Sublime: How did the concept of producing ceramic bow ties, braces and collars came about?
Mr. Potter: It all started out with a common goal: prove to ourselves and to the world that sustainability is not just the next big word but something we all need to work on and be willing to embrace. We wanted to demonstrate that with the right amount of creativity and willingness, a more sustainable world is nothing but our choice. As we engaged in debating about the twisted dynamics still deployed within the fashion industry, we realised that it’s no longer time to ask why it is the way it is, and how we got here, but rather, to ask ourselves how could it be better and what to do to make it better.
With this in mind we decided to combine our talents, skills and passions to bring to life a product that could make people talk and think. Something completely out-of-the-box that could attract an audience of like-minded people willing to leave stereotypes and models aside and embrace the new. Our idea was to treasure the past while pushing forward, and this is pretty much why, among the whole range of possible accessories, we decided to start by reviving these more traditional and old-fashioned items.
S: What’s your mission?
MP: Our ultimate mission is to inspire other people to get creative and do something out of the ordinary, to believe in themselves and to advocate their values and uniqueness in a word that is still very much governed by status symbols and stereotypes.
S: Who’s behind the company and what are their backgrounds?
MP: Well, let’s keep it simple... nobody here at Mr. Potter holds a degree in Fashion Design. We are just a bunch of creative students who moved from Italy to the UK essentially to get out of the comfort zone and grow up. At that time we didn’t know much about what we wanted in life but we wisely chose to further our studies and develop our educational backgrounds. To date, Joe holds a degree in Business Engineering, Vins in Business and Media Communications and Marcelo in Sound Engineering. However what really brought us together has a lot more to do with our values, life perspectives and, of course, our passions.
S: Tell us about your materials, manufacturing and sourcing processes.
MP: Ceramic is a totally eco-friendly material, which are handcrafted and hand-painted with ancient techniques that are handed down by generations of artisans. It comes straight from the Earth and – when its use is over, it returns to it. Ceramics is beautiful, practical, incredibly resistant and can take a wide variety of shapes and forms. It is one of the most durable materials available to humans, and for millennia it has been used to create drinking vessels, jugs, plates, vases and even jewellery. Turning raw clay into fine ceramics and old-fashioned accessories into wearable artworks, all our creations are the result of bizarre collaborations with artists and crafters located in the Southern regions of Italy. With a strong belief that all that the world needs is people who care, we have committed to sustainable practices powering our workshops with renewable energies, controlling temperatures and reducing emissions.
S: What do you most hate about the fashion industry and what are you doing to bring about change?
MP: We totally reject the idea that wearing a nice, good-looking outfit has to involve that awful guilt-trip for harassing innocent living being, exploiting helpless workers and polluting our already compromised environment. Nevertheless there’s nothing to really hate about it, we believe. There’s just to learn from mistakes and move on for the better. It is no secret that the fashion industry has perhaps perpetuated these mistakes for a bit too long and for the wrong reasons. However, we feel that the most exciting thing of our times is the huge chance that we all have to actually change things and trigger countertrends. Getting out of the ordinary with our ceramic creations we hope to have launched the message that thinking ethically and creatively anything is possible. We also write a blog through which we aim to share ideas and information that encourage people to make more conscious choices toward themselves and their environment.
S: What’s on the pipeline for Mr. Potter in 2016?
MP: Wooow... loads and loads of things. At the moment we are working on a multitude of other shapes and garments as well as on revising and refining our business model to adapt to the needs of different international markets. We have already started to look for emerging talents sharing our passion for art and unconventional thinking to design the next Mr. Potter collections and motives. We have recently started our market program to take Mr. Potter all around the UK and participate to the most iconic Christmas and local markets. Collaborations with shops, stores and bloggers sharing our values and vision are also about to kick off in the UK, Italy, China and other countries. The pipeline is very overcrowded at the moment and our enthusiasm doesn’t really help to streamline it. We want to make a change and we are determined to work as hard as it takes to succeed.
S: Give us a simple reason why we should visit your store this season.
MP: Even though you might not like our creations or eventually buy them, on MrPotterStore.com you will definitely find something that you would never, ever see on the high streets: you will find the perfect mix of ethics, art and creativity blended into beautiful, unique and – why not –futuristic accessories. But even more than that, we hope you will find the inspiration to believe in yourself, and bring about that extra-ordinary something that only you can think of and that will contribute to the shaping of a better world.
To get the most iconic bow tie ever, go to MrPotterStore.com