designjunction ✕ MONC
Gain some insight into London based eye-ware design brand and djKX exhibitor MONC with founder Freddie Elborne.
- Why MONC?
The mission for MONC is to celebrate the design, sourcing and making process by showing our followers and customers how we create products. I am trying to re-kindle the bridge between design and fashion. Alongside artisans we design and create handmade sunglasses and leather products with longevity not only in use, but in style too.
- What does design mean to you?
Design is combining creation with solving a problem. Depending on your values ‘a problem’ can mean different things. For me, design is about creating products that tell a story, made using quality materials and components to create happiness and function within someone’s life. The highest achievement for me as a designer is seeing my products in use.
- Where do you work the best?
As long as I have my headphones on (to drown out any easy distraction) I can pretty much work anywhere. Everything is done from my lap and phone which is amazing really. The beauty of creating a business now is that you can really start from anywhere.
- What motivates you?
Each day the motivation changes. Waking up to Sunshine is a huge motivator… but also rare in London. Since opening at designjunction it’s been the lead up to Summer and launching our first collection which gets me out of bed each morning. As you make sales and hear more feedback, that motivation keeps strengthening.
- What does MONC bring to the design world that other brands don’t?
MONC is celebrating the design culture. Each of our frames is named after flourishing neighbourhoods with design and fashion at the core. The craft and quality creative nature that local designers take is what we relate to, and want to celebrate. We bring products that really tell a story in fabrication as well as design.
- What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt so far in your career?
So far it’s been to move on from a mistake. Yes it’s incredibly important to learn from them and build upon that – but another factor is not dwelling on something that you’ve got wrong. Tackle the next problem whether it’s in the design process or something else.
- What’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in the industry?
Be persistent and listen to your hunches. It took me over 18 months to find our family run Italian artisans. There are only a handful left, difficult to find and almost impossible to introduce yourself to. After constant searching and persistence we eventually started making MONC frames.
- If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I’d be working in a retail design studio which I love and did before starting MONC. The diversity of designing and creating anything is why I went into the industry. I still occasionally freelance every now and again.
- Why designjunction?
designjunction is a great opportunity to collaborate many different types of people who have the same vision and design culture. No matter what product is on show, consideration and quality is at the forefront of every designer and that’s what people and consumers come to experience.
Quick fire questions:
- Traditional or contemporary?
- Instagram or Twitter?
- Sketchbook or computer?
Sketchbook initially and then computer for precision!
- Form or function?
They come together
- Early bird or night owl?
- Favourite design product?
To use Shinola notebooks, to design with Illustrator.
- Best spot in London?
- Best place to get away?
- Best restaurant?