“When I opened my first shop at Harvey Nichols back in 1997 I happened to meet a talented young designer called Keeley Traae who invited me to visit her studio at Wedgwood.
I had never been to Wedgwood before but Keeley and her team made me super welcome and put the factory at my disposal to do whatever I wanted but with the outline brief to ‘re-invent Jasperware’ – their iconic blue & white collection.
There was a brilliant archivist at the Wedgwood Museum on site so I did my research on old Josiah himself and was intrigued to discover how innovative, entrepreneurial and fashion aware he was – truly a man ahead of his time and as I read about him I felt inspired to try and emulate his achievements.
I asked myself what Josiah would do if he were with us today and I decided that he would design much more contemporary things than the company were then known for. The result was a collection of black and cream objects of exquisite quality with perfect detailing and a point of view which is pure modernist.
The collection launched in 1999 to rave reviews and it sold all over the world from Japan to Korea and the USA. A witty advertising campaign was created by The Partners in London with the strap-line “Wedgwouldnt…?” which seemed to sum up the delight and surprise that the designs triggered.
I like to think that the project helped the company to find a new direction in the contemporary world and I truly hope that Josiah would approve if he were around today?!
My designs are themselves now featured in the new Wedgwood Museum and meanwhile Keeley has gone from strength to strength to deliver some of the best and most successful Wedgwood designs of the past 20 years” – Nick