Tooth & Claw are husband and wife design duo, Andrea Carless and Jamie James. Their story began when they met in a Goth club in Birmingham in the mid 1980’s.
Having both grown up in the industrial heartlands of the West Midlands with a desire to express their creativity, their love of style and design led them to move to London in the mid 1990’s to be in the creative hub of the city.
Andrea worked as a designer’s assistant before moving into management for high end fashion and design brands such as Agent Provocateur, Vivienne Westwood, Nicole Farhi’s ‘202’ and Tom Dixon.
Although he grew up with a passion for art, Jamie’s youth was lost in music. A singer and songwriter with various bands, this was to be his creative outlet for many years. His first foray into print design came in the mid 1990’s – designing prints and hand silk-screen printing fabric and T-shirts for a small, independent fashion label. He then worked in web design before picking up his brushes again to set up Tooth & Claw with Andrea in 2012.
They relocated from London to Brixham at the end of 2015 buying a house in the town. 2016 turned into a busy year for the couple. In April they got Married! Long overdue …having been together for almost 30 years. Then Andrea and Jamie decided to open the Tooth & Claw lifestyle boutique bringing some of the best niche design brands to the English Riviera.
Andrea explains “We decided that we wanted to take Tooth & Claw in a slightly different direction and expand the concept of the brand. As well as our own designs, we decided that we wanted to showcase other niche design brands that we love and that fit broadly within the Tooth & Claw aesthetic. With my previous experience in buying, we felt that we could put together something interesting, also incorporating some vintage and antique items.
“The shop in Middle Street had been trading as an off-license and we gave ourselves 4 weeks to turn it around. That included all the DIY, decorating, buying, orders, packaging and general set up. We didn’t have any budget for trades, so we did all the work ourselves. We managed to get open by our deadline date of 2nd July…and I only had 2 meltdowns!”
A love of Fashion, Music, Art and Film with a dark edge, informs the Tooth & Claw style and aesthetic. All of their own designs are based around Jamie’s original artwork. Tooth & Claw are passionate about supporting British industry, and all of their products are proudly manufactured in the UK. Their cushions are printed using the latest technology and best quality fabrics in Macclesfield, then sewn in their Brixham studio. Feather filled cushion Inners are made in Manchester. Their wallpaper is printed by a small company based in Lancashire, experts in digitally printed wallpaper who are passionate about their product and have helped them push boundaries with what they can achieve.
Jamie and Andrea have presented collections at design exhibitions in Paris and New York and their products are also stocked in design/lifestyle boutiques in Europe and in New York.
At the end of last year, the couple were asked if we would like to exhibit a small selection of the legendary photographer Brian Duffy’s portraits of David Bowie.
Jamie explains “I had worked with the Duffy Archives on some previous collaborations. When we were offered the opportunity, we jumped at the chance! These portraits had never been shown in the south west before so it was a great honour. We hope to do more events like this and we are hoping to exhibit some of Duffy’s fashion images from the 60s later this year”.
For more information, see www.toothandclaw.co.uk/