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Thomas Hips: Crafting Confidence Through Design | London Accessory Week

How and when did you start your brand?

Although the name Thomas Hips is a new brand name, its family roots run back several generations in the design and manufacturing industry. After spending over five years on market research and product development Thomas Hips became a new brand in June of 2021.

What are your sources of inspiration?

I’m inspired by almost everything around me (laugh). Colors, shapes, textures, scents, music and the list goes on.

How would you describe your design/product concept?

All my designs begin with lines and shapes. Colours and textures are always secondary to me. I usually have a solid shape concept before I move to texture and colour. Every human body shape is beautiful in its own way and I want each person I design and build for to feel and reflect the beautiful person they are.

Image: Thomas Hips founders

Why do you do what you do? What do you like about your job?

It may sound cliché but honestly, I love everything about this. Designs occupy my mind constantly. It’s my release, my happy place. I love helping people look and feel their best.

Do you have a signature or star product? Tell us about it!

(laugh) I have so many notebooks stashed away containing hundreds of hand-sketched designs that have never made it to the cutting table. If you glanced through them you’d see that I’m all over the place. Although you’d notice a lot of asymmetric shapes, but not enough to dominate me into a style. I hope I never get stuck on one shape. I love the mental freedom to go where I want to go.

Image: Thomas Hips leather bag

Who is the target audience for your products?

Anyone looking to take their look and self-confidence to a new level. I learned years ago that not everyone will like every product I design and build, so I design what I feel for a certain look that I may envision rather than a specific target audience. I have interest from every generation group, sometimes popular with certain groups and sometimes not so popular with others.

We would love to hear about your product design and development journey.

We have a design panel that critiques every design I decide to bring to the cutting table. I start with hand sketches that lead to one-off paper models that then lead to stitched vinyl mockups. Each stage goes through the design panel before making it to the pattern stage and becoming a Thomas Hips product. The same process is followed for our handmade hardware except we go from clay models to brass to 14k gold. It’s humbling when something doesn’t get past the design panel but that’s the point, if it doesn’t get past the panel, it more than likely won’t fare well in the market.

Image: Thomas Hips leather bag

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