Hazy winter days are upon us in North Carolina, but our latest featured maker has us dreaming of tropical destinations. James Hackett, a fashion designer and small business owner, hails from the island of Trinidad and Tobago, just north of Venezuela in the Caribbean. His fresh and colorful designs turn Spoonflower fabrics into wearable art as dresses, leggings, bags and more. Get to know James and his business Lush Kingdom below.
My day starts with: “Work to be honest. I like to get up and go early, so I tend to leave anything I have to get done for the morning. This would be working in Illustrator or drawings mostly.”
I fell in love with making things when: “I switched to studying Fashion Design. I was part of the first graduating fashion design class from my country and just loved the idea of creating articles of clothing.”
When I’m in my studio: “I feel at peace! I like tinkering, coming up with ideas and researching new ways to use prints and patterns. Spoonflower became my aid when I decided I wanted unique textiles for my collections.”
Who or what influences or inspires your work and why? “I have a hefty list, because I am always looking at great work around the world, Japan is a major part of that from manga to their cities and creativity. I love the Caribbean and Carnival, it is home. But I am just a fan of good design and try to splice that in with my love for fashion/comics and pop culture!”
What’s in your toolbox? “A large assortment of pencils and my favourite Black covered sketchbooks. My soon-to-be favourite water brush pens and my Cintiq because I work digital a lot.”
My proudest accomplishment: “Over the last year saw me taking charge of my design space and just going hard focusing on print design and development.”
My go-to outfit is “White shirt, black pants, comfortable shoes.”
Before starting a small business, I wish someone had told me: “How isolating it can be at times.”
My favorite Spoonflower textile to work with is: “Poly Crepe De Chine because of how light the fabric is and how rich the colours are when I get the fabric!”
We’re swooning over James’s dramatic, vibrant prints and flattering silhouettes. From this tropical abstract dress to this mug, you’ll find these textiles and products channel the warmth and personality of the islands. Follow Lush Kingdom on Facebook, and look out for James as he grows his fashion design business.