Homegirl London pays homage to Andrew Martin. You might think that Andrew Martin is an actual person, well he’s not a human being, he’s a brand. Dreamt up by Martin Waller back in 1978, when he was just 22 and wanted to start a fabric, furniture and accessories business. Why call the company Andrew Martin? Well his first name is Martin, which he flipped to use as the surname and back in the day his partner was Andrew Gillespie – so now it’s starting to make some sense. Since 1987 Martin Waller has been the sole driving force behind the company which he’s taken from a small shop in Richmond to what is now a global business with a network of showrooms, stockists and distributors in over 60 countries.
The Andrew Martin style is very much Indiana Jones meets Hollywood film set. Think; Out of Africa, The Aviator and Sergeant Pepper and you’ll soon get the picture. It’s a culmination of his love for travel, exploration and his past experiences of working on a James Bond film set. If you venture into his showroom at 200 Walton Street, London SW3, you’ll get a good understanding of what the brand and Martin Waller is all about. His background is in fabrics, having worked in this department at Peter Jones, which forms the bedrock of the business today. The distinct patterns can be found at interior design studios and stores throughout the world. Andrew Martin is the second-largest privately-owned fabric seller in the UK. Wallpaper is also a key part of the collection and new lines include an interesting utility-inspired range. Cushions are a big seller and these range from African inspired prints to the Beatles. The furniture collection, which is sourced from suppliers, consists of; console tables, coffee tables, dining tables, sofas, storage units and chests of drawers. Finally, there’s a range of accessories and lighting to add the finishing touches. I caught up with Martin to ask him a few questions …
Q: You’ve been in business for 34 years, what’s the secret to success?
A: We focus on bringing a multi-layered, multicultural easy living style to everybody who likes it, luckily for us, it appears many people do.
Q: Tell me more about the International Designer of the Year Awards.
A: The aim of the Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year award was to recognise and reward good design from within the industry. Invitations were sent out to our client base informing them about the competition and entries started flooding in. Since its launch in 1996, the event has seen explosive growth, attracting global entries from the who’s who of interior design with the event being dubbed as “The Oscars of the interior design world.” Each year we publish the Interior Design Review which is a summary of the year’s very best design talent that entered the competition. The publication, now in its sixteenth edition, is quoted as being “The Bible of the interior design world.” You can find out more by watching the video on the Andrew Martin website.
Q: How many showrooms do you have and where are they?
A: Andrew Martin showrooms are opening all over the world. People can visit, experience the brand and purchase directly in the following locations: London (Flagship Showroom), Dubai, St Petersburg, Moscow, Athens, Cairo, Mumbai, Beijing, Miami, San Francisco, Pasadena, West Hollywood, Los Angeles and New York.
Q: Any plans to open new showrooms?
A: Yes, in development are Houston, Minneapolis and Shanghai.
Q: What have you been up to recently?
A: We launched a new Fabric collection in September and we have a new website with online auction house selling rare finds from across the globe.
Below is a selection of images to give you an idea of the Andrew Martin flavour. If you’d like to buy some of the amazing products available please go to Andrew Martin. Make an effort to pop into the store which you’ll find at 200 Walton Street, London SW3 2JL. Credits: text and store images by Homegirl London, additional images supplied by Andrew Martin. Special thanks to Martin Waller and Chris Bernatek.