THROW BLANKETS WITH A DECIDEDLY EXOTIC FLAVOUR
Slowdown Studio is the brainchild of Australian-born, Los Angeles-based designer Marc Hendrick. While studying architecture he ended up working in graphic design and dabbling in a number of businesses, mainly in clothing. The idea for Slowdown Studio came when he was at a textile art exhibition. “The art itself was pretty challenging,” he says, “but seeing how it all worked seamlessly as a textile made me wonder why textiles in most home goods companies were so safe in their design – when it was technically possible to push the boundaries a little more.”
Slowdown Studio began its journey with its popular, versatile and unique blankets, created in collaboration with artists from all around the world. Each throw is created from jacquard woven using American-grown cotton.
“We’re somewhat limited in terms of detail because of the nature of weaving, but fine detail isn’t really our style anyway,” says Hendrick. “Colour isn’t a huge issue, but there are certain combinations of very bright saturated colours that can’t co-exist on the one blanket.” He works with a US-based company which has been dealing directly with artisan rug makers in India for 25 years. “This way we were already assured that we were working with weavers under ethical conditions, and were going to get a high-quality product.”
Depending on the artist they’re working with, the whole process can take a couple of months or a year. “We have a lot of collaborations up our sleeves at all times to ensure we don’t need to rush anyone. We start with really small numbers – 24 or 40 – and will continue to reorder as long as they are still selling.”
While the studio’s focus has mainly been on textiles – blankets, rugs, towels and so on – it has been branching out to plenty of other products in recent months. But Hendrick advises keeping a close eye on the bottom line: “Cash flow is key. Better to spend more on smaller quantities and know that you have a viable product, than having box-loads of slightly cheaper products sitting in your garage.”
For artists and designers interested in working with Slowdown, Marc recommends dedicating as much of your time as possible to creative development. “A great portfolio speaks louder than a million cold emails, so spend the time creating and honing your style. If you’re talented enough, the digital world will notice you soon enough.”
Indeed, if you are interested in working with Slowdown Studio, it runs an annual art competition – though sadly entries for this year are now closed.
The Perry, throw by Claire Ritchie
The Eno, throw by Spanish Depeapa