We were honoured to have recently be interviewed for Li Edelkoort's Trend Tablet, an online publication which endeavours to explain how trends grow, evolve and flow; helping us to better perceive and understand how they interact with our daily life.
Li Edelkoort is a pioneering, and arguably the most important, trend forecaster in the world. She is a curator, publisher and educator who lives life in the future! By studying the links between art, fashion, design and consumer culture, her agency, Trend Union, provides design and lifestyle analysis for the world’s leading brands. Stitch by Stitch founder Graham Hollick spent 10 years working for her agency in Paris before starting Stitch by Stitch.
Trend Tablet's editor, Cecile Poignant, is passionate about the study of ever-shifting socio-economic trends, and develops strategic studies for international brands in the design, food and technology industries.
Here is an excerpt from our interview which appeared in the Handmade section of Trend Tablet. You can read the full article here.
"When and how did you start Stitch by Stitch ?
In 2009, I was invited by a friend at the Alliance Française in Ahmedabad to participate in a project with SEWA (the Self-Employed Women’s Association), which represents thousands of women embroiderers living in the remote villages of the vast Kutch region of Gujarat. SEWA are dedicated to empowering women home-based workers by helping to develop a market for their artisan skills. Out of this project came the idea to launch my own line of textile products utilizing the ancient embroidery skills. Stitch by stitch was formed in 2010 and I was joined 4 years later by Karen Sear Shimali who was an old friend from art college, and has experience in selling and marketing.
How would you describe yourself ?
I am a creative person who has always had a passion for artisan and folk crafts. I love the element of mistake and error that machines can never replicate, the wobbly line, the unevenly spun yarn the raw edge.
What is your personal connection with textile?
I trained in textile design and have always had a passion for textiles but it was only about 20 years after graduating that I had this chance to launch my own collection.
"What fascinates you about India and Nepal ?
I love India and Nepal because of the artisan techniques that are all around and their unique creativity.
Could you describe your creative process ?
I love to immerse myself in the craft process and adapt those skills to create something new. I want to put their work into a new context.
"Is ethical production something meaningful for you ?
Ethical production is very important I want people to invest themselves in what they are doing and have a pride in it, therefore people have to be treated well and paid fairly.
Do you think you are giving a modern twist to a traditional heritage?
I don’t think of this as a modern twist more a personal interpretation of traditions . I prefer the idea that our products have a timeless quality.
What are your plans for the future?
We would like stitch to grow slowly and steadily to gradually add new products and work with new artisans. We are just beginning to sample a new cashmere blanket with a group of women weavers in Afghanistan."