We are thrilled to share an inside look into British fabric and wallpaper experts Lewis & Wood, the company we commissioned to supply fabrics for our flagships in London and Tokyo.
We met with Ben Lewis, son of founder Stephen Wood, to learn more about the company, what craftsmanship means to him and what he finds the most satisfying part of the job.
Tell us the story behind Lewis & Wood
My Dad (Stephen Lewis) started the company 25 years ago out of our basement in Hammersmith. The company is really a collaboration between two people: him and creative director Magdalen Jebb. Most companies bring out dozens of designs each year but here at Lewis & Wood we concentrate on a select half dozen. Our determination to use British talent, manufacturing and materials is at the heart of everything we do. If there is one secret to our success it's that we only produce things we love.
How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you discover it could become a career?
Three years. It's a family business which, to be fair, I never thought I would join, but textiles and colour have always fascinated me and have always been a topic of conversation growing up (that and food), so it just felt right at a certain point in my life.
What are the three most important things you do in your design process with every piece you create?
This question is impossible to answer because each time it's completely different. One thing though that is always a constant is 'collaboration', finding the right people to work with and feeding off each other is a very exciting process. For instance, the Pomegranate design that you used in your shops was a design by Totty Lowther which we fell in love with - our ethos of only making things we love also extends to the people to collaborate with.
What's your most valuable tool you use for your craft?
iPhone - I know this may seem odd, but to be able to grab whatever catches your eye, anytime, is absolutely invaluable.
What's the most satisfying part of what you do?
For me it is two fold, the first is seeing the design come to life from concept to finished product, but maybe even more than that is seeing the fabrics and wallpapers in their final home and seeing how they transform a space. The chairs in your Mount Street store really made me smile and I might have to come and steal them for my flat!
What or who has had the biggest impact on your career?
I would say on this current path it would have to be my Dad. He has always been a great support and I am forever impressed with what he has built up over the years.
What does 'craftsmanship' mean to you?
Craftsmanship is skill and we work with the best. What's great is we often get people from a non textile background to turn their hand and work out of their comfort zone, and the results are always interesting. In the purest sense of the word, Andrew Davidson, who is a wood engraver and does everything by hand is one of the most skilled craftsmen I have ever met, his work is breathtaking to the point it's hard to believe it's human made.