indeed, it was the first time since 1921 the Sakamoto family had permitted their family name associated to a denim product outside of Japan. To create a denim kimono supporting children’s charities for Emperor Akihito would be the ultimate honour.
If you weren’t working in this field what other career would you have chosen?
Not sure if it can be classified as a career more of a spiritual calling however over the years I have spent a lot of time in monasteries across Asia more often than not meditating and recharging thus hidden away deep in a jungle albeit an isolated temple. If I hadn’t chosen a career in global fashion as a Chief Vision Officer I would happily embrace my calling as a Buddhist monk helping others during their time of need.
Article author: Charlotte Bradford
First published: Fri, 24 Jul 2015