Alex Monroe on his hugely successful self-titled brand.
Artisan is a word that is too easily thrown around these days, but when considering Alex Monroe’s career and approach, it’s entirely apt.
This is even more so the case when you consider how his fi rst collection of the year, Haberdashery, elevates the art of making things, with a range that takes a sentimental look inside an antique sewing box.
Speaking about his influences, Alex says he likes Sam Clark from storied London restaurant Moro. “It’s important to remember who you are. If you go into Moro on a week-day night you’re likely to see Sam chopping the veg or baking the bread. I need to remember I’m a craftsman and I need to spend time at my bench, to put in the hours.”
The designer is living proof that small is wonderful, with his spiral-staircased London Bridge headquarters sitting in the shadow of the Shard and, just like the behemoth, was shortlisted for a Royal Institute of Architects Award this year. Now, the business is facing the enviable challenges posed by ongoing success.
“The business keeps growing so it’s been important to retain our friendly intimate atmosphere for both staff and customers. We now work across two sites in London and will soon be opening our third,” he explains.
Beyond managing the day-to-day running of the business, this year has seen Alex publish a memoir, win a UKFT Accessory Designer of the Year award, collaborate with Nike and travel across three continents.
But despite his continued success, he emphasises that he is “not an expansionist” and is focused on keeping “up our standards and continuing to make great quality, originally designed, handmade jewellery which is affordable. As long as people enjoy what we do and want to buy it I want to keep them happy.”
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