Meet the lady who ‘puts the bow on top’ of Alexander and James sofas

We talk with Michelle Hoines-White, Brand Director Alexander and James.


Michelle Hoines-White is seriously busy, as she always is, so we were were thrilled when when she found time to chat with us about her role at Alexander and James.


She plainly loves her job. ‘It’s my reason to be’, she says. ‘I’ve spent 25 years, building brands across sectors, from fashion and beauty to interiors and home. My passion is in combining creativity and design with commercial thinking and my role at Alexander and James is to put a bow on top of our Founder Mark Smith’s exciting sofa designs’.


So, what does her role of Brand Director involve, on a daily basis? ‘It’s  demanding but exciting’, she says, ‘and it takes in creating design themes and stories for our Collections, copywriting, art directing and planning our photo shoots, creating marketing campaigns, creative direction and design of our look books, website and all our brand communication and support materials’.


No wonder she’s busy then! Is there a particular aspect of all this that she loves most?



‘Creating enticing environments for our Collections is a really exciting element to my role and designing exhibition stands, near and far, is challenging in scale but a great chance to see the beautiful ranges all come together under a theme, be it the great outdoors or club cool neon’.


Pausing only briefly she adds, ‘our Alexander and James Gallery programme has been successful in showcasing our brand to best effect in store - we love creating a home from home and letting our signature style do the talking’.


We know she’s busy but  she can’t handle all of this alone surely!


‘No!’ She laughs. ‘Our creative team includes, interior stylist and artist Julie, who shares with us her extensive collection of props and accessories. We love her eye! There’s Hannah who is always busy out on the road implementing our galleries, and Anna our fabric expert who sources our eclectic fabric collections.



We have a new junior designer, Jake. He’s loving the fast paced environment. And Emma, my assistant and product admin whizz makes sure the creatives don’t spiral out of control!


Carole, Cat, Laura and Raymond are our talented brand ambassadors. They combine sales with styling expertise and will ensure that our looks are tailored to suit our individual retailers. Sales Director Steve gets in on the creative action too and can always be found, stapler in hand, at our shows arranging ivy and flowers and what not’.


All of this creativity must necessitate knowing what’s happening in the interior design world, and keeping up with trends.


‘Absolutely it does. For instance my  most loved season is Autumn and whilst my favourite colour is orange - in all shades and strengths, I am rather loving Teal this season as a move on from the green spectrum of the Summer. Teal is tranquil with underwater tones topped with a lavish punch of colour and we are using this shade in varying depths in our sofa designs across our latest velvet textures, which makes it look very distinguished’.


Any other favourites or suggestions?


‘My metallic of the moment is gold, in any guise, glossy or matte, old or new, white hot or brassy, this warmer metal has really made a come back and suits Alexander and James’ vintage eclectic vibes. Look out for it on lamp stands and bases and table legs which look really elegant in this finish. It goes so well with harder edged materials like marble’.


We have to ask - what’s her favourite piece of Alexander and James?


‘I adore the Imogen collection, it’s so stylish, with rounded backs and open inviting pleated arms, it’s so sweet. Hand tufted buttoning details are cute and the long and turned legs are elegant and complete the vintage look’.


We love having the Alexander and James range at Aldiss, and it’s been great to talk with Michelle who is so instrumental in the brand’s designs.


‘We love having Alexander and James at Aldiss’ she says - which makes us feel rather special. Thanks Michelle!

27th December 2017

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