by Jo on 01 Oct 2013
We are thrilled to have been appointed to represent British fabric house Ian Mankin. Synonymous with stripes, Ian Mankin changed the way we view textiles by elevating humble, everday materials into elegant must-haves for timeless interiors. Determined to source English weavers to create his products on home soil, he approached Lancashire mill John Spencer Textiles. On Ian's retirement, John Spencer Textiles took over the reins, formally uniting the two names that had worked together for nearly three decades. Founded in the 1860s, John Spencer Textiles is the last surviving mill in the birthplace of the industrialised cotton weaving industry. Continuing the Ian Mankin ethos of producing simple but beautiful fabrics from natural fibres, the future of the six-generation-owned family mill is also being secured. Ian Mankin's arrivval brings Portrait's stable of British manufacturing clients to ten. We certainly know the answer to the 'can Britain make it' question - yes we can!
by Jo on 22 Sep 2013
It's been a busy Design Week...or should we say, Design Three Weeks...beginning with Maison et Objet, followed by 100% Design and Design Junction where the Original BTC group launched new brands Branksome China, Beadlight and English Antique Glass. Next week, it's on to Focus at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, then Decorex, after which we'll all deserve a nice cup of tea and a sit down! In the meantime, here's Team Portrait at Design Junction, admiring the new glassware and a Spring/Summer Bowles & Bowles dining table prototype. Most appetising, I'm sure you'll agree!
by Jo on 06 Aug 2013
It's been nearly a month since our Christmas press show and we're still reeling. Despite the long hours worked and the heavy boxes lifted, the Christmas show is always the highlight of the year and this year was better than ever (if we do say so ourselves). We bit the bullet and left our usual West London HQ to head to Mercer Street Studios, which the heroic Portrait team managed to transform in to a winter wonderland in just eight hours. With 3,000 square foot of space to play with, we divided the venue into decorating roomsets and a gift guide section, headed up by a fabulous flock of Steiff creatures. Thank you all for coming and let the gift guides and shoots begin!
by Jo on 05 Aug 2013
As every fashionista and movie lover knows, it doesn't get any bigger than the September issue of Vogue. So when Vogue came a-calling asking for the biggest teddy bear we could find, we got straight on the phone to the Steiff archives in Germany to find out what they had to offer. Two days later, the mighty Maximilian rolled into town and during his week-long visit managed not only to be shot by Vogue but also Grazia. Who's a lucky boy?! As it turns out, so much posing can be tough on a teddy and poor Maximilian returned to Portrait HQ with a rather squiffy leg. What to do when a teddy gets into trouble? Simply send it express to the Steiff teddy bear clinic and spa, where Maximilian is currently recovering from his herculean efforts...
by Jo on 05 Jul 2013
It's all hands - and paws - on deck as we prepare for our A/W - Christmas press show on Thursday 11th July. Archie the hound is helpful as always, assisting Rachel assembling furniture. Deliveries have come from far and wide including boxes of Steiff toys from Germany and woven Gone Rural baskets from the villages of Swaziland. We must have had more UPS deliveries over the past few days than....well, we've had a lot. Hope to see you all next Thursday!
by Jo on 30 Jun 2013
It's a mad, mad world we live in when Christmas stockings emerge in June. But when they're as chic as new client Tori Murphy's, we can live with the madness. Woven in Lancashire, washed in the Yorkshire Dales and made up into product in Nottingam, Tori Murphy adds to our stable of Brit designer/manufacturers. Combining a natural, muted colour palette and a contemporary approach to pattern, we predict big things for the young homewares brand. Check out Tori Murphy's stunning graphic 'Chevy' throw in this month's Elle Deco, styled by the amazing Olivia Gregory. On that note, did we ever mention how much we all love Olivia's styling? Since leaving the hallowed halls of House & Garden, her work has appeared in Red and of course Elle Deco amongst others. Commissioning Editors - we want more, more, more!
by Jo on 28 May 2013
It was a particularly great weekend for client coverage with nine individual pieces in the newspaper supplements, including FT Weekend, The Times Magazine, Sunday Times Home and more. Our favourite was this cheerful botanical shoot in The Mail on Sunday's You Magazine, featuring Original BTC's yellow London table lamp, Sofas & Stuff's green Amberley chair and a woven bowl by Gone Rural.
by Jo on 29 Apr 2013
A phone call from Vogue looking for a metre high Steiff bear to hold new-season clutch bags in the September issue prompted a call to the Steiff archives in Germany. Of course, Archie the dachshund couldn't resist a photo-op. A pair of handsome chaps, I'm sure you'll agree....
by Jo on 27 Mar 2013
After four years living in the depths of Ladbroke Grove, Portrait Communications has moved up in the world! Our new office is in the heart of Notting Hill, with views of Portobello Road and the iconic Trellick Tower. We're lucky enough to have our own dedicated parking space - quite a rarity in these parts - so if you're in the area, park up, pop in and say hello!
by Jo on 11 Mar 2013
Last Thursday saw the launch of Interwoven, an exhibition at Habitat on King's Road focusing on contemporary weaving. Interwoven features the latest collections from Swaziland-based Gone Rural. A design pioneer in African handicraft, Gone Rural collaborates with over 750 weavers in rural areas, providing women with sustainable, independent income. In a country ravaged by the devastating effects of HIV-Aids, Gone Rural has successfully created a business model that empowers women through providing them with home-based income and skills training. As well as Gone Rural's mainline collection, Interwoven also features 'The Song of the Weaver', a series of baskets inspired by the life stores of three generations of weavers from one family. Interwoven runs until 28th April and Gone Rural baskets can be purchased from online retailer Shake the Dust.