As part of the Holburne Project I started looking at items that were stocked in other gallery and art museum gift shops. While there are a wide variety of items available, the textile and fashion items tend to fall into two main categories.
The first is where the items are showcasing a particular culture or technique. These items are sold based on their own merit and what they contribute to the field of design. Dina Malkova’s work with the Suzani embroidery technique to create her bags and other goods is an example of this, and the items can be found in the V&A gift shop.
The second category is where a designer has made a significant contribution to the design industry and they have been commissioned to create a range specifically for that outlet e.g. Orla Kiely for Tate Modern.
Surprisingly, it was rare to find textile items that were linked to an exhibition within the museum. Unsurprisingly, there were no items to be found in the gift shops visited that were based on the history of the museum or the buildings. Perhaps that’s a telling sign, or perhaps I’ve found a niche…?