How a walk by the cliffs in Brighton created a best selling print!

As fashion print designers we are always being inspired, whether that be by the latest blog or print publication we’ve read or just an awesome new fabric print we’ve seen, but sometimes inspiration can be right in front of us when we least expect it.

It’s those things that are around us all the time that almost seem too obvious or are just overlooked. A great example of this happened to me whilst away for a few days and has made me realise what a wealth of inspiration there is just waiting to spark our creativity.

A few summers ago, Mrs. Rose and myself decided to have a weekend break in sunny (ok it was summer so obviously it was raining!) and vibrant Brighton. A favourite destination of ours to catch up with friends.

After a ‘lively’ (!) evening enjoying all Brighton has to offer we decided to clear our heads with a morning walk from our Marina apartment. Always a ‘hotspot’ of creativity this city can be truly inspiring, but on this day it was something surprisingly simple that would help me to create a best selling allover print t-shirt.

As always I had my camera with me to document anything of interest and on this day it proved an invaluable tool. Walking along under the cliffs towards Rottingdean I just happened to notice a rather weathered and mundane looking piece of concrete – nothing exciting about that! Or was there…? I stopped and looked again and noticed that some of the weathering  was creating a kind of stripe effect. Out of curiosity I took a few photos and didn’t think too much more about it.

On returning to my studio I went through all the images I had shot and something kept drawing me back to the images of the concrete. So as an experiment I opened up the image in Photoshop and started to have a play around. Before long I knew I was onto something and started to rework, clone, edit and manipulate and gradually a great distressed stripe design started to emerge! I saved it to my library of designs and didn’t think too much more about it.

A few months later an independent clothing retailer client requested various fabric stripe ideas for a new grunge/rock story they were working on. I remembered about the ‘Brighton’ stripe so added it into my design submissions not really knowing if it was the type of design that would work for them.

It turned out that that was the one they liked the most and had a “real, organic and weathered” feel that they were looking for! The garments were printed and the grunge stripe t-shirt became a best seller for their range – all from a random encounter with a concrete wall!

So the next time you’re out on that walk, or on a city break, just take a minute to look with different eyes and who knows what will inspire your next fashion print design.