In Eley Kishimoto, I love me myself and I! Lucky girl, after many months, they travel a lot, I travel a lot… I have an appointment with 50% of the couple: Mark Eley. Wakako Kishimoto is the creative and Mark is in charge of the business. And they work on the story of the collection together.
I come at Maison Bertaux a bit excited, I really like their work. I sat at the table outside, quite surprised to be on time. Mark’s got a strong Welsh accent: I didn’t understand on phone we meet downstairs the tearoom, at the Poppy Brooks shop, “Madame”, an old friend of the Eley Kishimoto. What a great idea to bring together a trendy shop (with brands as Eley Kishimoto, APC, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel et Obey and Vivienne Westwood…), with a “one century and half ” old tearoom, making French pastries (or supposed to be). Modernity and tradition. English patchwork!
– I don’t know what I’m doing (laughter). I’m a designer, not an accessories designer. I’d like to call myself control freak.
Marks says laughing and he doesn’t want to be taken in picture, I respect: his portrait below, don’t expect more than this mysterious picture.
– Wakako and I, we met drunk in a New York exhibition in 89. We got back in London and started to work together in 92 and got married. Then we created our label in 96 and signed our first co-branding with Eless.
Then they will collaborate with Alexander McQueen, Vuitton, Marc Jacobs. A colorful innovative style, with their own “done by hands” print technique for the patterns. Mark and Wakako are teachers at the prestigious Saint Martins School too.
– We have our studio in Brixton and twelve people team and we do everything by hand. Brixton still has a spirit… because it was cheap too and for the creative spirit. And there’s a colorful market.
What about the Eley Kishimoto customer ?
– She likes prints, she is independent and fashionista. Wakako makes clothes for her and she wears them. I enjoy Paris women get dressed.
Since last Women’s collection, Mark and Wakako have been the new artistic directors of Cacharel:
– We are very very lucky. Cacharel is feminine and pretty. Eley Kishimoto is more aggressive with an artistic statement, like a smack in face. We are working with l’Oréal for Cacharel perfume. We are very open with our label too: working on new projects for home, toys and the decoration of a hotel in London (they also decorated “Madame” shop)…
Mark’s to go to another appointment: big thanks Mark and see you soon dear Eley Kishimoto! Next RV in September-October for the Women’s collection Spring-Summer 09.
I don’t have too much time before going to another part of London, but enough to discover a bit more « Madame », or Poppy Brooks, the bubbly owner of the shop. And also the singer of her “dark sad pop music” band (I quote her), All about Eve Babitz and also a celeb blogger. I really like this no hang-ups multiplicity of talents, concentrated in one person. So Anglo-Saxon! Absolutely different than our French cultural consensus, where you just “can” be one single thing all your life and more, to gain a “national” credibility. Wow! No comment! And I forgot, she is also a DJ, course! A really stylish character. Congratulations Madame!
Madame shop at Maison Bertaux : 27 Greek Street. Basement. Soho. London W1D 5DF
Going out into the street, I was in Louisiana… London roks baby !