Creative People: Katie Greenyer
How did you get to be a designer?
I’ve always had a passion for design. My childhood was based on colouring, cutting, sticking and styling my outfits. My artistic flair motivated me to pursue a degree in Fine Art Printed Textiles at Liverpool School of Art in 1989. And so, my design journey began.
Whilst studying, I secured a work experience placement at the British fashion brand Red or Dead working on prints and graphics, having persuaded the founder, Wayne Hemmingway, to give me a job.
My overriding ambition and desire was to gain as much experience as possible, so I freelanced for some of world’s most famous fashion companies; including Vivienne Westwood, Benny Ong, Paul Costello and Christian Lacroix, Next, Jigsaw, Dr. Martens and French Connection.
What do you do on a day to day basis?
My job is so varied that there’s no such thing as a typical day! I work across five different pillars:
Environments: includes commissioning architects and consultants to deliver work spaces that reflect Pentlands global ambition. This includes our London HQ, as well as our offices in Hong Kong, Paris and New York.
Creative Talent: I lead a design team comprising of 90 designers globally, and help build and direct the creative teams that support our brands. I also work on consumer projects like the ‘Time To Get Out’ installation for the London Design Biennale 2018.
University liaison: I supply research projects to students, and determine how we attract and employ new creative talent as a business.
Red or Dead- I design and manage the spectacles and footwear areas of the Red or Dead business, directing brand positioning across all channels.
Ambassador- I work with charities, and regularly speak at conferences & events.
In between these I work with the team to hit all our deadlines, as communication and partnership are hugely important in my role. I also try and find time for designing every Monday and Friday!
What’s the best bit about your job?
I love the variety and diversity of projects, and I love the people that I work with.
What’s the worst bit about your job?
Paperwork and spreadsheets!
The thing that people don’t really know is…
I still learn something new every day.
How could I do what you do?
You need to have good ideas and a great imagination. Having the ability to share your ideas with others and being good at sketching helps. It’s also about having an eye for trends and being able to reflect them in great design.
Think of yourself as a young person when you were making your first steps towards your career, what were your aspirations and hopes?
I wanted to have a job that I loved. You spend so much time at work that it it’s important for me to do something that I truly love. I do actually believe that I have the best job in the world!
What is the message you would like to pass on to someone wanting to get into your line of work?
Create your own ideas, sketch them up, share them with your peers. Do work experience so you can develop breadth in your design skills and portfolio. Live for design, seek out exhibitions and other designers, get involved. Love what you do, and don’t give up.