Wayne was born in 1961 and grew up in Morecambe, a typical British seaside town. Perhaps not the most appropriate surroundings for one of Britain's most acclaimed designers, but then again, being appropriate was never Wayne’s strong suit.
Wayne's earliest memories are of his mum and nan dressing him up as Elvis, a Beatle or Tarzan, then either parading him up and down Morecambe pier* or being held aloft in a wrestling ring by his dad, costume still intact. (For those that don’t know, Wayne’s dad is Billy Two Rivers, a Red Indian and the World Heavyweight Champion at the time.) These early modelling stints went some way towards influencing a childhood full of style, culture and reinvention – plus a few blue suede shoes.
After spending most of his childhood in Blackburn, a young and multicultural Hemingway left school with ten O-Levels and four A-Levels. In 1979 he made another inappropriate decision for a future designer and gained a degree in Geography and Town Planning at University College, London. Whoops.
But it was his most inappropriate move of all that sealed his fate forever. One bright day in 1981, Wayne nicked his and childhood sweetheart (now wife) Gerardine’s rent money to buy practice space for the band he then played in*. To recoup the cash, he emptied their wardrobes, which were full of handmade and vintage clobber, and flogged the contents on Camden Market. It went outrageously well, and the realisation that money could be made from fashion suddenly dawned.
Alongside Gerardine, Wayne built Red or Dead into a globally-celebrated label and, after 21 consecutive seasons on the catwalk, sold it in a multi-million-pound deal. In 1999, fresh from the sale of Red or Dead, Wayne and Gerardine embarked on a new adventure: HemingwayDesign. And the rest, they say, is history.
Other than his BSc degrees in Geography and Town Planning (which, surprisingly, have become very useful!), Wayne is on the Design Council Trustee Board and the Design Council CABE Committee. He got an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2006, is a Professor in The Built Environment Department of Northumbria University, a Doctor of Design at Wolverhampton, Lancaster and Stafford, and a Fellow of Blackburn College and Regents University. (Just call him Prof, Doc, Doc, Doc Wayne Hemingway MBE, BSc, MA, Esquire.)
A writer for architectural and housing publications and a TV design commentator, Wayne also judges of international design competitions, including the regeneration of Byker in Newcastle and Salford in Greater Manchester, the The Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize and Europan. He holds talks on housing, urban design, education and the creative sector. And he gets involved in charity work for the likes of Noise Festival, The Princes Trust (where he was the inaugural Chairman for an initiative to enable disadvantaged young people to work within the fashion industry), Shelter, Oxfam and Traid.
Wayne's hobbies include running with his daughter, Tilly (he’s got some pretty decent marathon times under his belt), and adding to his massive vinyl record stash. He started collecting at Wigan Casino and Blackpool Mecca in the 70s and has amassed thousands of 70s and 80s Dance, Disco, Funk, Northern Soul and crossover records. He DJ’ed when he was a teenager, and now rocks da house for fun at his Vintage and charity events – a sight and sound not to be missed, believe us!
* We know where the photos are hidden...
Born in 1961 in Padiham, Lancashire, Gerardine immersed herself in the ever-changing fashions of the 70s and made all of her own clothes. In doing so, she paved the way for one of Britain’s best-loved fashion brands to take flight.
In 1981 she met her future husband, Wayne, in Burnley’s Angels Disco, and they moved to London together a year later. After setting up Red or Dead on Camden and Kensington Market, Gerardine designed, stitched and sold her first collection from a 180 square foot stall. Within a week of opening, she received her first order from Macy's, New York, and a global business was born.
As well as bringing Red or Dead to life, Gerardine raised four children, and it’s the Hemingways’ home, the highly acclaimed modernist, family-friendly building that she created in 1997, which launched her new career within interiors and building design.
Now, having sold Red or Dead and founded HemingwayDesign, you can see Gerardine’s handiwork across our entire architectural and product portfolio, including The Staiths South Bank, a 750 property mass market housing project on Tyneside for Taylor Wimpey Homes, the much publicised Workplace, and IOD at 123, the new wing for the Institute of Directors, and many, many more.
In June 2006, Gerardine was awarded a MBE for services to design in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, and has a Doctorate from Plymouth Uni, Lancaster Uni, Stafford and Regents University. Not bad for a lass that left school at 15, eh?
Jack Hemingway is a 25-year-old multi-disciplinary senior designer, specialising in product, fashion, graphics, exhibitions and events. However, he was very nearly (ish) a Premier League football player.
Jack spent his formative years surrounded by music, fashion and design, whether it was hanging out in the Red or Dead warehouses, running wild during his parents’ London Fashion Week catwalk shows, or marching around the family home in weird and wonderful outfits with his brother and sisters to Heaven 17’s (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang.
Born during England’s famous 1986 World Cup quarter final defeat to Argentina, a career as a footballer looked promising when he signed to Chelsea FC’s Academy as a teenager. Like his dad, Jack is utterly obsessed with Blackburn Rovers, which culminated in them playing for the team live on Sky TV in the Premier League All Stars tournament, only to be knocked out by bloomin’ Man Utd. Sadly, this was the highlight of Jack’s football hopes, as he was dropped from Chelsea’s squad shortly after.
Jack quickly bounced back and found an even better gig: leading creative direction at HemingwayDesign! You’ll find his magic touch in our wallpaper, tile and paint ranges, plus exhibition and promotional design for the likes of Tanqueray, Sky TV, and The Danish Embassy and Hush Puppies. In 2009 he turned The Tate Liverpool into a silent disco as part of their ‘This is Sculpture’ series, curating the exhibition ‘Sculpture Remixed’, which featured works by Ron Mueck and Antony Gormley and was set within a space reminiscent of a 1970s’ New York discotheque. It went on to become one of The Tate’s most popular and longest running in exhibitions recent times.
In August 2010, Jack and the HemingwayDesign team launched the well-regarded and hugely popular Vintage Festival, a new cultural festival celebrating the best of British music, fashion, film, art, design and food. Vintage 2010 dominated the media coverage of summer events and the nominations at the 2010 Festival Awards, walking away with the Best New Festival category. Many say it has changed the face of British festivals forever.
José Mourinho, you missed out.
Tilly, born in North West London in 1987, is the second child of Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway. She’s excited to be following in her parents’ footsteps, whether that’s at HemingwayDesign or (overtaking Wayne) on the running track.
Throughout her childhood, Tilly was surrounded by creative individuals. Evenings after school were frequently spent causing trouble in the Red or Dead offices, and family holidays often featured visits to architectural expos and festivals. It was inevitable that after such an artistic upbringing, Tilly would develop an eye for design. After a year travelling at the age of 18, she applied to read Urban Design and Town Planning at University College London, then upon graduating, became a valued member of the our team.
In her career so far, Tilly has worked on a number of projects, including the re-working of a large social housing development in Kings Lynn, the Museum of 51 at the Royal Festival Hall (as part of the 60th anniversary of The Festival of Britain), led on the furnishing and interior design at East Village – Get Living London, curated National Trust’s pop-up exhibition in Flat 130, Balfron Tower, product design for G Plan Vintage, Royal Doulton, Graham and Brown, and John Lewis.
Read her interview with Vogue here.
Originally from Lisbon, Portugal, where she did a Fashion Design degree, we lured Rita over to tropical London (well, that’s what we told her...) over eleven years ago for a graphic and product design work placement, and she’s been with us ever since.
During her initial placement, Rita worked with Gola footwear and did all sorts of product and graphic design. After finishing her degree, we put her to work as a photographer – most of the clothes you can see on the Land of Lost Content were snapped by her. As the company started to grow, she took on a few design jobs, then in 2006 she became a full-time graphic and product designer.
Rita designed our LOLC website and has been involved in a huge variety of products, such as floor coverings, canvases, large-scale murals, flyers, adverts, posters, booklets, fabrics, rugs, outdoor furniture, picnic, packaging, haberdashery, ceramic tiles and gardening products. Most recently she's gone back to her roots so to speak, as she has also taken on most of the fashion projects we have going! Which have involved developing a structure for staff engagement, feedback gathering, processing and implementing. Every project brings something new!
Rita loves cycling and bicycles. You could say that it's nearly an obsession, she even has a blog about it! She also has a great interest in analogue photography and owns a growing assortment of vintage cameras, which isn’t quite at the level of Wayne’s record collection, but she’s getting there!
Serena Wilson has been in marketing for over 15 years (she’s had some pretty impressive clients!), and now heads up our digital marketing for HemingwayDesign and Vintage Festival.
Serena’s career began in the music business, first with London Records, then Way to Blue, Source Records and finally Virgin Records. Her artists have included Goldie, All Saints, Bjork, Kelis, Daft Punk, Madonna, and so many more.
Whilst consulting for the Source label, Serena founded her own marketing company, Nile-On, dedicated to online press and promotions. Source Records merged with Virgin/EMI in 2003 and Nile-On expanded further, embarking on a campaign with the Arctic Monkeys which completely revolutionised digital marketing within the music industry.
Emma was born in Blackburn in the North of England. She’s one of our design gurus, with a particular expertise in photography and a habit of rooting through old suitcases for forgotten photos...
As a young child, Emma was fascinated by archaeology and the charm of unearthing long-lost objects, and began a collection of other people’s memories; found photographs, wartime love letters, lockets and postcards.
Emma graduated from the University Centre at Blackburn College with a degree in Photography, and for her final show, she photographed the home of a man who clears houses of the deceased – a veritable treasure trove, in Emma’s eyes. It took her three years to convince him to let her, and it was worth the wait. Emma’s beautiful photographs not only earned her a 1st Class Honours degree, but were later published by the Royal Photographic Society, and you can see them for yourself here.
That summer, she packed up her cherished possessions and moved to London. Starting as an intern at HemingwayDesign, she is now part of our design team and has photographed events such as Vintage by the Sea, London Fashion Week, The Classic Car Boot Sale, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee & Preston Guild, to name a few. Emma has led the launch of the HemingwayDesign website, contributed to the publishing of Rough Guides: Vintage Guide to London and curated the car show at Vintage by the Sea. Her most exciting project to date has been directing the production of The Classic Car Boot Sale.
Graphic designer Kate was born in Glasgow. As a 90s preteen, she grew up loving the Spice Girls, and happily admits to still knowing all the dance moves to 'Stop'.
From an early age, Kate loved drawing and always knew she wanted to go to Glasgow School of Art so she could become a famous painter – well, that or a pop star, obviously. In 2012 she graduated from GSA with a degree in Design, specialising in her favourite subject, illustration.
Her illustration work is inspired by a bygone era, specifically the 1940s and 1950s, which stems from her love cinema and fashion. Kate also received a distinction for her extended essay on costume design in Alfred Hitchcock films. Needless to say, she’s a massive Hitchcock fan!
Kate's hobbies include playing with her Jack Russell, Rudy, and teaching him tricks (usually against his will...), baking cakes, drinking copious amounts of tea, and vintage shopping. She’s relocated to the big smoke and is delighted to have joined the Hemingway Design team. She’s come a long way since she making paintings á la Jackson Pollock for her Granny's fridge.
Born in the mid-90s, Katherine (preferably known as Katie) is currently the youngest member of our graphics team. With an ex-biker, motor-head of a Dad and a Mother of the Orient, she grew up appreciating cultures, alternative subcultures and international arts.
She naturally drawn to alternative styles, rockabilly culture and rock n’ roll music and possesses the skill, through years of training, to tell apart vintage cars. Also, despite having a nervous disposition and jumpy personality, she’s a massive fan of anything horror related, and spends most weekends watching all kinds of horror (including the appalling films you find on the Sci-Fi Channel).
As a pre-teen she was wedged between two career paths; not only was she a compulsive sketcher and painter, she loved to sing, dance, taught herself how to play the guitar and was frequently performing in both school and out of school festivities But as she grew older and the pressure of picking options kicked in, she left her musical side as a hobby, and focused more on her artistry, aspiring to, one day, become a graphic designer, illustrator or tattoo artist.
After finishing her AS Level in Art and Design, she decided that university wasn’t her ideal route to get into the industry, so she researched other ways to go about it and discovered a vacancy at HemingwayDesign as a design apprentice.
After a year and a half, learning the ropes as an apprentice, she has developed her basic knowledge of graphics design and has evolved into a junior designer, where she works both independently and with the rest of the team, lending a helping hand with their projects.