Objects Without Meaning
Photography by Duy Nguyen
April 27 2015
Alexandra Hogge talks with us about her creative process and making beautiful, understated clothing for Objects Without Meaning in Los Angeles.
Where are you from and why did you move to LA? Do you travel much?
I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia. I lived in New York City for years and moved to LA to further our manufacturing business. I’m often in New York and Paris, but I’m Australian so I love to get to the beach when I can.
When did you know you would start Objects Without Meaning? Was it easy to get going or more of a struggle?
I’d been working in the industry for a long time (mens, womens, kids) and after a while the idea of putting all my effort into someone else’s vision became quite unfulfilling. Starting a new business is of course a struggle, but there is really nothing else I could see myself doing.
Your line is simple, good and wearable, with a focus on functionality and versatility. Is that what you were going for?
The idea behind O-M lies in the name Objects Without Meaning, the aesthetic is simple and carries no baggage. We’re not adhering to trends and re-inventing ourselves every season, but more establishing our vocabulary and building from the ground up. Our collections will expand and develop over time, but we’ll remain conscious of our core functional programs.
What’s your source of creative inspiration?
Travel, people I meet, things I see on the way are my inspiration…I’m immersed in every aspect of our process, and that gives me a great source of energy.
Where does each collection start for you? With a story, a fabric, or shapes?
It’s a split between silhouette and art direction. I begin with shapes, fabrics and colours while my husband conceptualizes the artwork/prints and campaign. Throughout the process we marry the elements that compliment each other, and follow it through to its presentation stage.
Can you tell us about the manufacturing of Objects Without Meaning?
Yes, we run our own development and manufacturing out of our factory downtown. Design, patterns, sampling, production, shipping, etc…is all done in house.
Who would you say has influenced you in the biggest way?
Self realization. Working throughout this tiring industry, seeing what works and what doesn’t, sitting through hours toiling opinions…this finally prompted me to act on the instincts and do my own thing.
You seem to have a great group of friends that are involved in what you do. How much do your friends influence your line and brand?
My husband drives a lot of the brand’s culture though music and art direction, so I’d say we know how to throw a party! We also work regularly with a young talented photographer and a very inspiring showroom, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is for O-M to be lived in, so I am designing for my friends. If I can outfit my amazing friends, then I feel like we’re succeeding.
Do you work best in a bubble or collaboratively?
The act of sketching and designing is a solo task, but that’s one facet of the process. I’m not isolated from my development like so many designers, so everyday is a massive collaboration.
Would you say your work consumes you or do you have other interests and pastimes that fill your life?
When I am not slaving away at the factory, I try to keep my mind away from work…but seeing as I work 8 days a week, free time is a rarity.
What do you like to do on a day off?
Family time! (and a glass of wine)