Professor: Apparel & Product Design, Shanghai
“Everything is possible. Nothing is easy…”
Patrick set up the hugely successful Artwork Knitwear brand with his wife Jane followed by a stint as head of the Design Department, Falmouth University. Recently he’s been appointed Professor of Apparel and Product Design, DeTao Masters Academy Shanghai.
RI: What motivates you to innovate in your industry?
Patrick: Boredom, curiosity and fear in roughly equal measure. Bored because I have the attention span on a gnat, I'm ridiculously easily bored and curious about ‘what if’. Fear because I know from experience that unless you innovate and own your innovation you are dead in the water.
RI: What’s the innovation you’re most proud of?
Patrick: Probably the most recent where my partner and I have developed an entirely new 4-year Advanced Fashion Design Undergraduate program in Shanghai. We had an almost blank canvass, brilliant support and are able to take advantage of operating in the epicenter of the worlds garment factory.
RI: What or who inspires you?
Patrick: Anyone who shows kindness and empathy.
RI: What industry change was the biggest to you in the last few years?
Patrick: Fashion has become unfashionable.
RI: How did you overcome it?
Patrick: We are working on it.
RI: What industry challenge would you most like to solve?
Patric: A paradigm shift away from manufacturing, disturbing and buying cheap tat which goes to landfill in a nanosecond.
RI: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to a fresh innovator starting out in your industry?
Patrick: Definitely, Don't let the buggers grind you down.
RI: Do you have any particular routines that help you find inspiration?
Patrick: No – Actually I have too much inspiration – the challenge is sorting the good stuff from the mediocre and the garbage.
RI: What does the future hold for your business? What products or innovations do you have in the pipeline?
Patrick: The first two (of ten) rules of working in China; 1 Everything is possible. 2 Nothing is easy. So much to do.
RI: What technologies do you think will shape the future of your industry?
RI: What do you think will be the next big thing in your industry this year?
Patrick: Chinese outright acquisition or controlling stakes in Western brands.
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