Footpatrol Meets: Hotel Creative Senior Designer, Lewis Stringer

FP: Hi Lewis! Great to have you with us, how are you?

LS: Wassup! I am very well thank you for asking. Finally feels like summer is kicking off now so I am happy. Lots of things planned that require sunny weather!!

FP: For those that don’t know you, can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?

LS: I’m Lewis. I am a senior designer working in Soho and living in South London.

FP: Working at Hotel creative, we’ve seen a number of unique store fits and collaborative projects from you guys, can you tell us what has been one of your favourite projects that you have worked on? And do you have a dream project?

LS: Where do I start. I’ve been at Hotel Creative close to 7 1/2 years now so I’ve probably had creative input into quite a few of the projects that you would have seen.   

A stand out project for me was the Nike D.O.U (Department Of Unimaginable’s) Los Angeles for Air Max Day 2018. There were a bunch of folks involved but myself and Francine, another senior designer at Hotel, led this project creatively. Hotel had already worked on the global creative direction, but we had to give it its own unique twist for L.A. 

Hotel are known for the levels of detail that we layer into our story telling. We created an Air timeline “City Air Los Angeles” as defined by LA’s biggest Air Max lovers to display their favourite Nike Air Max, a curriculum workshop on the processes of design through to shoe design and most importantly a D.O.U van, that looked like something out of Ghostbusters, that drove around L.A promoting the space where all the action was happening. 

**SPOILER** The most recent work to drop soon is for Arc’teryx. I’ve been helping design some consumer touchpoints for the new flagship store in Vancouver alongside their brand design team which has been amazing. Myself and the Hotel team got whisked to Canada for a 3 day immersion into the brand which was an incredible experience. A helicopter to the top of a mountain and a peep behind the curtain at Arc One (the design centre) is up there with 1 of the best experiences I’ve encountered. 

FP: Talk to us about your progression and journey, how did you get to where you are today?

LS: Well, I now get paid for my passions and interests which is pretty mental. I used to wear my older brother’s trainers around the house when I was a kid. I remember he had a pair of JD exclusive AM95’s in navy suede with yellow accents. I also remember bugging my mum to buy me some AM90’s which I would wear on the walk to school and change into my school shoes at the gate haha. 

I’ve always been more creative than academic. I ended up doing an art foundation course at Kingston, then going to Camberwell to complete a degree in Illustration. I worked in retail and as I stated earlier my passions and interests in trainers helped me get in the door at Hotel. I have my pal Matt to thank for suggesting talking to Mitch about a dream job, designing the cool shit goes into the windows and in-store for Nike, which paid off. Mitch took a punt on me and couldn’t be more thankful 🙂 

FP: Looking around you have quite an eclectic mix of figurines, books and miscellaneous ‘bits and bobs’, tell us more about how you got into collecting and do they influence your work at HC in any way?

LS: I’ve always had a weird habit of collecting things. I can remember where everything is from that I own in my weird collection. It mainly started when I was at university. I attended a talk by set designer Anna Lomax and she had an insane collection of McDonalds ephemera. I started collecting weird art publications, squeaky dog toys and anything with a face (goobies). 

My interests in the creative arts definitely directly feed into the work I do on a daily basis. I’m always making sure that I’m exposed to new art shows and trying to find more niche reference points to really push and progress my creative output. 

Working in Soho I am spoilt for new art. It’s also refreshing to submerge yourself into retail to keep on top of the new new that’s always ever evolving. 

Having knowledge is so vital in whatever field it’s in. If you can keep building this bank of knowledge (hopefully) it will be needed by someone.

FP: As we know, you love a bargain eBay find, what have been some of your cheapest steals?

LS: £14 DS Nike x HF Undercover tennis classics 

£19 DS Nike initiator 

£25 NikeLab Air Zoom Talaria mid volt Hi’s

The eBay watchlist always has something on it though…

FP: Lewis, thanks so much for spending the time with us today! Is there any piece of advice you would like to share with the Footpatrol friends and family to sign everything off?

LS: I appreciate you getting in contact and making this happen. A piece of advice an old university tutor told me was always stay true what interests you and your audience will find you. I still stick to this and don’t really give a f@@k what anybody else thinks. Safe!

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