In conversation with LEI LESTER
Designer and Retail Expert Lei Lester was tasked with transforming FIELDS headquarters into both our creative studio as well as our first store. The challenge was not only to create a place for people to try on and purchase garments, but more importantly to come and see, touch, feel and experience the FIELDS philosophy.
Images by: Stephanie Veldman
What stood out for you about FIELDS?
The vision, the passion, thoughtfulness and sense of provenance, as well as seeing the careful consideration that has gone into each decision around this brand. It has been so inspiring to see such integrity at play.
Take us through your choice of materials, textures and colours used to transform the FIELDS space?
Initially walking into this empty space, I was hit full blown by this sense of calm and I wanted to further enhance that feeling with all the elements we designed and created. They needed to have very subtle design features so that the space feels intentional, but the garments remain the true hero. The space needed to feel sophisticated, but at the same time almost effortless and the use of wood became a huge part in enabling us to achieve that.
What were some of the challenges in transforming our space into both a studio and retail destination?
We needed to ensure that the sense of flow wasn't disrupted with the spaces being able to work both individually and together. It was crucial to allow the working spaces to have some privacy and yet not be excluded from the main space. Light flows between the areas well, with the joinery acting both as a feature and a screen. I think the end result has allowed the public to engage successfully with the creative working hub, giving them insight to how the creation process takes place.
What is important for you when creating spaces?
That they [the spaces] are beautiful, make you happy and are functional.
What are some of your favourite spaces?
In all honesty, this one [the FIELDS space] is one of my best. It’s that sense of calm that one feels as soon as you enter that can’t be explained. It’s the perfect hybrid between the joy you feel in nature and the excitement of being in a city.
What is your usual creative process?
Understanding first and foremost, what the non-negotiables are and what the end results are that need to be achieved. You need to balance the function with the aesthetics and ensure that everything works as a whole.
The initial brief with the client should spark the thought process and vision and from there, I just roll with it… My best ideas normally come at 2am when I’m walking through the space in my head in the still of the night. The design must evolve, so I start with conceptual imagery and from there see how it naturally starts to take shape.
What do you hope a visitor feels when walking in and experiencing the FIELDS space?
Inspired, content, at peace… and desperate to wear a FIELDS garment!
What is your favourite piece in the current collection?
The Weekend Trouser.
Come visit our beautiful flagship store at the Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock
View more of Lei Lester's work at: