Simeon Farrar: Eastpak Artist Studio

Clash and Farrar discuss round three of the initiative.

An 8th floor view of Antwerp and a complimentary condom, we’ve certainly had worse introductions to a new city. But while you’re thinking our hosts have an interesting way with gifts, remember it was World Aids Day on Sunday.

For the third year running, Eastpak have put the spotlight on Aids, teaming up with the charity Designers Against Aids for Eastpak Artist Studio.

This year’s project saw 56 designers have their wicked way with the Eastpak Padded Pak’r, creating “a contrast between concealment and exposure” (Ivania Carpio), and a cold birdcage (Pansik).

From the UK, Sharmadean Reid, Rob Ryan, Joseph Turvey, David David and Simeon Farrar all contributed to the initiative, accompanying Clash to a showcase of the bags in Belgium last week.

We caught up with Farrar post-event, to pick his brain on just what the project means to him.

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How did you first get involved in the project?
I was approached to be one of the artists in the Artist Studio series and was so honoured to be asked. The list of past contributors is quite impressive so to join that was fantastic.

Aside from your own, is there another rucksack from the collection you especially favour?
I really like Rob Ryan’s rucksack. I’m a sucker for hand embroidery and it really reminds me of a teenager’s school bag where they write all sorts of random stuff all over it.

What does Designers against Aids mean to you?
I couldn’t be happier to support a charity like this. It’s been a huge global issue for so long but not one I have ever worked with. I think the creative industry can really raise awareness for issues like this.

Obviously we were in Antwerp for the launch last week. What did you make of the city?
I had never been to Antwerp and to be honest, I didn’t see a whole lot of it. Hotel to party and back really wasn’t enough. What I saw of it was nice.

What did you enjoy most about the event?
The night was great. Seeing all the other bags was a real treat. Sometimes as an artist you work in a bubble, so it’s an eye opener to see how other artists around the world think and how they have approached the same brief as you.

          

 

You have an art background and your pieces are very art led. What made you decide to go into the fashion industry?
It started out as an artistic decision. Painting on clothes seemed to give the work a life that a canvas couldn’t.

The first t-shirts were really loaded with paint and totally unwearable. Shops started buying versions of these and it quickly turned into a business; I haven’t looked back since. Although I am entrenched in the industry I still feel like an artist. I always will.

Your label’s worked on a few different project and collaborations. Why do you think it’s important for a label to do this kind of thing?
It keeps things fresh for me and also for our customer. I think it’s important for a company like mine to know its market and not try and provide everything for everyone.

So with collaborations you can use your strengths together with the strengths of others to make a product that you would never normally make. We did a collaboration with Fulton umbrellas a while ago that really illustrated this. It worked so well and was really exciting to do.

What’s next for the Simeon Farrar label?
Well, to my horror, next year we will be 10 years old, so I am planning lots of things to celebrate this. We’re going to do some events with key stores around the world and there will be a special collection made using some of our most successful and favorite prints form over the years.

Finally, what’s most overplayed on your stereo at the moment?
Good question. There are a few things actually; I’m totally obsessed with the Girl & Chocolate skate video ‘Pretty Sweet’ and compiled a playlist of the soundtrack; it’s awesome. Best songs are Justice, ‘New Lands’ and Sleigh Bells, ‘Rill Rill’. I’m also loving the new White Denim album, ‘Corsicana Lemonade’.

Interview: Zoe Whitfield

Alll the bags are available to buy now from artiststudio.eastpak.com.

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