Luxury travel brand Belmond has chosen two talented young designers to bring their creative vision to life at its historic Cadogan Hotel in Chelsea when the property reopens later this year.
Mac Collins, a product and furniture designer and soon-to-be graduate of acclaimed design institution Northumbria University, and Antonia (Toni) Packham, a champion of sustainable design fresh out of Brighton University, were both chosen from more than 3000 designers who displayed their work at the New Designers exhibition in Islington in July.
Collins’ statement chair design ‘Iklwa’ – a visually intense ultramarine throne, informed by the aesthetic of Afrofuturism and created to inspire empowerment – was praised by judges as “a thought-provoking, culturally enriched and beautiful piece of craftsmanship that demonstrates in its exciting use of colour and considered appreciation of shape an understanding of the power of design to evoke emotion, capture the imagination and pay homage to heritage.”
In selecting the winner of Belmond’s inaugural award, the judges were seeking to find a talented designer whose product embodies the authentic and timeless, luxurious and soulful nature of the brand. Such was the calibre of talent on display at the New Designers event that the judges also selected Toni Packham as their winner.
Packham’s forward-thinking and environmentally conscious approach to design has resulted in the highly innovative use of plastic found polluting our oceans to create unique, hand-finished and ultra-high-quality products, including kitchenware, using a highly skilled and zero-waste production process. Collecting discarded rubbish from the shores of beaches across the UK, Packham’s beautiful designs and intricate details captured the judges’ eye while the story of sustainability and craftmanship spoke to the spirit of the Belmond brand.
Collins and Packham will now have the opportunity to learn from Belmond’s in-house bench of design experts, as well as its wider network of leading creative professionals, craftsmen and women. They will be commissioned to create a bespoke design to be manufactured for and featured in Belmond Hotel Cadogan – making it a central part of Belmond’s art and design-led portfolio.