Manchester; one of the UK’s most vibrant cities and home to Whitworth Locke. In celebration of the city's creativity, we worked with Manchester-based artist Pete Obsolete to create a series of unique designs to be used on Whitworth Locke's keycards and umbrellas (a Manchester essential).
We also worked with Pete on our regenerative uniform project, which has seen Locke collaborate with local designers across our properties to create a signature look for each hotel. All focused around sustainability and re-purposing deadstock.
We spent some time in the 'Rainy City' to check out Pete's designs in action, see our House Hosts trying out their new uniforms and catch up with Pete on the inspirations behind his designs.
For Whitworth Locke, we wanted to highlight Manchester’s place within the global arts, music and creative scene. Working with an artist that would understand and bring out the city's vibrancy, despite its regularly grey weather.
Pete created a series of one-off, unique designs for Whitworth Locke’s keycards, special umbrellas (not found at every Locke) and worked with re-purposed deadstock to create a collection to celebrate creativity and innovation within sustainability for our Whitworth Locke House Hosts to wear on property.
Pete although originally from Nottingham came to Manchester for university, after graduating, he created a brand representative of his ideas about art and his ‘reactions to the world around me’ that also championed the energy and the people of Manchester.
What was the inspiration behind your designs?
In short, the beautiful people and the city of Manchester. Late-summer vibes, coupled with 80's nostalgia. The Locke colour palette and Whitworth Locke interior design. For this project, I wanted to push both myself and my art. I decided to use a unique version of my synonymous 'camo' pattern. I call it 'camo' because not only is it a pattern, it also hides certain messages within it.
I wanted to reference the interior design of the property, so I found a number of colours that suited the Locke palette well. The pattern I ended up creating has an 80's feel to it and the end result is a series of 'totems' of the individual icons from the original camo. However, as it's unique to anything I've personally done before, so it is now called the 'Locke Camo'.
What is it about Manchester that makes it a constant source of inspiration?
The city is nothing without its people. The natives, the honorary Manc's, the art, music & fashion, the varying cultures and food and obviously the architecture. As a creative, it's easy to see how and why Manchester has the reputation it does. It's incredible energy proves itself as an infinite source of inspiration, from the smallest conversations to the biggest collaborations.
There's an almost tribal 'can-do' attitude here, where if you have an idea, and a drive to try something, the city steps forward. All the artists, rappers and musicians I've met here have been encouraging and keen to collaborate, no matter what level of 'success' or popularity. I've worked with a lot of local talent for the past 15 years, and seeing some of them go on to do incredible things is testament to the work ethic that I see in so many people in the North West.
You have one-day to show someone ‘Your Manchester’, where would you take them?
Start off at Mary & Archie in Chorlton for breakfast, then take the tram to Old Trafford, then onto the quays and into town. Fuel up on coffee at Feel Good Club then stroll round the Northern Quarter. I’d then take them to play hide and seek in Afflecks Palace for vintage gems. Then have lunch at Bundobust before mooching down Market Street onto Deansgate. Another coffee stop at Another Hand, then the obligatory pint somewhere along the canal. Catch a film at HOME cinema or for a boogie at Blues Kitchen’s Hip Hop night. Before heading for a Shawarma at The Post Box, and probably exhausted. Go to bed.
Check out Pete’s unique designs on your next trip to Whitworth Locke, you can even purchase one of the umbrellas featuring Pete’s ‘Locke Camo’ on-property.
Set in a 19th Century cotton factory, with its stunning communal spaces and spacious, one-of-a-kind apartments, Whitworth Locke is more than just a place to stay – it’s a space to live. You’ll also be a short stroll from anywhere you need to go from the Northern Quarter to Ancoats and Canal Street.