Modern Heroes: One Nine Eight Five

One Nine Eight Five is the creation of Eleanor Nadimi and is an emerging textile brand, with a keen social and environmental element using almost entirely ethically produced materials. With a collection of beautiful pieces and designs, One Nine Eight Five is making waves in the design industry using bold colours and eye-catching prints. We wanted to find out more about the brand and met with Eleanor herself to dig a little deeper.

I’m inspired by lots of different things, almost too much: film, culture, exhibitions, architecture, fashion, anything visual.


Eleanor Nadimi, Founder of One Nine Eight Five

IDEALIST: How did One Nine Eight Five come about?
Since I was a kid I have always wanted to do something creative, be an artist; I am a true believer in following your dreams. At the age of 30 I finally felt like I knew what I wanted to put my creativity into, so I quit my job and moved to London to set up One Nine Eight Five. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

IDEALIST: What is your background?
Before I started One Nine Eight Five I was living in Stockholm. I lived there for 4 1/2 years working as a print designer for H&M. The job was fantastic, I travelled the world, lead a team, designed prints and forecasted trends. I learnt so much working there, it was almost like a school. Before that I studied printed textiles at a Masters level at the Royal College of Art, it was one of the best experiences of my life and has shaped me into the designer I am today.

Drawing Inspirations

IDEALIST: Where do you draw your inspiration from when creating new designs?
I’m inspired by lots of different things, almost too much: film, culture, exhibitions, architecture, fashion, anything visual. My mind has a tendency to jump from one thing to the next way too quickly.

Challenges & Achievements

IDEALIST: What have been your biggest challenges so far?

There have been many hurdles already, but I would have to say that the biggest challenges would have to be the day to day struggle of running a business. I had zero business skills when I started the brand, every day was, and still is, a learning curve for me. I think I was very naïve as to how much more there is to running a creative business then designing.
The second biggest challenge so far has been finding factories that want to work with me. As a new business I found a lot of companies didn’t take me seriously; it took a lot of persistence and thick skin to make people see that I was serious about the brand.
Lastly, the management of my time and energy has been, and still is, something that I am working on as it can be very overwhelming working solo.

IDEALIST: What has been your biggest achievement?
This is a tricky one to answer, because things have been moving so quickly over the past year that I sometimes forget to stop and actually enjoy the moment. I would have to say my 2 biggest achievements are taking the jump out of steady employment and starting One Nine Eight Five, and having an exclusive collection in Heals within my first year of trading – an absolute dream come true!

I wanted to create a brand which has its core values focused on using ethical processes

Thoughts on Sustainability

IDEALIST: You use recycled materials, what does sustainable design mean to you?

I think that when you start your own business it becomes an extension of who you are. As a result, One Nine Eight Five needs to be a brand that has an ethical approach in all aspects of the business. Sustainability has always been very important to me, I love nature and appreciate how amazing the world is. The world we live in is extremely precious and I think that everyone has a duty to do their bit in maintaining it. I wanted to create a brand which has its core values focused on using ethical processes, being dedicated to creating British manufactured goods and working with recycled fabrics wherever possible – all of these points are super important to me and hopefully to others too.

Design Tips

IDEALIST: What are your top 5 design tips for the home?
1. Nature – bring the outside in with plants, plants and more plants!
2. Don’t sacrifice comfort in your home, comfy sofas, cosy blankets, rugs and lots of cushions are a must.
3. Embrace your own authentic style: your home should reflect your personality. Allow your space to continually change and grow with you, it should be a place of comfort and inspiration. Start collecting things on your travels: the best interiors reflect who you are, where you have come from and hints at where you want to go reminding you of treasured memories.
4. Don’t forget the walls. Artwork is so important as it helps to personalise your space as well as strengthening a colour palette or theme in the room.
5. Use technology to your advantage, by working with platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz to get the inspiration and confidence you need to achieve the look you want.

Future Aspirations

IDEALIST: Where do you see One Nine Eight Five in 5 years?
I would love to be stocked internationally, be recognised as an influential brand amongst my peers, have collaborations with other companies on different product types and have grown One Nine Eight Five to a size where I can employ staff.

IDEALIST: Are there any exciting collaborations or projects on the horizon?
Potentially, but nothing that I can talk about yet!!

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All photos courtesy of One Nine Eight Five.

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