Bobby Plows

Bobby Plows

We are thrilled to unveil a special episode from our Linen Lover series featuring designer and curator Bobby Plows, our inaugural Linen and Wool Lover. And that's not all - Bobby is also our first customer to join the ranks of the 12 esteemed features that came before. 

Bobby has been a steadfast supporter and cherished friend of our brand, demonstrating unwavering enthusiasm for all that we do. You may have had the pleasure of admiring his stellar submissions to our holiday competitions over the years. We have formed a great relationship with Bobby and have discovered that he is not only a lover of natural fabrics but also a remarkably creative individual with a discerning eye. There was no question that Bobby was the ideal person to experience our wool jumper firsthand, and here he stands, proudly donning the Merino Crewneck Jumper in Garnet.

Collaborating with photographer Stephanie Osmond, they captured these beautiful pictures in her studio, utilising the gorgeous golden hour sunshine to let the rich tones of the Garnet Jumper and Cinnamon Harrington Jacket sing.

You are a multi-disciplinary designer, what sort of work do you typically do?

I consider myself more of a curator than a designer, as I have a strong affinity with visual composition and enjoy the art of bringing various elements together whether this is through styling, art direction or design.

By day, I work as a freelance graphic designer, under Studio BP, primarily serving London-based event agencies. The nature of my work in this field is incredibly diverse. On any given day, my tasks might range from creating graphics for event activations to designing a beautiful dinner menu, directing the look and feel of tablescapes, or styling a photoshoot; this cross-pollination of creative areas I find infuses inspiration into each specialism.

I work across multiple design fields, encompassing graphic design, art direction, creative development, styling, and more. Over time, I've naturally evolved my creative process to accommodate and thrive within these areas rather than just one. This adaptability has allowed me to bring together multiple disciplines to not only aid my practice, but to also further nurture my deep appreciation for the multifaceted world of art and design.

Merino Crewneck Jumper in Garnet

What are your main sources of creative inspiration?

I'm incredibly fortunate to reside in the stunningly picturesque region of North Devon, a place that serves as a constant source of inspiration for me. Naturally, my surroundings have a profound impact on my creativity, as I'm enveloped by a multitude of breath-taking landscapes, formed by the dramatic coastlines and rolling hills that are impossible to overlook.

Inspiration weaves its way into my life from a diverse array of sources, ranging from fashion, art, interiors, and nature to photography and travel. I possess a passion for design and objects, but my taste veers away from conventional aesthetics. I relish things that are either really over-designed or under-designed, mixing high and low, old and new. Interior design and architecture are enduring sources of inspiration to me. These are such inherent parts of daily life and I’m heavily influenced by spaces because of their ability to bring together numerous elements and evoke feelings. I firmly believe that the spaces surrounding us should evoke a sense of well-being, whether it's through the decor that adorns a room, the interplay of colour and texture, or the architectural style that a space embodies.

Craft is another facet that captivates my soul. I have a profound appreciation for exquisitely crafted items, with a particular obsession for ceramics, which I collect and buy too much of! It's the tactile nature of these objects that truly resonates with me, as holding something crafted or sculpted by an artist or craftsman makes you appreciate it to an entirely different level. I always find myself drawn to the Imperfections in things, as this tells a story and confirms the authenticity of the piece.

In the realm of art, I just love 20th-century modern and abstract art. Influenced by the works of artists like Sandra Blow, Frank Beanland, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, and Anthony Caro, I consistently find myself drawn towards compositions that exude simplicity, joy, and a profound expressiveness, all while employing a great use of colour.

Merino Crewneck Jumper in Garnet

How does your design philosophy impact your personal style?

My design philosophy is built upon values of creativity, simplicity, empathy, innovation, and sustainability. These principles inherently influence my personal style, guiding my approach to clothing purchases and styling choices. Here's how my design philosophy shapes my personal style:

  • Aesthetic Preferences: I seek simplicity and favour a relaxed, yet well-considered, and structured look. My choices regarding colour and texture often revolve around a monochromatic palette, reflecting my appreciation for handcrafted, artisanal products. I'm naturally drawn to unique, textured fabrics and earthy or natural colour palettes.

  • Longevity Over Trends: Well-made, timeless pieces over fast fashion and trends. I opt for garments that have lasting appeal and remaining unaffected by the ebb and flow of fashion fads.

  • Material Preferences: It’s always high-quality and natural materials for me, where I particularly favour options like hemp, linen, and wool.

  • Functionality: Practicality and comfort are paramount in my personal style. I firmly believe that true style is defined by what one is comfortable wearing, both from a visual and functional perspective.

  • Attention to Detail: I am naturally drawn to pieces that exemplify fine craftsmanship and thoughtful design. Items that showcase meticulous workmanship hold a special place in my personal style.

Merino Crewneck Jumper in Garnet

What are the most important factors for you when choosing clothing?

It's a deeply ingrained habit for me to inspect the care label of any clothing before making a purchase. I'm always keen to learn where an item has been manufactured and understand the fibre content. I'm a devoted advocate for natural materials like cotton, linen, and wool, and I actively steer clear of synthetics. I firmly believe in the importance of selecting high-quality, natural fabrics, especially when they come into direct contact with our skin. I have sensitive skin, thus choosing natural materials helps minimise irritation. 

When I seek a new item of clothing, I prioritise longevity over fleeting trends. I'm more than willing to invest a bit more in a beautifully crafted product as opposed to something associated with fast fashion; for me it has to be well made and a worthwhile investment. An excellent example of this is my very first Original Fibres shirt, which I purchased back in 2021. It's a Heavyweight Linen Smock in an enchanting shade of eucalyptus. I wear it regularly, and it has retained its magnificent colour, and developed a beautiful patina over time through repeated wear and washing. This style of shirt is a wardrobe staple for me, and I adore layering it throughout the seasons. It serves as a prime example of a timeless garment made from premium materials that withstand the test of time.

I don't conform to fashion trends when it comes to my style. Instead, I purchase items that genuinely appeal to me and that I see as timeless items, often influenced by their colour and especially the fabric. I'm dedicated to supporting independent brands and small businesses; there’s a great variety of slow fashion brands out there, offering clothing that is made to order. This approach not only aids considered purchasing but also minimises waste. I firmly believe that clothing has the power to evoke specific emotions and confidence, so I select items that make me feel genuinely good when I wear them.

Merino Crewneck Jumper in Garnet
You're obviously a very creative person in your working life, but what are your favourite creative outlets in your personal life?

I am an all-rounder when it comes to creativity, having a strong passion for an abundance of artistic pursuits. While I don't limit myself to a single creative outlet, my heart is particularly drawn to the world of craft. I studied Surface Pattern and Print Design at University which naturally fuels my love for print, colour, pattern and textiles. 

During the lockdown period, I found myself engrossed in the art of quilting, a pursuit that aligns perfectly with my fascination and obsession for linen. There's something profoundly satisfying about the tactile experience of working with fabrics, which is why I find such joy in patchwork quilting. I find immense satisfaction from the art of design and assembling elements, and It's this hands-on connection with materials that draws me to quilting, much like my affinity for the Original Fibres brand, which places a thoughtful emphasis on the use of fibre choices. Patchwork quilting provides a unique opportunity to truly engage with a material, to touch it, feel its textures, and explore its capabilities. It also allows me to express myself through the interplay of texture and colour, two of my absolute favourite creative commodities. I find the immersive nature of any craft specialism a welcome escape from the fast-paced demands of my daily work, allowing me to delve into the world of creativity and craftsmanship, while also being a meditative process.

Quick Fire Five:

Favourite Restaurant: I can’t name one but here are some of my favourite local spots: Temple in Bude, Coombeshead Farm in Lewannick, Glebe House in Colyton and The Bull Inn in Totnes. 

Favourite Holiday destination: The Mediterranean

Favourite Musician: I don't have one specific favourite, but I do love Funk and Soul music. I have quite a diverse liking of musical genres and I find it varies depending on my mood, location, and what I am doing at the time.

Prize Possession: My Coffee Mug - It’s a Shino-glazed orange mug made by Roelof Uys

Biggest Indulgence: Contemporary Art and Mid Century Furniture