Archive for T.B.N Interviews

T.B.N Interviews: Andrea Warmington

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2016 by James Field

 

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” -Albert Einstein

Greetings! Its been sometime since my last T.B.N feature with the Master Jeweler & Sculptor, Mr. Wallace Chan, and I felt that it was time for some new material!

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Andrea Warmington, a very talented Creative Director in the Beauty & Fashion industries by way of London, England. She discusses her passion for creativity, design, art and how she achieved her dreams in the overly saturated melting pot that is Manhattan.

TBN: Let’s begin with your background, where did you grow up? When did you decide that moving to New York was something you wanted to do?

A.W: I grew up in London England, I came to New York to go to Art school, The School of Visual Arts. I was always into art and design. I loved drawing. My sister was going to Parsons in New York. I was really inspired by her doing what she loved, which was fashion designing. So I decided to apply to art school.

I didn’t think I would have a career in the arts. I was really into computer science in a strange way. I loved that aspect of writing code and getting into the technical side of the computer system. But I had a passion for art and acted upon it. After art school the first job I got was senior designer at Harper Collins, designing book covers. I must say I felt like I was in a dream the first 6 months. I was doing what I loved to do… Designing… Designing books. A book cover to me was like designing a mini poster. Loved the process and how every book cover tells a story, working with the typography illustrations, photography and just being experimental.I did that for a year and wanted to try something new.

I got hired at McCann Erickson as a junior art director working on L’Oreal. It was great, fast passed, and a new creative challenge, beauty advertising. I did that for a year and shortly after that worked for Condé Nast where I freelance for a few years, for Mademoiselle and then Vanity Fair magazines. I loved working there and it really allowed me to work on some fun special projects. I was working on project invites and advertorial pages, and it was always fresh and new. I stayed there for a few years.  I really was ready for a change. And change was working at Ericsson Fina, a beauty boutique ad agency which was a part of Grey New York. I worked on Covergirl as an Art Director to Creative Director where I worked on campaigns with Taylor Swift, Queen Latifah, and Janelle Monáe to mention a few. I worked with a number of amazing photographers and directors, models hair and makeup teams. I loved it!

Janelle Monae for Covergirl

TBN: What was your “Ah ha” moment? ( I borrowed this question from one my idols, Oprah) When did your calling speak to you?

A.W: I think that working at Ericsson Fina was a great “Ah Ha” moment because we pitched a beauty and hair campaign and we won the account. It was a great experience. We were a small creative team of say 8-10 and it was like working with your family. Really supportive, really creative and a good creative challenge.

TBN: As a Creative Director, is there a specific medium that you enjoy working in more than others such as photographic print campaigns vs. digital or television work? What’s the least favorite part of what you do, is there one?

A.W: I really love photography and film. I love the process of coming up with a creative campaign for a brand, the research and development and crafting of that campaign and then producing the final concept. I love the story telling aspect. I love how a photo alone can tell the story without words.

I love the idea of tapping into ones emotions…

I’m not sure if there’s a least favorite aspect of what I do. I have to think about that…

TBN: You work with what I assume to be large groups of talented individuals such as Photographers, Hairstylist’s, Makeup Artist, etc. Do you find it difficult to align on one common vision for a project?

A.W: I’ve worked with Pat McGrath an amazing British and Black makeup artist, Photographer Tom Munro, Micheal Tompson, Dan Jackson, some really amazing creative guys who have worked on some major editorial stories and advertising campaigns. I must say they are all so collaborative and creative. I love working with a team of experts who do what they do best, I have my vision, but it’s just the foundation. Working with a strong team is key and you must be flexible. I don’t like to work with drama queens because the end of the day we are all putting our names on the final product i.e ad campaign or editorial story.

TBN: Did you always envision that you would have a career in this field of work?

A.W: No… I really wanted to be a systems analyst. Can you believe that?!

TBN: This may be a bit of a touchy subject, but do you think that we’ve made collective progress in the availability of jobs within the Fashion Industry for people of color?

A.W: Wow… I’m black and was born in the UK. I remember working at Saatchi & Saatchi in the UK and I was the only black creative person in the building. I would say things have changed a lot over the years. I can talk for the beauty business which is somewhat similar to the fashion business. I do think I’ve had much opportunity to work in the Beauty business both here in the US and in Europe and Asia. It could be timing, but I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work were I’ve worked.

Screen+Shot+2015-09-26+at+4.28.48+PM

TBN: Where do you see your career trajectory within the next 3-5 years? What goals do have on your list, and what advice would you give to readers on how to pursue and manifest their own dreams?

A.W: James that’s a good question. I really love the creative field. I really would love to strive to create work that not only inspires and educates people in some way, but touches you emotionally and in a positive uplifting way. So I’m keeping it open so I can explore new opportunities that will allow me to do this. My new creative challenge now is working for a start up magazine that bridges all the experience I’ve gained over the years. This magazine is a celebrity lifestyle publication that gives you exclusive stories and keeps you current with beauty, fashion, trends, with a European twist. The magazine is in both Spanish and English. I was brought on to take this European Tabloid magazine to the next level in the US market. Check it out on a newsstand near you, Hola! (Made in the USA)

TBN: Lastly Andrea, how has this journey been for you thus far? What has been the most interesting part for you, and what has been the most challenging?

A.W: It’s been a great journey…

I think that things are changing in the industry. I started out in the industry where you were an expert in your field i.e: Beauty. Now it seems that we are all experts. The internet has changed the industry and how consumer are involved in the process. Now you can create your own Youtube commercial and have thousands of people watching it from all around the world… that’s pretty major. From online Youtube videos to digital magazines, Instagram, Facebook, these are all creative tools to express yourself.

Andrea Warmington

Main Site

Facebook

I would like to give a big sincere thanks to Andrea for taking the time to chat with me for The Black Nouveau!

It has been a wonderful insight into the exciting world of Creative Art Direction.

J.F

T.B.N Interviews: Jamil & Alia Juma

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2009 by James Field

Today T.B.N Interviews Jamil and Alia Juma of the hugely successful Canadian based, contemporary clothing label entitled “Juma”. Their modern yet functional aesthetic and eye for cut and detail is reflected amazingly in their collections for both men and women. We talk to them about their goals, inspirations for the line and what the future holds for this vastly talented, brother and sister design duo.

Jamil & Alia Juma / Co-Designers of the Juma Clothing Line

T.B.N: So Juma is the name of your Men’s & Women’s Contemporary clothing line, what drove you to create it?

Alia: I’ve always been interested in Fashion. From a young age I was always dreaming up collections and sketching out my ideas. Getting into the industry was inevitable for me.

 Jamil: I actually was helping my sister with her collection and I ended up falling in love with the industry so we decided to put together a ready-to-wear collection under our last name Juma.

 T.B.N: Did you always have a passion for design? How did you realize Fashion is where your interest was?

Jamil: I found fashion interesting but never took it seriously as a career path until I started helping out my sister. It was then that I realized that it can be a reality when the flow of things felt natural.

 Alia: My passion for design stems from a very young age where my mother had a large influence on me. She herself is a very creative thinker and has always been a fashionista.

 T.B.N: What do you love most about what you do?

Jamil: I love the design, marketing and travelling.  Those are things that I love exploring and experimenting with.

 Alia: I love the creative process. I enjoy the ability to sit down and sketch out ideas, and also travelling the world to look at interesting fabrics. We create our own prints as well and I enjoy the thought process that goes into each print. I love seeing what’s in our heads being translated into our designs.

T.B.N: What or who motivates you? What are your design inspirations?

Jamil: I’m motivated by the challenge of doing better than our last season.  The collection is always inspired by our own lifestyles as well as the lifestyles of people around us who work in the creative industry.  They are curious and discerning and are always looking to cross boundaries.

 Alia: Being able to wake up in the morning and enjoying what we do is a huge motivation. I can’t pin point one inspiration. It’s more of a collective of travelling and hanging out with creative and interesting people. We are also and inspiration as we design clothing that we want to wear.

T.B.N: What was the hardest part about starting Juma?

Alia: The hardest part was more in getting the company organized and figuring out the business side of things.

T.B.N: Who is the Juma customer?

Jamil: Someone who is looking for utility and comfort as well as an understated but directional look.

 T.B.N: How do you separate your brand from other brands?

Alia: We are always re-interpreting jersey and knitwear basics so that it’s easy to wear and yet it is directional and unique to distinguish our line from others. 

 T.B.N: Being based out of Canada, how has it been reaching out to other customers in the United States?

Jamil: New York is only an hour flight from Toronto so it’s not too bad. But it is always easier to reach out to people if you are living in the city.  However, I think we have developed a good following in the U.S over the years.

 T.B.N: Finally, in 5 years time what does the future look like for Juma?

Jamil: We will continue to innovate our line and reach out to new customers worldwide.

 Alia: We will also have new product lines including one we are launching next season that will merchandise well with our ready-to-wear collection. But for now it’s all hush hush.

Juma Fall 2009 Mens & Womens Collection

By: James Field / The Black Nouveau

The Black Nouveau sincerely thanks,

Jamil & Alia Juma for their time and consideration.

Visit Juma.ca for information on the Fall 2009 Collections and more.