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Texprint 2013: Meet the judges, Emma Kidd of Selfridges

8 August 2013 by TexSelect in Sponsors, Judges & Champions

Emma Kidd, creative researcher at Selfridges, plays a vital role as part of Selfridges creative team. Selfridges opened its doors on Oxford Street, London in 1909 and revolutionised the retail arena, making department stores a site of entertainment and creating an iconic London landmark. Over 100 years later, with four locations in the UK, Selfridges continues to innovate and entertain shoppers. Selfridges is the only department store to be twice awarded the accolade of the Best Department Store in the World.

In July 2013, Emma joined the special prize judging panel in London to select the shortlisted designers for this year’s Texprint Awards in Body, Space, Pattern and Colour.

Emma reviewing the work

How did you find judging the Texprint Awards, can you tell us what you were most excited about?

I was really excited to see what the future holds in terms of textile design. It was an extremely talented and driven group but the diversity within it was really refreshing. I didn't see a trend stylistically or technically – just individual magic.

How important is it for you to support the next generation of textile designers?

At Selfridges we are passionate about encouraging emerging talent primarily from the a number of creative sectors including fashion. Textile design is at the core of fashion and is often what drives fashion forward. The next generation of textile designers will influence our future catwalks and what we wear every day. Let's make it an exciting future.

The Texprint programme selects designers who have trained in UK art and design schools, regardless of where they come from originally. Why is the UK art school system so good at producing design talent?

You can't beat Britain for imagination and creativity and I think this is where we have the edge. For a supposedly reserved nation, the creative industries are insuppressible.

Emma with judging panel and the 24 Texprint 2013 selected designers

Can you give me a brief outline of the role of the Selfridges’ creative team?

The team is headed up by Linda Hewson, the director of windows & creative, and our team reports to Alannah Weston, the creative director of Selfridges. The role of the creative team is ultimately a conceptual one; researching and developing ideas that inspire everything from architecture and spaces within the store, to seasonal and creative store-wide schemes, product development and customer experience. In a sense we are a tool that ensures Selfridges can evolve in a way that is consistent with Alannah's vision, is in touch with the world around us, and always has a beady eye on the future.

Could you give me an idea what a typical day is like for you?

I'm not sure that there is such a thing as a typical day in the creative office. Every day is different! We like to vary the way we work according to project. However, we do generally have lots of meetings between departments, and of course for brainstorming and generating ideas. As a researcher, I like to start my day catching up on my favourite blogs and checking the day's news.

What is the best thing about working at Selfridges? What do you think sets Selfridges apart from other department stores?

I would say the people. As we work with lots of other departments, I am always meeting new people and I am constantly blown away by their knowledge, expertise and passion for their subject.  
Personally, I would say that the character of Selfridges is unique. We're a ‘thinking’ brand but don't like to take ourselves too seriously. There will always be some kind of wit or humour, a touch of the magical or surreal, and we like to have fun.

What’s next in store for Selfridges – are you working on any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?

Yes! Our Bright Young Things of 2013 launches late August. Previous BYTs have gone on to be very successful in the creative industries; from Simone Rocha to Patternity. This, the third Bright Young Things scheme, features fifteen UK-based emerging talents from the worlds of fashion, accessories, art, animation, set design and food. Each fledgling designer will take over one of the world-renowned window displays at Selfridges London and their creations will be on sale in the dedicated Bright Young Things Concept Store and Selfridges.com.

Where would you suggest a first time Selfridges shopper should check out in store?

Come and spend the day! I have to say I love our new Wine Shop and Harry Gordon's bar. It's a really cool space designed by Campaign Architects. The cocktails are delicious and the wine selection outstanding. A great way to unwind after a busy day shopping.

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