Tag Archives: MARY PORTAS

Getting Real

Last week, we talked about our support for Michelle Ogundehin’s Equal Rights For Design campaign. The cause is gaining momentum, with James Dyson and Mary Portas – as well as our very own Terence Conran – showing their support.

The Conran Shop – a long-time advocate of better protection for British designs – decided actions speak louder than words, and set about bringing the campaign to life over at their Marylebone store. Michelle and the Conran team spent last week cathartically tearing up cheap fakes of classic designs (one of which broke before it even arrived at the store).

Michelle Ogundehin, showing us just what she thinks of design fakes

You can see the difference for yourself by heading over to the Marylebone store and checking out the Get Real window displays.

The Get Real window displays at The Conran Shop, Marylebone

The campaign stepped up another notch last night, with a bloggers’ event in Marylebone. There was a great turnout, and a palpable sense that it’s about time someone raised the issue.

The Get Real event at The Conran Shop last night

We heard a broad range of opinions on the campaign. Several attendees noted that, whilst they believe in the protection of design classics, the line between taking inspiration and ripping off isn’t an easy one to draw. Design is ultimately about selling product, and in a free market, fakes will always propagate.

It’s certainly true that design is more overtly commercial than other artistic disciplines; the closest parallel is probably fashion. But in fashion, as Michelle noted in her Times interview, there is a greater sense of shame in buying fakes – and most people know how to spot them. That’s less true in the design world. Many consumers would feel duped if they found out their Eames chair was a fake – just as they would if their Mulberry handbag turned out to be.

In fact, the issue is even more acute in the design world. A fashion fake may serve its purpose if it lasts a season, but with knock-off furniture – cheaply made and hastily thrown together – this lack of longevity is more problematic. Design classics are all but indestructible, and hold their value as the years rack up. Fakes may be cheaper – but they are seldom better value.

That’s why we’re pushing Get Real. So, head on over to Marylebone High Street, and find out how you can stay savvy.


Filed under Good design, Retail, THE CONRAN SHOP

Conran: Helping to ‘Save the Children’ through design…

Last year Conran & Partners helped transform ‘Save the Children’ shops up and down the country as part of the BBC TV series ‘Mary Queen of Charity Shops’ presented by Mary Portas.

Interior Design Director Jane Lawrence headed up the project – bringing bold, bright colour into the stores.

We’ve just found this great clip recently posted online which shows Jane presenting the concepts to the shops staff – it’s definitely worth a watch!

Watch it here!

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Conran & Partners on TV…and other news

It’s not often anyone gets to be on tele, let alone twice in less than a year, but Jane Lawrence of Conran & Partners can now officially adopt this claim to fame.

Last year BBC1 aired Mary Queen of Charity Shops, where Conran & Partners created the interiors for Save the Children’s retail shop in Orpington, helping Mary Portas take on a seemingly impossible challenge: dragging this humble, forgotten, unloved charity shop into the 21st century. After five long months a remarkable, lasting transformation was achieved.

Earlier this week the BBC revisited the shop, and there she was again, presenting our concepts to the shop staff.

Why not take a look – it’s on BBC iPlayer till 10pm on 3 May – if you can’t watch the whole thing you can see her from 24.50-26.45 and you can see the final solution from 31.55-33.00:

Jane L on the BBC

Conran & Partners Seeks new Marketing Assistant

Our Architects and Interiors team are looking for someone to help them out with marketing – this is a great opportunity to join a thriving and friendly team.

Click here for more info

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