The next interview for my research into Perceptions of Coaching in the UK Creative Industries was with Ben Demiri, Brand Manager and International Sales and Marketing Manager at SIX Showroom.
SIX Showroom is the collective behind Swear and b store (own brands) and 5 worldwide footwear licenses (Eley Kishimoto, Bernhard Willhelm, Peter Jensen for b store, Henrik Vibskov and Opening Ceremony).
Working with mainly UK designers and emerging design talent, supporting them with distribution and a unique production infrastructure, SIX is the roof of an international operation encompassing London’s b Store which is the international flagship for its line of â€˜bâ€™ footwear (formerly Buddhahood), Swear in London’s Carnaby Street, and a synergetic marketing and branding operation.
SIX specialises in the design, development, production and wholesale of fashion footwear collections. It operates a production-sourcing agency in Portugal and in Hong Kong, and has more than 20 agencies worldwide covering all continents, including Scandinavia, France, UK, USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Russia, South east Asia, Italy and Spain.
SIXâ€™s first venture into premium footwear design and production happened with the internationally acclaimed brand Swear founded in 1994, opening its flagship in London in 1996. Since then, the company has evolved, launching Buddhahood in 2001.
SIX has developed close ties with many designers resulting in collaborations to launch footwear for Eley Kishimoto, DIE for Swear, Peter Jensen for b, Judy Blame for b, Bernhard Willhelm and in the recent past, Zakee Shariff, YMC, Burro and PPQ.
SIX now handles all product development, international sales and distributions of the following footwear lines: Bernhard Willhelm, Eley Kishimoto, Swear, b store, Peter Jensen for b store and the last additions to our family, the new Spring Summer 2007 footwear collections for Opening Ceremony and Henrik Vibskov.
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SIX has positioned itself to become one of the worldâ€™s leading footwear specialists, in a high-fashion segment of the footwear market. It remains faithful to its mission and values: to design and make exciting and innovative footwear, to be the coolest footwear showroom around!
Walking along Savile Row to meet Ben at his office, I reflected that fashion, like architecture, was one of the oldest forms of creative business, unlike many of the industries that have been grouped under the ‘Creative Industries’ heading – as Ben said, people have needed clothes and houses for a long time! So it was fascinating to listen to him describing an industry culture and management style that has evolved over centuries, yet is still very much alive in the 21st century.
Watch this space for more interviews in the series over the next few weeks.