The new names to know

Meet the most exciting designers and makers on our radar

Words: Jacob Corner

Creativity is the lifeblood of Selfridges – it’s at the core of everything we do. That’s why we were delighted to hear that some of today’s most exciting designers and producers are still creating incredible work, despite everything that’s going on in the world. We caught up with them to find out what they’re working on, how they’re working, and to have a sneaky peek inside their homes and studios.


Menswear designer Nicomede Talavera is one of the most hyped independents in the world right now – and rightly so. We talked to him about his process and how he’s staying inspired in isolation.

How are you continuing to work in lockdown?
When we closed the studio a couple of weeks back, I brought the essential pieces I’m working on home with me so I could continue designing from home. I have my past two collections binded in books, so I often look back at these in relation to the new season. Fortunately, all my books and magazines are stored at home, so it’s been great to have some more time to look through these as well as watch films that have been on my list for a while.

What’s inspiring you right now?
This week I watched Rize by David LaChapelle, which is incredible. I loved it. I have also been trawling eBay for new books and just bought an Ellsworth Kelly catalogue from 1980. He is one of my favourite artists.

What will you take away from this experience in isolation?
I have learned that in a moment like this, family, friends and your team are the utmost priority, so it’s been important to me to stay in communication with everybody and stay positive, as well as give myself time to think creatively while things are understandably more quiet.

Shop Nicomede


Scotria’s approach to sustainability, craftsmanship and modular design has set it apart as one of the most exciting independent brands creating accessories today. Creative Director Jen Murray filled us in on how their practice has evolved since self-isolation.

How have you been adapting to working through the lockdown?
We are an intimate, small team and have luckily transitioned fairly easily to this new way of doing things – seeing each other on FaceTime and Hangouts has taken on a new level of appreciation!

Any advice for people trying to stay creative?
This is a great time to explore creative, novel ideas, both in design and communication, and to continue to collaborate – albeit remotely. While the concept of remote work and exchange is very familiar to us, having daily set meetings and calls seems to be key.

What do you think will be different for you once this is all over?
Dialogue with our community has become even more direct and personal and will continue to be once the lockdown is lifted.

Shop Scotria


Potter and maker Louise Madzia’s playful hand-painted ceramics feature everything from smoking hands to abstract figures and have established her as one of homeware’s most exciting young designers. We spoke to her from her studio and home in London.

Portrait photography: Jenny Lewis

What have you been working on to keep yourself busy?
I’m currently working on some new sketches that I’m developing into small-scale gouache paintings – they’ve been really lovely to work on. I’ve also been making some new ceramics by hand, inspired by the female form. Next up will be some handmade mugs, and I want to experiment with some different glazes. I’m lucky that I can carry on working and being creative. I’m really grateful for that.

How have you kept yourself creatively inspired?
I’m trying to slow down a bit and focus on what’s around me, taking time to look through my art books at the studio. I’ve also used my extra time at home to watch more movies: I’m working through Ingmar Bergman’s back catalogue and I’ve recently loved Mother by Bong Joon-ho and Sympathy for Mr Vengeance by Park Chan-wook.


It’s not just Organic Zoo’s designs that make it unique – it’s their ethical and sustainable approach to creating childrenswear. We caught up with founder Paulina Krywosinska from her home studio, where she's still doing the same great designs – just in a much smaller space.

How have you kept Organic Zoo running since lockdown started?
Organic Zoo’s design studio is currently run from the comfort of our living room. Despite having access to limited resources, we are doing the best we can to adjust and find new ways to remain creative.

Any advice for balancing family life and work during isolation?
It’s not always easy to juggle family life and work in the same space, but it’s easier since we set a few ground rules – like setting the work hours (uninterrupted if possible) and keeping your work in the designated work area. We’re also dressing up each morning as we would normally. It might sound a bit clichéd, but it really helps us maintain work discipline and a positive mindset.

Shop Organic Zoo


Brixton-based coffee roasters Assembly Coffee source and roast some of the highest quality coffee in the world. Sadly, we can’t taste any of the wonderful things they’re working on right now but looking at it is almost as good, right? We spoke to Assembly’s Michael Cleland and Nick Mabey about life in lockdown.

How has the lockdown changed business for you?
About 80 per cent of our staff are on furlough at the moment, so it’s just two of us in the roastery and then five more of us online and communicating remotely. Direct sales to the public have obviously increased, which is keeping us incredibly busy with fewer hands on deck. Basically, we’re doing our best to keep the boat afloat until the storm passes and we are reunited with our colleagues again. 

How have you been coping with this change in your routine?
The big learning for me has been the microscope this has put our work-life balance under. You can’t just go to work and then come home and rely on your mind to switch off somewhere in between. Simple things like taking a walk have become elevated to another level right now, in terms of the impact they have on my headspace. Similarly, reading a book or speaking to a friend on the phone aren’t things I take for granted but things I plan into my day to preserve some balance.

We’ve got to ask: what coffee have you been drinking?
I’m drinking Assembly (our sister brand that’s also stocked at Selfridges) La Mora from Honduras. Two guys in the roastery are, somehow, managing to keep everyone else in the company stocked up with coffee. Moka is my lifeline right now. I wasn’t set up for coffee at home before this, so Moka is the go-to. It’s shocking how much I’m going through.