People often ask about my inspirations and how I developed @the14thfactory. This is my story...
You would think after this major let down I would have quit but I kept meeting great people who were so impressed with the LA project and encouraged me to keep going. Including big dogs like The Kering Group in Paris (Gucci) who offered all kinds of support and small cool brands like Ace Hotel, all of who were keen to help. Key was the amazing support of Zaha Hadid Architects, one of the greatest architectural firms in the world. Our list of enthusiastic potential partners includes V&A, Punch Drunk, Design Museum, Gates Foundation, The City of London, and on and on. These kinds of people taking me and the project seriously was an endorsement and all the encouragement I needed, along with the everlasting love from my friends.
So in London, we kept digging, almost getting an old hotel in Covent Garden and a soon to be an empty department store in Oxford Street. None of which worked but eventually we did find a new space, an ex-Chsirsties auction house gallery, an impressive 80,000 sqft in Central London (which we continue to work on, COVID being the hold up).
We also went off to NYC and ended up back at our original site, The JP Morgan Bank at Wall Street, but the landlord wouldn't cut a deal (it's still empty!). We landed a huge site upper west side but before we could sign, they found asbestos problems and that was the end of that.
Installation in progress
One of the endless site visits
We tried numerous other sites, I was in NY for months wandering the streets but still no luck. We looked at Berlin, Seoul, Sydney and many more over the next year or so. We did find space but landlords can be very slippery and greedy hence no deal. The other issue was always money...we had none! All the support we were getting were favours, pro bono work, partnership stuff, all kinds of essential help, but no money.