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As an annual affair, Margaret Howell Plus is a collaborative initiative which looks to outside influences to inspire a special piece for the year. For 2010, Howell looks to an unlikely source albeit a designer nonetheless in Kenneth Grange. Despite not being a household name, Grange’s influence has had a prominent mark in society including the Intercity 123 train, the Kenwood food mixer, Parker Pen and the 1997 TX1 version of the London Taxi. The Kenneth Grange x Margaret Howell Plus 2010 Shirt will release in March at all Margaret Howell flagship stores and online at margarethowell.co.uk. Below are two further insights into the collaboration including words from Howell and Grange themselves.
MARGARET HOWELL PERSONAL STATEMENT
Good design, like good film music often goes unnoticed. It can seem so natural, so right, that we take it for granted – until we take the trouble to look, touch or listen.
What happens when a designer who excels in one area is asked to work in another?
We decided to find out by inviting industrial designer Kenneth Grange to collaborate with us to produce a shirt. We are known for our shirts so we thought this would be interesting and hopefully fun.
You may not have heard of Kenneth Grange, but he helped to shape the world we live in. If you’ve travelled by Intercity train or black cab, used a Kenwood mixer or read by the light of an Anglepoise lamp, this British designer has touched your life.
Margaret Howell – the person and the company – began by making shirts in 1972 with twelve machinists. Each machinist was responsible for every stage of the process. Today this care and attention is still given to shirt production in our Edmonton workshop.
“For me this project has been challenging because, instead of being in total control of my own design, I’ve had to work out someone else’s requirements and ideas, while satisfying my own aesthetic – not easy. Yet this is something Kenneth Grange routinely does in the field of industrial design throughout his long, versatile and successful career.”
- Margaret Howell
“At 80 new commissions come through the door more rarely. So when Margaret calls to suggest the collaboration my heart lifts. And even more is the treat when, ignoring the suit I made myself at art school, this would be first sally into her world.
Only to find that our worlds are surprisingly alike. It is in the details, as Mies van der Rohe said, that God lives.”
- Kenneth Grange