Lindsey Lang - Rising Designer | The Times
THE TIMES | August 1 2014
Rising star of design has a bold approach
The award-winning designer overcame plenty of adversity to produce her innovative homeware, says Laura Ivill
“The kitchenware is where things started,” says designer Lindsey Lang. “I grew up in the kitchen with my mum and she has every kitchenware gadget known to mankind. I thought: ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if mum had something of mine to cook with?’ So my mission was to offer products that you couldn’t get anywhere else, like really luxurious double oven-gloves made with 100 per cent wool felt, and with really bright bold patterns.”
It was a look that won Lang this year’s Homes & Gardens Young Designer award, with the judges commenting on her “distinctive personal style with strong graphic appeal”.
Lang designs hand-tufted rugs for online retailer Made.com; manufactures bespoke, traditionally crafted tiles; and sells her range of quality homeware online and in shops throughout Europe. Her distinctive fabrics are printed and sewn in the UK and her granite and marble wall and floor tiles are made in Europe using a traditional process that had almost died out.
Lang’s success has been hard won. She launched Lindsey Lang Design in 2012, while continuing to work part-time as a design director for a graphic design company. Her studio flooded and, soon after, she was served an eviction notice, leaving her just a few weeks to find a new workspace. And within the first year of trading, her brother suffered a cerebral haemorrhage in Japan, and she spent three months fundraising to get him home to their parents in Kansas.
“I think that everyone has their own life tests, and you just have to fight through it. I’m a hard worker, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I don’t know how I did it,” she says.
Lang trained in textiles at art school in the US, before transferring to Central Saint Martins in London. “I then taught myself Adobe programs, which helped me to land my first graphic design job,” she explains. “I got really into typography and bold graphic posters, train posters from the Fifties and retro children’s books. I’ve got a huge collection of vintage scarves: I love the patterns and the colours.”
Lang’s new studio in south London is light, bright and freshly painted, with shelving stacked with cushions ready for dispatch — each with a little handwritten note. Each shelf is sturdy enough to support 800kg of tiles. “These large-format patterned granito tiles are pretty much the product that got me nominated,” she says, taking me over to a bench. “For one, the patterns are really modern, and second, no one’s doing patterns like that with a material that will essentially last a lifetime.”
Lang has plans to open her own store and launch a new more affordable range of tiles in porcelain or ceramic. “I’d like to be able to have a shop where people can come in and touch and feel and look at things. Seeing them in person is completely different to seeing them online.”
Lindsey Lang is exhibiting at designjunction, part of the London Design Festival from September 18 to 21.