Hi Everyone – today for our Designer Interview we talk to Phoebe and Delia of Langdon LTD.
What is Langdon LTD about?
We spend a lot of time in India and wonder off the beaten path to immerse ourselves in the local communities to spend time with the artisans behind our brand. Each of the pieces in the Langdon collection are made by hand by talented weavers in Rajasthan, India who use ancient wisdom and traditional techniques, the finest materials and metallic threads to create an earthy, homespun vibe.
How did you get started?
Getting started was all a bit of a whirlwind I recall. We never really had a firm business plan but we knew we wanted to set ourselves up as a wholesale business and get some shops to stock our range. After we initially got the business set up out of the way, Phoebe got about designing a range of prints and pattern making designs and we hopped on a plane to India together. Phoebe had sent a few bits and pieces ahead so we had something to work with when we landed. We had a number of people Phoebe had worked with and for whilst she was studying in Rajasthan so that part was relatively well sorted.
We got some advice from a dear family friend who is an old school homewares agent who advised us to apply for the Life Instyle trade show. We did this, crossed our fingers and were accepted. The sample range we had worked on on that first trip literally arrived I think on the Monday, we had them photographed on the Tuesday and we set up for the show on the Wednesday. Somehow we managed to get a handful of stockists – I think all of which are still supporting us today, and we were in business.
Business wise, I think it’s a good thing that neither of us really knew what we were getting ourselves into before we started! It has been a rollercoaster over the last four years and we have learnt so much along the way, and are still learning something every day. It seems ridiculous really that we were so naive but I guess you have to pull the trigger at some point.
We’ve changed our focus, product wise since we started to move with the times, keep original and unique.
What keeps you motivated?
We have to continually remain competitive by coming up with original designs and products and techniques. We are motivated to make sure our products are ethically produced and our supply chain is genuine. It’s wonderful that our team in India are so supportive of this and love the challenge of finding different ways of doing things whilst using traditional techniques. They all know the Langdon style and we are doing product development all year round. The weavers in particular enjoy coming up with new ideas.
Where do you source your materials?
The whole process is done in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The cotton is farmed there and spun and processed then hand dyed in town. It is generally dyed in very small lots and colour matched by eye so it’s fairly simple and hands on. It’s then spun into reels and sent out to the villages to be woven on the loom. The metallic thread we’ve sourced is actually the metallic thread they use to embellish the beautiful Indian sarees/saris. It’s amazing how the villagers can be so innovative.
What are the design trends you are seeing emerge for 2016/7?
We’d love to see texture and more artisan created goods becoming trendier. There is more of an appreciation for this rather than the mass produced stuff we are seeing in the big stores.
Also embellishment, tassels, pom poms. Colour wise, blues.
Delia: Hard to decide because I think our latest range is Phoebe’s best yet. I’d say the Indigo spots and stripes are mine and after seeing them being created I was seriously impressed. I love that the stripes and spots are imperfect and I love the lighter blue colour that’s achieved by a lighter dye and stone wash.
Phoebe: Casablanca rug – the peach and orange with gold embellishment colour way. I took a photograph of some tiles in Morocco when I holidayed there with my brother in 2008 and knew it would come in handy one day.
Thank you to Phoebe and Delia of Langdon LTD. You can see more of their inspired designs here.