Design lovers everywhere are counting down the weeks to the launch of new online design marketplace and community www.wefew.net. Having already created a serious buzz internationally via online forums and blogs and trade press, WeFew is getting ready to open its online storefront in June 2008 to those who love all things design and with a keen eye for new trends and unique purchases.

Offering fantastic products from an international pool of exciting designers within the fields of homewares & furnishings, product design, fashion, and jewellery & accessories, WeFew truly stands out from existing design sites through its WeCurate programme. A jury of high profile, award-winning industry professionals and peers review and rate designer applicants to ensure the focus of WeFew remains quality, not quantity, showcasing talented designers who produce original and innovative design.

Via the WeFew e-newsletter, blog and forum, design lovers can interact with designers and other design enthusiasts, thus keeping the finger on the pulse on what’s new in the international design community and get the scoop on emerging designers.

The WeFew jury is currently reviewing applicants, with a number of exciting names having successfully completed the vetting process, including UK based designers Jo Davies and James Lethbridge, and Singapore based designer Casey Chen. See ‘notes to editors’ below for designer and product info. New designers are continuously added to the WeFew blog until the launch of the online store.

Among the jurors who approved above-mentioned designers is Dan Black of award-winning Anglo-Swiss design team black + blum. Says Dan of his involvement with WeFew; “I am very excited to be involved with WeFew. I wish there had been something similar when I first started my own company. I am looking forward to seeing the new designers that come through and helping in any way I can.”

WeFew is the brainchild of American entrepreneur Autumn Gehring, currently residing in Singapore. “This idea sparked off while living in London. I discovered so many talented, independent designers, working hard to promote their work, yet as a design lover, it was difficult to consistently find quality, innovative products. After moving to Singapore I realised that emerging designers and design lovers here experience similar challenges, so I knew I had to bring designers and design enthusiasts from around the world together in one place.”

And so WeFew was born, launched in part with the support of Creative Community Singapore (CSS – an initiative by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts) as an international platform with the primary purposes of bringing together talented designers and design lovers, and providing emerging designers with the support they need to establish and grow their creative business.

~ENDS~
Notes to editors:
• For more information on WeFew please visit www.wefew.net
• For further editorial information, photographs or to arrange an interview with Autumn Gehring, please contact Tine Frank on tine@satiworks.co.uk or +44 (0) 7951 165704

Designers:

Casey Chen
Casey has a flair for ideology and life and believes in the simplicity of design that is uncluttered and direct, and is constantly inspired by works that are communicative and transcend time. He graduated from RMIT with a Bachelor of Design and has been in the design field for over a decade. His works have been recognized regionally and internationally and have won international design awards.

Product
Cream Cracker Cushion, £330. As a trained graphic designer, Casey has always loved product packaging and found inspiration in the old Cream Crackers wrappers. He wanted to make a lifestyle product that would evoke a smile, so he started with the basic square shape and created the Cream Cushion cover and injected a bit of humour by altering
the packaging text and images, then paired it with a mid-century chair frame to further stir up a sense of nostalgia.

James Lethbridge
Coming from a coal mining background, James Lethbridge studied ceramics in school and has since then moved on to discover his true passion in glass blowing. Finding glass blowing to be a free and liberating experience has spurred James to create bespoke designs that skillfully combines sculptural and functional elements. The 28-year-old glassmaker grew up in West Yorkshire and learned glass blowing at the International Glass Centre in the West Midlands, and ceramics and glass at the RCA. James draws upon botanical sources for inspiration and his design stand out as a unique combination of sculpture and lighting. To Lethbridge, “glass and light are like peas in a pod”.

Product
Coalescence ii, £500. The original Coalescence ii is on loan to the Bombay Sapphire Prize in Milan. Copies are currently being made to order.

Through the study of botanical sources of inspiration, 'Coalescence ii' exists as piece of collected, abstracted, surreal and almost alien piece of sculptural glass. It is the piece that James felt truly satisfied at having made, and he now sees it as the 'calling card' for himself and his aesthetic.
Jo Davies
Jo Davies’ work is a bringing together of contrasts – wet and dry, wriggling and still, sharp edges and blunt forms. Each piece is the product of an evolution of visual details that she has been gathering and using for several years. The recurring theme is in the reinvention of an elegant style that teeters on the edge of vulgarity; creating subverted Rococo forms that burst to create a light-hearted sensuality.

Product
Zsa Zsa Vase, £190. The function of this multi-hole vase is inspired by flower arranging, florists’ oasis and by the limitations of a single-hole vase. The Zsa Zsa can be used for a spray of flowers or as a backdrop for a single stem.

Published on: 12:00AM on 20th May 2008