Oxo X ARTSTHREAD Graduate Residency - Interview with Ecke Faei

Ecke Faei clothing and store

OXO x ARTSTHREAD Graduate Residency Programme 2021 is a new initiative offering two complimentary studios at Oxo Tower Wharf for a four month period to graduate designer-makers. The aim of the residency is to support emerging designers in launching their studios, with a space to work, showcase their creativity and sell in the heart of London.

Read ARTSTHREAD's Q&A with 2021 Winners Ecke Faei: After meeting as students at Kingston School of Art, Freya Grötecke and Julia Forslund founded Ecke Faei during 2020. Drawing from their shared backgrounds, the duo design fragile knitwear pieces for all sizes and gender identities.

Learn more about OXO x ARTSTHREAD Graduate Residency Programme 2021 on ARTSTHREAD and on the Oxo Tower Wharf website.

ARTSTHREAD: Tell us a little bit about yourselves?

We are a designer duo who recently graduated from Kingston School of Art. Our practice is heavily based in exploring our different working class heritages and how we can express these in different ways.
We are most famous for our distressed knits that can span several sizes, inspired by the saying ‘Hanging on by a Thread’ and the tale of Damocles which speaks of the responsibility that comes with great power, which we wanted to explore in a high fashion and modern way, looking into how working class ideas and aesthetics could be portrayed through the lenses of power rather than powerless.

ARTSTHREAD: Why did you apply for this residency?

As we built our brand throughout our last year at university we knew we had to set up a base in London to be able to continue to grow outside of the comfort that university provides. When we saw that Oxo Tower Wharf and Artsthread were asking for graduates to apply for their residency, we jumped at the chance! Being able to be in such an inspiring building with other creatives and in central London was an opportunity we couldn’t pass on!

ARTSTHREAD: What are you looking for from this residency?

Expanding our business and being able to invest in more equipment that comes with added space. We used to work from our living room so being able to have a space dedicated to our work is such a wonderful thing and it creates wonderful exchanges with our customers that have a base to come discuss our work and what they want to see from us in the future!

ARTSTHREAD: You have been here for three months what have you learnt so far?

We have been blessed to have so many wonderful opportunities through our work being at Oxo Tower Wharf and so we have learnt to appreciate every single one and how to nurture the relationships we have created with other creatives throughout!
As it’s so easy to always want to say yes to things when there’s so many incredible collaborates we could potentially work with we have also learnt to sometimes say no and to rest up so we can stay as productive and creative as possible. 

ARTSTHREAD: What are you impressions regarding Oxo Tower Wharf, have the fellow residents been supportive to you?

The community here is wonderful and everyone is so supportive! Everything from a little wave when they’re walking past to coming in and having long conversations and advice sessions as they have once been where we are now, starting up a business in creative field!

ARTSTHREAD: What are you looking to achieve at the end of this residency?

We are hoping to continue to thrive and expand our business and to continue to create more connections and creating a big network of creatives who all help and support each other! 

ARTSTHREAD: Whats your plans going forward?

We are currently creating our second collection that will be released sometime next year. We are taking our time with it as we want it to be perfect and we don’t want to adhere to the crazy busy schedules of traditional seasonal fashion. we want to continue making amazing products that we love and would love to wear that we also feel says something about the world that we live in, to create positive conversations about the future of fashion.

ARTSTHREAD: We wish you all the best for the future!

Click here for more information from our website
Click here for Ecke Faie's page on ARTSTHREAD