Nick Merdasi, digital designer
I’ve loved Nick’s work since I was fourteen (technically earlier, I was obsessed with the artwork for Gwen Stefani’s Love. Angel. Music. Baby., which was made by Nick, but I didn’t know it at the time). When I was fourteen my friend Georgia brought in an issue of British Vogue to art class, which her mum (who was 'fashiony' and did the costumes for some BBC show) had given her for collaging. It was the December 2008 issue and we handled it as if it were a holy book (this story is horribly clichéd). It included what I still think are some of Nick’s best images, like that puffy, pink Lily Donaldson image.
It was 2008 and the internet existed so, naturally, we googled him. His work was alien and slick and perfect for collages. We kept coming across these cool, arty videos that were hosted by 'SHOWstudio,’ but I didn’t really acknowledge what it was. We found this one video of a naked woman dancing around in a coat made of blonde wigs. I thought it was so beautiful and must've watched it dozens of times over the space of a few weeks. It was sexy, but in a subtle way (even though the model is totally naked), and that's why I kept coming back to it. It was so different to the type of sexy we were seeing in music videos at the time (Low by Flo Rida was the highest charting song of that year). It was years later, around the Gaga-centric time of SHOWstudio, that I took an active interest in the website itself, although I don’t think I actually realised SHOWstudio was founded by Nick until another few years after that. I’m not selling myself as being particularly inquisitive, but essentially I’m very happy to now work at the place that hosts ‘cool, arty videos.'
There’s plenty of interesting people working at SHOWstudio right now with a variety of disparate interests. It kind of feels like a second art school education, but more organic. I've been here for a few years and there's been moments where I've noticed shifts in my way of thinking and that's definitely due to being surrounded by people who are so entertaining and inspiring.
When I started at SHOWstudio as a freelancer, I worked on migrating the old site to our new one. This involved working with Sarah Cleaver on dusting off old projects and finding the best way to make them accessible for our users. It was a lot of fun. Design-wise, I really enjoy finding ways to present projects so that they feel of their time while also being relevant for today. It was also very special to work closely with Sarah as she's incredibly knowledgeable about everything.
One of the great things about working here is the archive. There is an almost infinite list of talented people who have worked with or for SHOWstudio, but I have a particular predilection for anything touched by Simon Foxton. His work is often so explicitly homoerotic that any gay boy would be hard-pressed not to fall in love.
SHOWstudio has always championed innovation within fashion. There’s an interest here for the new, the unconventional, the digital, the technological. I think when we're all dead, that's how it'll be remembered.
Zachary Mayne, design assistant
I'm the design assistant at SHOWstudio. As a young creative, I first came across Nick's work while at a Lady Gaga concert in 2010. As part of her Monster Ball tour, Lady Gaga created a number of films with Nick Knight and Ruth Hogben to use as part of her onstage performances. At the time I had an interest in art and design but never saw it as a viable career choice. Experiencing that performance live was career-affirming. After that, I decided to do more research into fashion film and SHOWstudio, and then made the decision that I would at least apply for an internship at the end on my degree.
I would have classified myself as a print designer prior to my job at SHOWstudio. I often worked digitally in terms of creating motion graphics for personal projects, although now, everything I do is digital and I’ve been able to further develop many of these skills. Many workplaces turned me away due to my work being too experimental for traditional design practices, however that's something which is celebrated at SHOWstudio.
S.W.A.L.K. II is my favourite project I've worked on here. This fashion film is one that will be remembered in a post-COVID world and is a prime example of how fashion’s future lies in the digital realm. My favourite archive project is Gareth Pugh S/S 18. I still have a visceral reaction to this film in a 'I don’t want to wake up from this nightmare' kind of way, which is what makes it a very successful film.
SHOWstudio has provided an insider's view into an industry that feels impenetrable and elitist to many young creatives, which is invaluable.
Edward Brown, freelance design assistant
I’m a freelance design assistant at SHOWstudio. When I studied photography during my A-levels I was introduced to Nick Knight’s work and was immediately drawn to the striking subjects and the beautiful colours of the photographs. I loved how Nick always managed to capture someone’s personality and mood through the medium of photography. I soon found SHOWstudio through my research and I felt it was so unique. There was nothing else like it on the internet in relation to art/fashion/photography that felt as organic and non-commercial as SHOWstudio did. It felt like they were making work out of passion and not because they were being paid to. I found this approach so refreshing and I knew I wanted to work somewhere with those values. I ended up studying Photography at Arts University Bournemouth as I was so influenced by Nick Knight's and Wolfgang Tillmans’ work, and they had both studied there.
SHOWstudio means a lot to me. I wanted to work here so much that I applied to the design internship two years in a row at university, as I didn’t get accepted the first time. When I started my internship I was so taken aback by the kindness and knowledge I was shown by everyone who worked there. I learnt so much in the three months that I interned, both technically and theoretically. Working at SHOWstudio gives me a constant source of inspiration from my peers and the work they do. Every piece of content that comes out, whether that’s an essay or a fashion film, gives me new ideas and educates me.
I really enjoyed working and contributing to the SHOWstudio X Harrods project earlier this year. I love the fact that we are always pioneering new and exciting technologies when it comes to fashion, and so this project was something I felt passionate about as we were showing people who may not be as informed about fashion and/or technology, what the future is going to look like. I loved the curations that everyone at SHOWstudio took part in on the Harrods fifth floor and I liked that people who aren’t always seen or heard by our audience got a chance to express themselves, and that people in Harrods were able to listen to their opinions and thoughts.
Soft Furnishings has to be my favourite SHOWstudio archive project. I love the myths surrounding Peter Saville’s apartment in the 90s. This project also combines my interest of photography and furniture in such a harmonious way. The photos by Nick cause the objective pieces of furniture to become sexualised extensions of the models.
Fashion film has become an increasingly popular way to show clothes now, especially in the last year since the decline of physical fashion shows due to COVID-19. I believe that fashion film wouldn’t be at the point it is at now without the work of SHOWstudio. It has always been at the forefront of fashion film and the pioneering of new technologies, whether that be live-streaming, 3D modelling technologies, or artificial intelligence. SHOWstudio is also an incredible resource for young creatives trying to work it in the world of fashion. When I was a student I was constantly using it for references and inspiration. I believe that the huge wealth of content on SHOWstudio will continue to inspire young people for generations to come.