Selfridges London Bright Old Things celebrates second acts from creatives of a certain age.

London Department Store Celebrates Creatives of a Certain Age in “Bright Old Things” Campaign

London Department Store Celebrates Creatives of a Certain Age in “Bright Old Things” Campaign

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
Jan. 12 2015 11:30 AM

London Department Store Celebrates Creatives of a Certain Age in “Bright Old Things” Campaign

9097-9097
From left, Den Woods, Bruno Wizard, Robert Roope, Sue Kreitzman, Molly Parkin, Tim Bushe, Sand Laurenson, Roger Miles, Michael Lisle-Taylor, William Forbes-Hamilton, and Andrew Ekins in the Bright Old Things boutique at London's Selfridges department store.

Courtesy of Selfridges

Since 2011, the British department store Selfridges has kicked off the new year with its annual Bright Young Things campaign, showcasing emerging young design talent. But this year the venerable century-old department store decided to turn the bright young thing trope on its head. Reinventing its annual talent showcase as a celebration of second acts, Bright Old Things features artists and designers ranging in age from late-40s to mid-80s.

9097-9097
Food writer turned artist Sue Kreitzman.

Courtesy of Selfridges

“This year we're celebrating the retirement renaissance and 14 inspiring individuals who've embraced a new vocation later in life,” reads a description on Selfridges website. “Selfridges acknowledges that ‘old’ is as subjective as it is irrelevant. Hand-picked talents, some who will be instantly recognizable, and some entirely new names, have been chosen to take part on the basis that they have undergone a ‘retirement renaissance,’ a complete career change or an inspiring step into the unknown.”

9097-9097
Window by Sue Kreitzman at Selfridge's London flagship on Oxford Street, where 1 million people pass by every week.

Courtesy of Selfridges

The Bright Old Things lineup includes fiftysomething retailer turned menswear designer Nick Wooster; octogenarian Molly Parkin, a fashion editor who turned to painting at age 55; 61-year-old architect turned topiarist Tim Bushe; and food writer turned artist Sue Kreitzman.

9097-9097
A passerby looks at the window by 64-year-old London punk musician turned writer Bruno Wizard.

Courtesy of Selfridges

Advertisement

Each of the participants was given the blank canvas of a store window at Selfridge’s London flagship on Oxford Street, the city’s most commercial shopping artery, where an estimated 1 million people pass by every week. The window displays are meant as stage sets to offer glimpses of each designer’s creative process.

9097-9097
Window by 82-year-old fashion editor turned painter Molly Parkin.

Courtesy of Selfridges

The department store called on photographer Todd Selby to create portraits and illustrated Q&As of the creatives at home and at work. 

9097-9097
Actor turned painter William Forbes-Hamilton in his window at Selfridges.

Courtesy of Selfridges

“As a centenary-old department store which has been successfully reinventing itself over and over again, it made so much sense for us to shine a light on the wealth of talent and experience harnessed by bright older creatives,” Selfridges creative director Linda Hewson said in a press release. “These people can definitely teach us all a thing or two about growing old whilst staying young at heart and relevant.”

9097-9097
Inside the Bright Old Things Boutique at London’s Selfridges department store.

Courtesy of Selfridges

The showcase and a popup boutique runs through the end of February at Selfridges; merchandise from the designers ranging from artwork to furniture and fashion can also be found online.  

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.