The amazing set designer Robert Storey is based between New York and London. His work for some of the best fashion brands creates a world where the geometric lines of architecture melt with the bright colors of Pop culture. The everlasting perfection of his projects is able to merge his experience in Fine Arts and sculpture with his unquestionable ability to understand the space and the objects. Works for Kenzo, Louis Vuitton or Nike are just a little example of his biggest collaborations which make clear the incredible power of his aesthetic world.
His works for Kenzo, Louis Vuitton or Nike are just a few among his many big collaborations, all clear examples of the incredible power of his aesthetic world.
Your work is somewhere in between graphic and plastic art. How did you start working on set design? How did you arrive to where you are now?
I studied Fine Art sculpture. Once I graduated I assisted various artists and set designers. It was then that I realized I wanted to combine my sculptural skills with my set design ideas.
Did sculpture become a first step to head in this direction?
Yes, sculpture is always a starting point for me. I reference art more than anything else in my work.
Perfection is omnipresent in your work. Do you consider yourself a perfectionist?
No, not at all. I like things to be made properly and I have a tendency for symmetry, but truth is things can’t always be perfect. Perfection is exhausting and my attention span is much too short.
Looking at the quality of what you do, it’s obvious that every project has it’s relevance. However, is there any in particular of which you feel especially proud?
I’m happy when there is this strong aesthetic reflected in a project which will make one think straight away it’s coming from my studio. This is usually the case with the more sculptural and fun projects on my website. I suppose the Nike project in New York is one of my favourites.
The strong and sharp shapes from architecture appear quite often in your works. Is architecture an important influence?
Yes, definitely. I don’t actually know so much about it’s technical side but I am very inspired by what I see around me architecturally. I don’t always know who or what I am referencing but I see that as a good thing.
You are very focused on fashion projects. Why did you start working mostly on this kind of collaborations?
I have never really been interested in film/TV or theatre and I found that fashion was a bit more adventurous in terms of designing a set. I love that within fashion you can have a huge scope of set design from small still life shoots to retail projects and catwalks.
Your profession requires to have a wide range of skills. Which do you think is your best one?
I would hope that my best skill would be a strong and consistent aesthetic when designing. Aside from this, I guess I am quite business minded, fact which has enabled me to run a studio where I can nurture other creatives to create great work with me.
Throughout you career you’ve had the chance to work with many high fashion brands. How do you feel when working for the luxury field?
I don’t really differentiate between high fashion or high street fashion when I work, I always try to create something unique and exciting. When working with high fashion brands it is always exciting as there is usually a great amount of brand heritage to explore.
What discipline do you enjoy the most? Video, photography, installations…?
I would say my favourite of all the work we do in the studio are the spatial projects which people can experience in a very unique way , either scale installations or show spaces. As much as I enjoy working on fashion shoots sets, it excites me more when I see people experiencing something I have designed first hand.
The influence of digital art as well as the fast evolution of the internet has got our eyes used to a constant image overload. Would you say it’s harder to innovate today?
Definitely. As a designer, it’s also hard not to be subconsciously influenced by many things I see. When you have access to Instagram or Pinterest, there is a constant exposure that makes it quite difficult not to follow trends.
And, out of curiosity… Could you give us a hint of what you are working on at the moment?
We are working on lots of projects! We are currently finalizing the designs for the Christopher Kane show and the International Fashion Showcase for London Fashion Week, as well as designing a lamp for Salone De Mobile in Milan as part of the Wallpaper* handmade exhibition and another really exciting top secret project i’m not allowed to talk about!