We sat down with the Head of Design at KNOMO, Eva to get an insight into her background, design process and more.
What do you do at Knomo and how long have you been with Knomo?
I am Head of Design here at Knomo. From the initial concept to the finished product, I look after the designs for all the collections in the range. I’m also involved with the product strategy and influencing the direction of the brand in general. Pretty much covering everything and anything to do with KNOMO products.
I joined KNOMO in its formative years and have been here for 15 years since. In that time, my role has evolved from production to development and design. This means I’m familiar with the whole cycle from the very early briefing stage, onto planning and sampling the products, all the way through to production and customer aftercare.
What was your background before Knomo?
My only job before KNOMO was in fashion, I was working for a London based, Japanese designer called Michiko Koshino who is known for her urban streetwear. I was looking after the London Studio where we created samples and conducted fittings for both the LFW collections and the ready to wear lines. I then became their production manager, working with manufacturers in Italy and Japan with some small production runs out of the London studio.
I had very little experience with accessories before my time at KNOMO, but the founders took me on board and encouraged me to learn on the job. I was able to apply my experience in apparel to accessories and learnt a great deal through working with our suppliers and manufacturing partners.
How do you set yourself apart from other businesses in your industry?
By going out of your way and not down the well trotted path can sometimes lead to new innovative solution that sets you apart from the crowd.
What do you think gives a brand longevity?
Consistency in delivering quality products, service and brand message is the key to maintain longevity.
What’s the biggest business lesson you’ve learnt so far?
Overcome the fear of making mistakes. We learn our most valuable lessons through making mistakes along the way. It hurts when we get things wrong but that’s exactly what drives us to avoid repeating the same misery again.
What’s your favourite bag from KNOMO right now?
Currently, my favorite bag has got to be the Reykjavik because I like the versatility of it. I very often carry it like a tote rather than a backpack, but I like the option when I need to run for the bus!
Do you have a morning routine or ritual to get your day off to a good start?
I was never a morning person before but recently I have grown to enjoy spending some quiet time out in my garden with a cup of tea first thing in the morning.
What are your favourite part/perks of your job?
Working with and learning from incredibly talented people in the industry has been one of the most interesting part of what I do. And of course, seeing our KNOMO bags out in the wild, serving their purpose always make me smile.
Are there any new product launches that we should know about?
The New Forest collection of small leather goods is coming this year and is the first time we’ve produced locally in the UK. It is a small collection of wallets made with responsibly sourced vegetable tanned leather by Tony and his team down at the workshop in the New Forest, they're an amazing small team, and they really know their craft. I really enjoyed going down to see them, and working with them on the collection.
What plans do you have for Knomo over the next two years?
Streamlining our product offering and looking into using more responsible material / manufacturing methods without sacrificing quality and value.
What else do you get up to while you're not at work?
I used to travel quite a lot and I still love it, but since the pandemic I have discovered my new love for experimenting in my garden. The more I grow the more I learn how powerful and intuitive nature is, and we must do our best to protect it!