A Better Feeling Launches In London’s Selfridges With Powerful Installation
Created in London by Cairo-born, multi-disciplinary artist Xander Ghost, A Better Feeling has not stopped gathering momentum since it’s launch in 2018. Loved by the likes of Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and Stevie Wonder, the brand is known for its ultra-modern and inventive eyewear designs featuring distinctively sharp and stylish rectangular lenses.
Shoppers can now find the brand’s eyewear and atelier-made candle designs in London’s luxury retail institution Selfridges. Running until June 21, the When Space Sits Still installation is a collaboration with Artist Richard Hughes and will be the A Better Feeling’s debut retail installation in London. Fans can also expect another exclusive drop in June featuring a sunglasses design just for Selfridges.
A Better Feeling’s design reflects Ghost and his team’s take on not just fashion, but also understanding of different dimensions of creativity. Ghost says: “Our head designer Lily Max and I start with a mood-board that incorporates references from other practices such as architecture and kitchen design, we stay away from eyewear references as much as we can. We then go into 3D modeling then create samples using rapid 3D printing, once we approve the prototype we go into production which takes about 90 days.”
The brand is driven by the principle of achieving connection, and the new installation is exactly what the brand represents — dedicated to creating synergy between product and person through a symbiotic visual identity and material language. “The idea of time is central to the installation, we have manipulated and played with out natural sense of time and its effect on our environments, creating a feeling of other-worldliness.” Ghost adds. “Our garden is a contemporary relic, a place where elements are in abnormal flux. Composed of large, sculpted rocks, embedded designer items, foliage and heated steel. A collisional garden from the future.” I speak to the founder to learn more.
MORE FOR YOU
Angela Lei: As a designer, how do you merge your creative vision with consumer aesthetics? Were you ever concerned that consumers may find your designs too conceptual and edgy?
Xander Ghost: I approach each product as one piece of a bigger puzzle. I work hand in hand with our head designer Lily Max, who has been onboard with me since day 1. We go over the functionality aspect of the product but also how it’s going to be shot and presented. Having a great product on its own is not enough to capture an audience’s attention. I say visually, we challenge our design practice where our imagery is really playful and conceptual but our products are pretty brutalist.
I feel that commerciality has changed, you almost need to go more experimental with designs to make noise. Due to social media, consumers are much more knowledgeable about what’s going on, I feel that they demand innovation to opt in. It’s actually way harder to cut through if you are offering standard designs to try to please a wide audience. I prefer to bring that audience to us.
AL: As a fan myself, I love the brand’s effortlessly cool yet carefree, doesn’t-take-oneself-too-seriously attitude. How would you describe the vibes of the brand and how would you want the consumers to feel when owning a piece of your design?
XG: I think we started out super clinical but evolved into a more playful direction especially with our content. The visual content is another form of expressing the brand in a non-physical way, which creates an opportunity to work with artists in various mediums, such as 3D nail artists and CGI make-up artists.
We want our customers to own a memorable item that is unique to them.
AL: Tell us a bit about your pop up and collaboration installation in Selfridges — does this mark A Better Feeling’s first step into luxury retail?
XG: This was super exciting, we got an Instagram DM from one of the buyers at Selfridges and they offered us a space to do whatever we want within their “Pleasure Garden” space. We collaborated with the awesome artist Richard Hughes and developed the concept titled “When Space Sits Still”. The idea behind the installation was to get the viewers to witness a clear and regimented display of the products on a heat-treated metal surface, emphasizing the notion of science and experimentation in a parallel forest setting. We are partnering with a few other strong retailers in North America and Asia end of this year, we aim to rapidly increase our physical presence in stores in early 2022.
AL: I love the candles — how did you come up with the concept and what other lines can we expect to be added to the label?
XG: Thank you — the candle was one of the toughest products to develop due to the precision around the jagged edges and the lid mechanism. The concept was a continuation of our brutalist approach to design which is built around straight edges and rectangular shapes. We really wanted to give our take on a usual product but deliver it in an unusual way. We are currently developing a fragranced toy diffuser and our jewelry collection. We also have our first sneaker collaboration coming early 2022 which we are extremely excited about.
AL: How would you describe yourself as a designer — what are your creative inspirations, what subjects do you value the most, and your view of where the industry is heading?
XG: I don’t consider myself a designer, I consider myself more of a producer across multiple mediums whether it’s product, sound or visuals. It’s been the same way for a long time but most of my inspiration comes from kitchen design. There is something about the precision and calmness about kitchens that kickstarts a lot of my ideas. I value the product + sustainability over all the other noise, because if it weren’t for the product there would be no celeb endorsements and if we don’t try our best to be sustainable then we are hustling backwards and harming our environment.
I think the industry is going more towards a direct-to-consumer sales model and “drops” model while traditional seasons are phasing out. I also feel that the market is going to get more and more fragmented as more DIY brands scale, I still believe in physical retail and believe it’s going to continue to grow as there is nothing like the real thing.
A Better Feeling’s installation When Space Sits Still will be on display on the ground floor of Selfridges till 21 June. Shop the brand’s designs at www.abetterfeeling.com and www.selfridges.com.
Published at Tue, 01 Jun 2021 13:30:00 +0000