Belmond are giving an award during Week 2 of New Designers. We asked them ahead of the show, why they find it so important to work with New Designers and what they’ll be looking for in graduates and their work. They also give New Designers some key advice.
Why do you find working with New Designers so important?
Working with New Designers is important because as well as design and creativity, they are champions of their craft. Craftsmanship is a consistent thread throughout our global portfolio of products – from Belmond Copacabana Palace and Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train to the Belmond Cipriani Hotel. Highly-skilled design and artistry is key to the longevity of Belmond’s iconic individual products, where quirky and contemporary flair mingles with our exciting past in a celebration of contemporary nostalgia. New Designers, through their exhibition, help uncover the next generation of talented designers, who bring a vibrancy and energy to the design world. This next generation will be key to the world of creative opportunities within our brand today and in the future.
What do you look for in graduates and their work?
The most important attribute we look for in graduates is raw talent and potential. More broadly, as craftsmanship is at the centre of much of our design, we look for work that demonstrates a high-level of skill. We are also drawn to design that has a resonance with a specific place, culture or time – this is because Belmond properties are heavily influenced by the local cultures and traditions around them. Lastly, Belmond properties are defined by authentic design that stands the test of time, and as such, we look for work that nods to the past while keeping a firm eye on the future.
What advice would you give to graduates?
Our first piece of advice would be for graduates to use influences around them – be this what is happening in their life, what they are seeking, hearing, sensing – this will give their design authenticity. Building on the notion of authenticity, graduates should not be afraid to be radical – it is crucial for designers to have their own identity, which shines through their work. Our last piece of advice is that beauty is intrinsic to the construction of materials, and so graduates should be bold and run with their creative drive.