As we all know, looking good is everything. Yet no-one understands this more than Rebecca Hossain, the Head of Retail and Publishing at the Design Museum Shop and our LDNER this week. We caught up with her to talk about design, the city and the Museum’s move from Shad Thames to Kensington…

Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?

Streatham in South London: I love the eclectic mix of shops and independent restaurants, the fabulous jazz venue Hideaway, Saturday food market plus outdoor spaces like Streatham and Tooting Bec Commons. Transport links are great and it’s easy to get to Central London for the latest play or to Herne Hill Velodrome for super outdoor cycle racing. Tooting and Brixton are great for delicious curries and indoor markets with inspired shops and eateries both a hop away.


What’s your favourite piece/exhibition that has ever been shown in the museum?

Tough one – it’s a toss-up between the wonderful Paul Smith exhibition in 2013, where we were invited to explore Paul’s inspirations and influences during his impressive career, and Louis Kahn the architect whose monumental buildings sit so harmoniously with nature. Both visually rich, they provided food for thought as well as being popular exhibitions. I loved being involved in both!

Is there anything you will miss about the London Bridge site and why?

Walking along the Thames to work was quite a treat. Tower Bridge always looked so imposing yet familiar as a backdrop viewed from some of our meeting rooms at the Design Museum in Shad Thames. I will miss watching Tower Bridge open to let tall vessels through and the slightly Dickensian Shad Thames architecture and wharves in the area.


Do you have any favourite London shops or designers?

As a retailer I’m always discovering new shops and rediscovering old ones: favourites include Anthropologie for daring visual merchandising and atmosphere; Selfridges for its food hall; Future and Found for gorgeous homeware; Lavish Habit for quirky, vintage and affordable clothes and homeware; Wholefoods makes healthy food look beautiful and covetable; Gallery 192 in Primrose Hill for the most Instagram-worthy front door and gorgeous Indian and Bangladeshi textiles. My top London designers are Camille Walala, Bethan Laura Wood, and Paul Smith. All three have one thing in common: an incredible understanding of colour and contrast. I also can’t get enough of Patternity, Tom Pigeon and new find Yenchen & Yawen for delicate Japanese inspired ceramics.

Describe your perfect day in London.

It’s a warm summer’s day. Coffee and scrambled eggs over my latest book club tome in a sunny lavender-fragranced patch in my garden. I’d follow this with a cycle ride along the Thames near Putney (no traffic lights please) to watch my daughter rowing along the river. Lunch at the River Cafe (best food I have eaten outside of Italy) leaving space for their delicious ice creams. Then off to see the latest exhibition at Tate Modern or maybe the Royal Academy Summer Show. Gallery shops are my passion so I will buy something – preferably unique to the institution – say a work from the Summer Show. Fortnum and Mason’s elaborate windows will draw me in to buy some beautifully packaged treats before wandering along to the Portrait Restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery for dinner with my husband, overlooking the evening London skyline. If we catch a cab home I’ll have time for a black and white movie or perhaps Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A night cap and fresh mint tea relaxing to Nina Simone and my perfect London day is over.

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The Design Museum opens 24th November 2016
224-238 Kensington High St, London, W8 6AG