This industry friday we had Concetta Gallo who is a well reknowned designer of homewares, textiles and kitsch inspired decor. I was particularly interested in this talk because i love kitsch inspired work myself and its great to see how it transfers into everyday consumer products that are popular. She has a BA in 3-D ceramics design from Bath Spa University and an MA in Printed textiles from the Royal College of Art.

Her first collection for habitat was a particularly huge success, the Concetta tableware range:


I really like this range myself, its quirky and contemporary, and its whimsical qualities are a far cry from what i’ve seen in most tableware ranges! I’d like to see what my own illustrations look like on ceramics after seeing her work and its something i may consider 🙂

Concetta used to work at UOB whilst freelancing for Habitat, she did this for a few years but then went onto freelance for Debenhams, and was a homewear designer for TOPSHOP although this collection unfortunately did not all get made due to clothing sales dipping there. Her work features alot of Dolly faces and she said she likes to include them in alot of her designs, she likes her work to be kitsch and fun 🙂 and likes the idea of “Taking her Design to the masses”.

She then went onto create several collections for George Home and totally transformed their homeware collection, because before it was quiet nondescript and now she has left there, there are 3 times the designers there was when she started and they have some really trendy and cool collections now.  Her job now is designing for Marks and Spencers, which she really enjoys because she gets to create design with excellent quality, which she states is far better quality than any other company she has worked for.

Part of her job includes putting together trends, and showing these to buyers and merchandisers in the companies and convince them to create the products, its very commercial because essentially what is made is chosen based on how well they think it will sell. To create trends you have to cross disciplines to cover whole ranges from tablewear to bedding, curtains and decorative items. She starts trends by doing lots of research, designers know what trends will be much better than a corporate buyer because they can create them from existing art, things they see and the inspiration can start anywhere. She creates a pack based on trends, but trends should all be very different within a range because you dont want people to buy half of one collection and half of another. This would be called splitting sales.

If you see one company doing well with a trend, its a good idea to jump on the band wagon because in this industry its more about the money fundamentally. Concetta also collaborates with other designers and illustrators in order to produce her collections, because some collections can have over 100 products that need designing and its impossible to do alone.  You also have to think about your target market, who is going to buy these products?

11229843_10155618815435151_2618589714012255413_n 11220836_10155618815570151_3893359312574423672_n 11205553_10155618814590151_4251036594558898160_n 11203168_10155618814795151_3760312725773960927_n 11201618_10155618815110151_4895414512337577502_n 11148439_10155618815045151_8220449682303551922_n 11143081_10155618816540151_8530585321956154215_n 11055275_10155618815690151_5597967445361963798_n 11054315_10155618815955151_1797078429547334414_n 11188181_10155618815245151_1237233037442199522_n

How she approached employers:

This was a tough process, she want to see many people but most said no due to lack of experience. In order to get new jobs in this area of design , you are asked to do products which is basically working for free and employers are less interested in portfolio as opposed to what you can create in their deadline. Though in her job now she gets to travel all over the work regularly to speak with suppliers and designers and she does alot of her design work whilst visiting suppliers to see what can be made.

Her advice when looking for work is be confident and try everyone. Its not a quick process but she has done very well so far!

below are some of her various collections and products that i really liked, and i am now actually really interested in design for homewares! I would quite like to create work for paper chases’s homeware collections!

61 4 a6e7043f3b5a689404dabb5cb708fe0e download (1) download (2) download (3) download (4) download (5) download (6) download


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s