Interview with Richard Brendon
Posted on 18 July 2016
I have been an admirer of Richard Brendon's work for many years now. An evolution of design inspired by traditional qualities and craftsmanship that connect beautifully with the modern world. Each collection has its own unique character, entirely different from the last, something so rarely seen with a brand or designer of today. With an incredible track record of mesmerising and luxurious designs, I was lucky enough to interview Brendon to find out more about his designs, where he gets his inspiration from and what more we can expect from him in the future.
We find your designs mesmerising, how do you get your inspiration?
"I draw a great deal of inspiration from antique product that were made by the heritage craft industries that we work with. I find it fascinating looking at antique china and glass because you can learn from other peoples mistakes and successes. It’s a much quicker way to learn about colour combinations that work, scale, types of crystal cuts, etc, than just figuring it out oneself through trial and error. For me the challenge is to take inspiration from the past, to make sure our products are rooted in tradition, but to create designs which are contemporary and hopefully timeless."
What makes great luxury design?
"Great luxury design is all about attention to detail. It’s thinking about every element of a design, and doing things that others may not have thought of before, to raise the design to another level. Luxury design should improve peoples experiences and quality of life. Luxury design can be incredibly simple and refined, often it’s about striping things back just the right amount."
Above: Richard Brendon Meets Patternity
How would you say your designs have evolved over time?
"As I have come to understand the manufacturing and the history of bone china in more detail my designs have become more insightful and refined. Over the course of the last few years the way I design has become increasingly focused on taking beautiful traditional details or techniques and reinterpreting them in a way that makes them much more relevant today."
What is your favourite part of the design process?
"Receiving the first sample of a new product. It’s so exciting seeing a design, that I might have been working on for months, first time! The excitement of the package arriving and opening the box is a bit like Christmas."
Do you have a collection or design that you hold close to your heart?
"Reflect. (imaged below) If I had not had the idea for this collection at design school I would not be doing what I am today. Buying orphan antique saucers to pair with my reflective cups has taught me all about the history of British porcelain and lead to me falling in love with this industry and traditional craft industries in general."
Is there an area of design that you have not experienced but would like to explore?
"At the moment we are very focused on designing everything to do with dining and entertaining. Having said that I think in time we will explore other areas of design, lighting furniture, etc. Eventually it would be great to have a whole collection of homeware."
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
"There have been a lot of highlights and it’s hard to single out just one. I would say working with so many amazing retailers all around the world has to be up there. Getting into the likes of Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods and Lane Crawford is very special and not something I would have even dreamed of 6 years ago!"
If you could give the younger you a piece of advice, what would it be?
"Try to relax and enjoy the ride."
What is next for Richard Brendon?
"We’re getting ready to launch new bone china teaware shapes and two patterns for those shapes. We’re also designing leather coasters and placemats, which will be produced by a heritage shoe manufacturer in Northampton. Next year we will be introducing more cut crystal, trays and probably some other things too."
It has been a fascinating insight into the mind of one of the UK's most talented designers and I want to thank Richard and his team for sharing their time with me. It has been a pleasure getting to know the brand and designs over the past few years and I cannot wait to see what is next.
If you would like to find out more or purchase any of the products featured, click to view the official Richard Brendon website and online store.