Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Pip McCormac

Entering the Momiji Couture Contest is a chance for you to get your work in the hands of some pretty fabulous folk from the world of design, fashion and textiles. Stay tuned over the coming weeks for interviews with some of the faces behind the contest; we'll be chatting with them about their lives, their careers and what they'll be looking for in the winning entry.

First up is Pip McCormac of The Sunday Times Style. We had a chat with the man responsible for the glossy pages of our favourite Sunday brunch-time reading.

Did you always know you wanted to work in design?
No – when I was very young I wanted to be a bus driver as I thought it would be a good way to always be meeting new people. Then I wanted to be a chef because I love eating, and finally I fell into writing about design because I just love a good cushion and I’m not fierce enough to write about fashion!

Where are your favourite places for shopping in London?
I love the atmosphere of Marylebone High St. It can be a thriving Saturday afternoon just five minutes walk away on Oxford St, but up there it’s always calm, serene, and gentle. Plus there are some great pubs and restaurants to end up in.

Do you collect anything?
Dust, mainly. My house is full of things that I love that I really don’t have space for, but that I’ve picked up over the years and can’t bear to part with. Candlesticks, vases, weird little horse-shaped ornaments….I’d love to be all minimalist, but I just couldn’t manage it.

What have you learned this year?
How to trust my instincts when I come to work. If I instinctively love a group of random objects, chances are they’ll look good together on the page. Of course, that could just be because there are geniuses working on my Art Desk.

What advice would you give to those beginning their design careers on how to promote themselves and their work?
So many young designers are pro-active these days – I often get emails from recent graduates with images of their work and a mini-bio. I’m so deskbound a lot of the time that I often have to rely on people to come to me. Of course, shows like 100% Design and Tent are great to be involved in, as it’ll get you massive exposure almost instantly, from both the press and the buyers.

What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Keeping on top of all the press releases and information and bits of paper that constantly threaten to overrun my life! I long for a paperless working system. Or even a filing cabinet would do nicely!

What’s your favourite part?
I love it when I put something on the page and then get a call from the stockist the next day saying they’ve already had a ton of orders. I know that my job isn’t exactly something that would lead to sainthood, but I figure that most people don’t have time to trawl every shop and website looking for the perfect vase to fill a spot in their living room, so I like being able to do that for them.

What possession could you not live without?
My Sky+ box. I love television, and I love being able to watch what I want, when I want. I’m about to go on holiday next week and freaking out that it won’t have enough memory left to record all the shows I’ll be missing, and I just can’t face deleting all those episodes of Property Ladder currently clogging it up. I do know some people would find this embarrassing to admit to, but I don’t think there’s anything shaming in talking about what brings you joy. And yes, I do know it’s only TV!
Friday nights or Sunday mornings?
Friday nights! I love the promise of the weekend stretching ahead of you. I’m usually far too hungover to function on a Sunday morning.

What will you be looking for when you’re judging the Momiji Couture Contest?
Bright and interesting use of colour. I like seeing palette combinations that I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of. I’m all about the bold and the beautiful.

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