Colours in the rain
An innovative combination of technology, fashion and design has brought two London College of Fashion (LCF) graduates success in the business world.
Emma-Jayne Parkes, 26 and Viviane Jaeger, 27, are best known for creating ‘Squidarella’, an umbrella that changes colour as it rains.
Both Parkes and Jaeger graduated from BA Design and Development at LCF in 2008 and through research and contacts made their vision a reality.
After taking their product to blueprint, to patent and eventually to profit, they both give advice to other start-ups who are looking to lift their wacky new products off the ground:
“Taking the initial idea and turning it into a business wasn’t easy, like most first-time entrepreneurs we found it hard to know what to do next. Although, with such an innovative product in our minds, we knew protecting our idea early on was really important,” Parkes told the Arts London News.
They drew inspiration from the abstract expressionist pieces created by Jackson Pollock, who was famed for dripping paint to create his works.
“We thought it would be so cool to walk down the street, it starts to rain and your clothes turn into a walking Jackson Pollock,” said Parkes.
SquidLondon has created more products since its launch, the latest being a shower curtain called ‘Squidolette’ that is said to brighten up anyone’s bathroom.
Their products are currently being sold in twelve countries with more than eighty stockists selling in, London, Tokyo, Paris and NYC.
The products use built-in technology to react to their environment or to a stimulus from their user.
Both Parkes and Jaeger talk about their time studying at LCF and their plans for the future: “We both really enjoyed our time at LCF, it was a great creative and vibrant atmosphere to learn in. Our year out in the industry was a huge plus to the course too - this was crucial to many of the ideas we developed.
“We hope for SquidLondon to develop into a more recognised brand and to build a reputation for fun and innovation.”
SquidLondon are also looking for a freelance graphic designer. Those wishing to apply should send a piece of your work, CV and covering letter to email@example.com before February 17.