Tori Murphy – Where did it all start?
I have always been creative and have been working in and around the art, fashion & textile industries for 10 years but Tori Murphy Ltd started only last November. I was frustrated and unhappy in my career and I knew the only thing that would fix this was to do my own thing. It started by booking a trade show before I had designed any product.
Has there been a particular inspiration behind your designs?
Simple hand drawn designs combined with beautiful and tactile materials. Keep ingredients to a minimum and be creative with pattern and structure.
When did you make the decision to focus on Home design, was it a path you wanted to take from the start?
When I was doing my MA in textiles at the RCA I had the choice to specialize in textiles for fashion or interiors and I chose the latter but I suppose I have always been on the cusp. There is a fine line between the two but I enjoy the large scale you can work with for interiors. Creating a relaxed and elegant feel and introducing tactility and warmth to an environment is something I strive to be good at.
Was there ever a want to go down the Fashion route?
I have worked in the fashion industry for many years, so yes it’s something that has always been with me and will be a constant source of inspiration.
You use the phrase “The Fabric of Everday Existance” – What does this mean to you?
To me this means it’s the simple choices we make on a daily basis, from how we choose to wake up, who and what we surround ourselves with to our night time routine. All of these choices however humble, woven together combine to make the structure of our lives.
There’s a real focus that all your ranges are woven & made in the UK, what’s the usual procedure behind your products?
I design from my studio in Nottingham, fabric is then woven in Lancashire, washed and finished in the Yorkshire Dales and then made up into product in Nottingham. I try to follow the fabric around as much as I can and be involved with the people and places where it’s made.
How important has using these methods been to what you’re doing?
The product is a result of the process really, every factory or mill will produce a different product and through my search I have found a wonderful collection of craftsmen and women who have helped shape my collection.
Have there been any particular people & designers that have influenced you as you’ve learnt your craft?
I have learnt more by being at factories than anything else. Design is a wonderful thing but actually being able to realize ideas into working products requires a different skill and being present and in amongst people and machines that actually ‘make’ things has taught me most of what I know now.
What’s been the stand out moment so far in bringing your collection to life?
When I went to see my fabric being finished in a Yorkshire mill. I don’t want to sound dramatic but it was quite emotional for me, to see my first collection flowing, dance like through this huge industrial space. It was real, so exciting and happening right in front of my eyes. I’d never been in a space like it and it’s a moment I’ll never forget.
What can we expect from future collections?
Introducing furniture feels like a natural progression of the collection along with introducing new twists of colour and materials.
Where do you see it in a years time?
A slow and steady growth is what I’m after, I’m a one woman band for now but I’d like to be considered firmly on the radar in a years time. To be stocked in key retailers in the UK and be reaching out to Europe and America. E-commerce will be the next big step for me and is something I’m going to tackle early next year.
Finally – what are your 5 favourite tracks on your Tori Murphy playlist?
Rubberband Man – Detroit Spinners
Graceland – Paul Simon
Now That We’ve Found Love – Third World
Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
Higher Love – Chaka Khan & Steve Winwood