Steve Edge - Founder, Steve Edge Design

Posted on 10 September 2019

Susan Freeman

Hi, I’m Susan Freeman, welcome back to our Propertyshe Podcast series brought to you by Mishcon de Reya in association with the London Real Estate Forum where I get to interview some of the key influencers in the amazing world of real estate and the built environment. 

Today, I am delighted to welcome Steve Edge; Founder of branding agency Steve Edge Design.  Steve’s business card describes him as ‘prophet, madman and wanderer’.  His biog is even more intriguing, it reads ‘imagine combing an Indian river for the fish made famous by Rudyard Kipling’s Poem the Golden Mahseer, picture yourself perched atop a thorough bred racehorse as it gallops at top speed over six furlongs, visualise a Native Tribal Ceremony with you as the Honorary Eagle Dancer’.  Steve Ledge has done it all and much, much more.  After winning a National Young Artist of the Year Award aged just 15, Steve’s sculptures and designs led him to work with acclaimed film director, George Lucas who enlisted Steve to work in the Art Department for films such as Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  In 1985 Steve founded his own branding agency and over the past 30 years he has worked with some of world’s best known brands from Christian Dior and Fortnum & Mason to Rules Restaurant, Cartier, Purdey Guns and many, many more.  Steve put some of his creative success down to his dyslexia which allows him to see the world from new and original perspectives.  So now we are going to hear from Steve Edge on the world of brand and the importance of thinking laterally.  He is often described as a force of nature and I think you will shortly understand why.  Steve welcome to the studio.  I remember our first meeting where you handed me your business card and I looked at it and all it said was ‘prophet, madman and wanderer’ and I believe it still does.  What is that about and what sort of reaction do you get to that?

Steve Edge

Well the reaction is always with great laughter, everybody loves it and the reason why I did that is that (1) I kind of was trying to think of a good title for myself and there is a lot of ridiculous titles that people give themselves.  The reason is that I thought you know what, there must be a title that I can give myself, it is my own company, I can do what I want.  I remember show me a company that has fun and I always guarantee good comes from it and I was walking past one day with my wife, a book shop and as you know I am severely dyslexic and there was this book review in the window and it was by Kahil Kabran and it said ‘Prophet, madman, wanderer’ and I thought wow there’s a title and I said ‘that’s going to be my title – Prophet, madman, wanderer’.

Susan Freeman

Well it seems to work.  And your general philosophy is to dress for a party every day and the party will come to you.  You obviously do and you always look amazing, it is either something with sequins or reflective but where did that idea come from?

Steve Edge

It came from, luckily coming from a great family, lots of brothers and my mother having lots of siblings you know, we were poor, I mean literally people don’t really understand that they look at me and hopefully I don’t look that old but you know, my children can’t believe that we had a tin bath in the garden you know that we would drag in and my mother would boil buckets of water and we would all fill the bath and eventually all of us had turns to get into this bath.  But of course in all poor families you have a rich aunt.  We had a rich aunt and my rich aunt she loved all the drawings and all the sculpting’s and all the bits of furniture that I would make, so she would give me pocket money and buy all my things from me and at 9 years old, one day we were round her house and it was grand house full of cabinets with cut crystal and china and all sorts of amazing things and I said to my aunt ‘when do you use all these things?’ and she said ‘on special occasions’ and a week later she died and never used any of it and I said to my mum ‘you know what mum, I know I always have the hand-me-downs from my brothers, I know that you got me a great party outfit that I wear on special occasions, but you know what, as from today I am going to dress for a party every day because I am not going to wait for a special occasion and I am going to go out and dress for a party every day and the party will come to me’, you make it happen and that’s what happens.  Every day I come out with my glitter, I come out with my shiny silver little backless number and I sit on the tube and people go ‘wow where are you going?’ and I go ‘I’m going nowhere’ that’s what I do so I go out there and I have my party and I truly do but I have about 25 parties every day because you meet all sorts of amazing people and they all want to get involved and it truly is, it makes the party happen.

Susan Freeman

Well I have seen it in action, I’ve seen people stop you in the street to ask where you got your amazing clothes from.  So you were brought up in the East End and you mentioned the dyslexia and I think that meant you didn’t go to school, you were home schooled.  Did that work out well for you?

Steve Edge

You know what it was the best thing ever.  I was so lucky because I was surrounded by love.  My dad was an amazing artist although he worked in the meat market in Smithfield.  My mum was a painter.  All my brothers were creatives.  All my family were very, very obviously bohemian but I was the little blonde kid that was seen to have all these sort of learning difficulties and problems but usually the problem kid is the one they look after and my father had an eclectic mix of friends; one of them was Head of IPC Magazines and he had just married this amazing woman from New Zealand and she was up on learning difficulties.  Over in London you were seen as the idiot  and you know she saw me and said ‘this child has all these different issues’ but she said ‘look I am not working, Dennis is doing very well, can Steve come and I will home teach him’ and luckily for me I went to this very posh house where I would go every day to do my studies, Dennis had a studio and a workshop in his house so I would do my studies in the morning with Valerie and then in the afternoon I would go and help Dennis and I was allowed to make all my own clothes because my mother bought me a sewing machine when I was 5 and I used to make very simple things like dresses because they were easy to wear and because I didn’t mix with kids, I had all my dress collection and I used to literally every day get up, dress and go into my wonderful world and live with these amazing people and work on all these amazing projects with them.

Susan Freeman

I think you must have been a very strange child Steve.

Steve Edge

I was a very strange child. I was definitely like Wednesday out of the Adam’s Family. People would often look at me and think ‘wow who is this kid?’

Susan Freeman

So how did George Lucas discover you and get you involved with the Star Wars films?

Steve Edge

So I was brought up in this house and by the time I was 12 years old, Dennis had given me my own publication to have an opportunity to do my own article every month and this publication was where I would have to come up with an idea and one month it would be Easter so how to decorate Easter Eggs and make Easter cards, the following month it be how to create and design a tortoise hibernation box and I would get paid for all these things that I brought to the table and I was 12 years old and then there was a knock at the door one day when I was 13 and it was literally the man from the School Board – that thing like out of the Dicken’s movie and I ran and Dennis then soon realised that I had to go to school and Dennis wrote a very nice letter to a school in Dulwich because of my severity of my dyslexia, I have never read a book in my life, even still today I have never read a book because it is impossible and therefore I can’t sit and look at an examination and I lived in this Art Department at school and then at 15 I was entered for European Artist of the Year Award which I won.  I was then asked to go and work at a very chi chi design agency which they was actually looking after the Muppet Show and Jim Henson and Frank Oz and then all of a sudden they asked me to go and work on the Muppets so I was 16, working in the Art Department and then was asked one day to go and meet this man over the road and I said ‘why are you getting rid of me?’ and they said ‘we’re not getting rid of you’, I said ‘yes you are, where I come from you  have asked me to go and meet a man over the road’ and they said ‘yeah you have to go and see this person’.  I said ‘’who have I got to go and see?’, they said ‘he loves your work you must go and meet him’.  I said ‘who is it?’ and they said ‘George Lucas’. I had never heard of George Lucas and I went over the road, met this very nice man and he showed me this amazing Art Department and I came back and I said ‘wow’.  Because the Art Departments in those days were all hands on and he said you know ‘come and work’ and I said ‘what is the film going to be about?’.  ‘It’s the greatest science fiction film ever, it is going to be called Star Wars’ and that was it and I worked on Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and then Raiders of the Lost Ark which was just fantastic.  My father supplied a lot of the snakes.  It was my pet monkey in that film because we grew up with animals in East End.  We had a big eclectic mix of animals including chimpanzees.  The stunt woman wouldn’t go in the snake pit, Steven Spielberg came and got me and said ‘Steve come with me’ from the Art Department and I had my leg shaved and I wear the party dress so next time you see Raiders, they are my legs in that snake pit with Harrison Ford in the Well of Souls.

Susan Freeman

I am going to look out for that.  In the early days I know there is a wonderful story about how you found the property in Shoreditch that you wanted to live in, nobody seemed to know who owned it and you went to the local agents and they came up with some really good advice.  So what happened?

Steve Edge

Exactly that Susan.  What happened was you know I had known all these amazing Victorian Warehouses for many years and they are all very beautiful in that kind of simplistic way and I just kind of loved the idea of wouldn’t it be great to live in a big open loft and nobody did it in my day you know, it didn’t exist.  I saw it in movies but I never actually knew anybody who lived in a loft but I loved the idea because I was producing at the time very big installation pieces and I was always laying stuff out on the floor and spraying and cutting and I thought wouldn’t it be amazing if I had this big space.  Anyway a friend of mine, I said ‘what agents are in Shoreditch because there’s all these old warehouses’ and a friend of mine he said ‘well there’s no agents but there’s a guy you must go and see. He’s a nice guy called James Goth, go and see him he is in Reddington Street’.  Anyway I went into this funny little joke office and he was so busy that he had both feet on the table reading a newspaper.  He was very posh he said ‘how can I help you?’.  I said ‘well I am looking for one of these buildings’ and he went ‘well what one do you want?’ and I went ‘well hang on a second you’re the estate agent you’re supposed to tell me what one I can have’ and he said ‘no, no, no what one do you want?’.  I said ‘if I show you the one I want and you don’t deliver it I am going to be really upset right’.  He said ‘no, no, no, show me’.  Cut to the chase James Goth he says ‘show me what one you want’.  So I take him round the corner and I say to this James ‘James I want that building there’ and he went ‘right leave it with me’.  I went ‘hang on a second you told me I could have it’ and he said ‘no leave it with me’.  I said ‘none of that, leaving it with me is not telling me I can have it’.  He said ‘look you are not going to shut up are you?’.  I said ‘no I am not’.  He said ‘well look…’, I said ‘I’ve got it you don’t even know who owns it?’.  He said ‘no I don’t’ he said ‘but I’ll tell you a secret not to tell anybody but my secret is this, what I am going to do is I am going to put a For Sale sign on that building that I don’t own and trust me, within two days the person that owns that building will say what the hell are you doing putting a For Sale sign on my building’.  The next day we get a phone call ‘what the hell are you doing putting a For Sale on my building’ and he said ‘do you want to sell it?’ and they went ‘yes’ and that’s how we got our building which is a great idea and I kind of think how amazing that if you ever want to buy a building and you don’t know who owns it, stick your telephone number on it with a For Sale sign and trust me within one day they will be ringing you going ‘what are you doing’ – do you want to sell it?

Susan Freeman

Shame it doesn’t happen that way anymore.

Steve Edge

No it doesn’t.

Susan Freeman

So in 1985 I think you started your own brand agency and you create brands.  I was thinking about this, I mean we will talk about brand but what is a brand?

Steve Edge

Great isn’t it, it’s so interesting because not that long ago it was just called a logo. People wanted a logo and it was can you help me with my logo because it was a mark i.e. if you look at one of the greatest marks in the world, that Mercedes badge – once seen, never forgotten and therefore I was always interested in this simplicity and this way of communicating because like I say, being severely dyslexic I live in a world where the word means nothing to me, it is all about colour, it’s about iconography, it’s about visual, it’s about communicating in a way that is the simplest way of being able to recognise and see and be directed to something.  So for me the idea of the logo was fascinating, that to create a company’s logo that represented who they are and what they are was fantastic but then of course it then developed into the corporate identity, it wasn’t just about the logo, it was about the whole continuity of the logo, you know, the colour theory that that colour would be woven into everything whether it was a property company to their hard hats, to their vans, to their cranes and weaving that thing in the corporate identity and then of course now it is called branding and everybody is an expert on branding, you know, everybody has their own brand.  People are passionate about their brand because remember it is your personality.  But how do you get across your personality, it’s your story.  When you start telling them about your family story, if it’s a good story people remember it and when they remember it they want to buy into it because they go wow what an incredible story and they want to tell someone else because when somebody tells a good story they go ‘wow I can’t wait to tell this story’ so a brand is literally its personality of who they are and what they are.  What they stand for.  How proud the people are when they get the brand right and that they are going to go out and fight any battle like you would in any battlefield because when you feel good and look good, you are going go out and win and that’s really what a brands about.  It is their story, where they’ve come from and what they represent and anybody asking them what you stand for, you can tell them in a nutshell, this is what we are and people get it.  The problem is a lot of brands they through five balls at everybody, not one ball.  Who are you?  What do you do?  Where do you come from?  Whereas when you throw that one ball because your brand is so right and so polished and so correct, people want it.  It’s like love. I love it, I want it and that’s the power of the brand.

Susan Freeman

You have over the 30 plus years you’ve run your agency, you’ve got an incredible client list and it is very wide ranging from Cartier to Hamley’s to Sir Robert McAlpine, to Wickes and Christian Dior.  I mean it is quite eclectic.  Obviously amongst that client base you have a number of property companies.  Does the property sector fully embrace brand because it sort of came to it relatively late you know, there was a time where a property company reckoned if they built a good building, people would come to it and they didn’t really need a brand.  Has that changed?

 

Steve Edge

Changed a lot Susan.  Competition is competition and as we know even today I believe and I will still fly my flag that the construction industry is one of the archaic industries in the world and it shouldn’t be because it’s got the most people that want to try and find their way into that industry.  If you do any search on anything to do with the construction industry it is the most happiest industry. I love working with the construction industry, you know, I come from my East End families of construction people and you meet these construction boys and when we got to MIPIM and places they are all so happy and jolly and friendly and they are the only industry that I know today considering as you have just mentioned, the eclectic mix of clients we have that still tell jokes and you know, we need to laugh and for me this construction industry is now really truly embracing branding because whereas before a lot of these construction brands, the logo was designed on the back of a fag packet.  Today you can still see some of those logos knocking around on the back or the sides of their vans but on the whole I think it is certainly becoming, they are far more understanding of the power of the brand.  Why 100 top brands in the world invest back in their brand because it is the most valuable asset you can invest in your money because if you are not seen or you are not heard or people have memory that they don’t remember who you are, well people aren’t going to come to you and as competition gets greater, you know, look at London with all these different sectors of whether it is the Rezi or whether its commercial or now this thing, build to rent, they don’t know what it’s called.  Is it build to rent?  Is it PRS?  PRS, build to rent, we need to find the right name for that one and then you’ve got co-living, co-working, later-living – all this stuff that’s coming out of basically the construction industry that they all need to be identified and have a story, find their story, find their vision, find what they stand for and communicate that to the public because everybody is good at what they do and if you look at all these great companies that are building these fabulous buildings, London is full of amazing buildings and how are you going to differentiate yourself between moving into that one or moving into that one, if you’ve got all this opportunity that you can say you can have this or that, well we know, the reason why is you want to be associated with something that you believe in and that you think wow, it’s got value and the value of course is now not just the bricks and mortar but it’s the story of the building, the heritage, where it comes from, what happened around that area at one time.  So build a great picture of why this building is so amazing and why the name it’s been given and what it represents is a big difference between not having that.  So people love to tell stories, they want to be proud and say ‘by the way I am in the Anaconda in Manchester now.  It’s the tallest building in Manchester, it’s beautiful and I love it because it is called the Anaconda’ is stuff that people really want to be part of and buy into and like I say it is so important.

Susan Freeman

And if you look at the property sector as a whole, the British Federation have recently done a perception survey which showed that the man in the street really doesn’t understand what the property sector does, the role that developers have in creating these amazing buildings.  Do you think that as a sector the branding could be better and how would one go about doing that?

Steve Edge

Yeah I totally agree with that.  If you look at that sector, we looked at a study ourselves of seeing that the biggest sector at the moment is as we know, the tech industry.  However, more kids want to go into the construction industry but they don’t know how to get into it because whatever reason the communication within the construction sector, they can’t find their way in.  Now obviously there is a lot of different sectors within the construction industry whether you are a surveyor or engineer or an architect or a designer and it goes on and on and on.  So I think it is not being communicated enough to these young kids that want to come out and find a way that they can actually get the most amazing job on the planet and through some reason it is not getting out there but I think it goes right back to school that these career’s teachers they really are not informed and they are not finding how to tap into one of the greatest industries on the planet.

Susan Freeman

It is a shame because there are really good initiatives but it is very difficult to get round to everybody but you are right we need the younger generation to come into the industry and you were talking about London and I think you have designed a London flag haven’t you?

Steve Edge

I have.

Susan Freeman

Where is this London flag hanging and what does it look like?

Steve Edge

Well the London flag came out of this great organisation and charity called Article 25.  We have this scenario of I thought wouldn’t it be great to create this story.  When I looked at London, London Bridge, one side I felt we could create this very beautiful graphic flag, create our own London flag and what I did use this very interesting acrylic paint which dries incredibly flat.  So one side I loved the idea of creating the South Bank using it very green, a green bar on the right hand side which stood for the growth of London and London is one of the greenest cities in the world.  On the other side of the bank I created it as a red bar, so we have a green bar and a red bar.  The red bar stood for look at the culture, the different cultures and the art and the creativity that goes around in London.  We have 300 different spoken languages in this amazing city and that red for that culture that’s what it stood for.  The middle is obviously the Thames, blue. Why is London one of the greatest commercial cities in the world?  It’s because of the Thames that brought business from the Romans and everybody down that river and that would be a beautiful sax blue.  But the thing that makes London and keeps London together was that I had London Bridge.  London Bridge keeping these two great sides of London together and I made that a gold bar and that’s what made London and that’s how I created the London flag. I also created a little black flash to go down one side with a white flash down the other side, that stood for fashion.  London is a great fashion city and therefore it covered all the things that I felt London was about.

Susan Freeman

It seems to me that post-Brexit whenever that is, we need to be doing quite a lot to promote London, promote the UK and just make sure that the world knows what we are doing here and I think in the past you have mentioned we have the Royal Family who are an amazing part of our story if you look at that in those terms but should we be doing more now to actually promote a little bit of positivity and flag waving?

Steve Edge

The answer to that is we have to.  The problem is at the moment everybody has had enough.  We have to now sit back and wait to see what happens but we all know that we need to bring back and tell the world who we are and what we are again and with that is that we are a great country, we have a great capital city, we know the world is changing, we know the problem of social media, that it communicates every second, every moment, everybody which makes a huge difference so yes we do need to find out identity, we do need to make sure that actually we fly our flag higher again and make sure that we get buy in with everybody but we unfortunately we are still in a state of turmoil.  People still haven’t got a clue what is going to happen.

Susan Freeman

Well stand by, to put a spin on it.  I was reading about a new initiative you have, the Outer Thinking Division but I didn’t really understand what it was. What do you do with the Outer Thinking Division?

Steve Edge

I was asked a few years ago to be part of O2’s brandologists and they invited 12 people from all different countries that we were put in a bunker where for 2 hours a month we spoke nonsense and the nonsense was any ideas that we had and they were people from the Head of Google, the Head of Facebook, from all these different parts of the world that we just discussed what we wanted to discuss and there was about 25 people taking notes and then documenting what was being done and I like this concept and from that I thought do you know what, a lot of amazing things came out of it.  Once you start to debate and talk and start on a particular subject and I like the idea of that thing of finding the difference and the thing about finding a difference is because every company comes to us and say they are different and I go ‘why are you different?’ and they go ‘because we are’ and I go ‘no you ain’t, trust me you are not different’ because everybody in any sector they copy the same voice, they copy the same image, they use the same photography, they use the same colours so for us it is great because we find the difference, the trust difference and for me I am very fortunate that as you mentioned earlier on Susan, that we work with such an eclectic group from branding the America’s Cup Yacht one minute, so looking at Fortnum & Mason, to branding the oldest champagne house in the world, that we meet all these wonderful people with all of these different minds, with all these different amazing concepts and ideas that they have that I will have a round-table every 3 months where we have an Outer Thinking Division where we will bring a subject to the table to debate and then hopefully come out with a resolve, something that is very interesting that we can use it in a sense to communicate something that no one’s done before.

Susan Freeman

And have you, I mean in all the years that you have worked with all these amazing brands and people come to you and say you know, create a brand.  Have you been defeated by any potential client?  Has anybody come to you and you’ve just thought, this isn’t a story or they are not sure what image they want to portray because you can’t always create one out of nothing?

Steve Edge

It is interesting Susan.  A lot of people ask me that question.  The answer is unfortunately I can’t say no, we’ve always come up with a story and the reason is believe it or not, even if you know I am interested in everything.  If somebody showed me their shovel handle collection I am interested in it.  I go ‘wow that’s the most amazing shovel handle collection I’ve ever seen’ and I mean it and regardless of whatever it is so even if the most boring rubber grommet company came to me, it is not about the rubber grommet’s for me, it’s the passion of finding the amazing story, the reason why this company is going and has been around for a while and probably sometimes hundreds of years, not just ends of years and when we find that story so they can hang their hat on, is then build this amazing visual identity and a story and the tone of voice that people go ‘wow look at that, I’ve never seen that before so actually I am afraid we always come up with a very good story and an idea and a beautiful identity around even the rubber grommet factory.

Susan Freeman

There must be cases where the rubber grommet factory you come up with what you know is the right brand for them and they look at it and they don’t have your vision and imagination and they don’t get it.  How do you deal with that?

Steve Edge

Yeah well sorry you think you are going to waste your money, what you are the branding experts.  You’ve come to us for us to create an identity. Now the reason why we fight our battle is that it’s not about a pretty picture.  We don’t just pull out the bag something pretty like a badge or a colour or a font for a reason.  Everything is calculated and therefore when I am in a boardroom and we’ve come up with an identity and when we start to explain the reason why, regardless of anybody feels uncomfortable with it because at the end of the day you do have to feel comfortable with it and that’s the reason why people may attack it, because although these people say ‘go wild Steve, we want something different’.  We always know that that’s not the answer because you can’t go wild.  We have to bring a difference.  We have to find something that’s authentic.  We will find colours, a colour pallet we know that has a meaning and a reason.  We will chose a font we know that is actually relevant to the business and we will also chose obviously an identity that will be literally wrapped around that company that it has truth and authenticity within that so it is not just coming up with a pretty picture or an idea of oh yeah red for the sake of red.  There is a whole science and the science of branding wraps round the creativity and the creativity works with the science of the brand.  So in a boardroom I have to be very strong.  I have to sit in there and I have to hold all their hands and I have to say ‘listen this is the reason why’ because of course everybody expects something when I rock up and I am going to present.  They have no idea what I am going to present and of course what I am going to present is nothing like they ever imagined but of course once I start to explain it, break it down and tell the reasons, everybody buys into it because they’ve come to us because they look at our track record, they look at all the brands we have looked after. Of course people come to us because they want have three reasons why they come - one, it’s a start-up, they need a whole new identity; two, they are a company that’s doing very well but they want to bring in more money into the business, they want to grow or three, they want to bring in a new sector and they don’t know how to weave that sector in without confusing their business and their customers what they do already so they want to make sure how do we handle that and weave it in and like I said, it’s the science of design that we bring to the table, not just the pretty picture.

Susan Freeman

I wouldn’t disagree with you on that Steve.  So you have a new book out, ‘No Need to Die’.  When I read the title it is a little bit depressing but it’s actually lessons on how to love life isn’t it?

Steve Edge

Yes.

Susan Freeman

Who is it targeted at?

Steve Edge

Well I think it’s targeted at the growing up with all my children, all my five children.  But you have a big responsibility in life and my dad was very philosophical.  He was very simple in the sense that you know, baked beans on toast is just as delicious as Pate de Foie Gras, don’t think that Pate de Foie Gras is the answer to life because it ain’t.  Because one day you will be eating that and one day you will be eating baked beans but guess what, they are both delicious so don’t think it’s the answer to life to be able to live like that all the time and I was brought up in that environment and for me it was always about I suppose, living the truth and whatever you had you had to make the best of it and enjoy it.  Like I said, all these things in that book, ‘No Need to Die’, they all come from my family, myself and when that book came out all the kids they went ‘dad this is you, this is exactly what you were when we were growing up’ and that’s where it comes from.  It comes from all those things and also we are funny as a family, we like to kind of push things, we like to laugh.  We laugh a lot because in life you need to laugh, there’s a lot of things out there that you could really become dull and sad but at the end of the day, you know what, you can always change things, you can always flip that coin and that book for me was the answer to say get out there and enjoy it.

Susan Freeman

I did try the one about running up the escalator today.  I just ended up very hot.

Steve Edge

Oh darling I know.

Susan Freeman

I will work my way through the book.  You’ve been described as a force of nature and I think that’s a pretty fair assessment but has anybody been a role model or is there anybody that you’ve looked at the way they’ve lived their life and you’ve thought, that’s how I’d like to do it or is it just something that you’ve invented?

Steve Edge

Believe it or not I would say my dad.  My dad was an amazing man.  He was a true optimist.  He grafted all his life at Smithfield Meat Market.  He was a great outside artist.  He could turn his hand to anything, he would paint, he would sculpt, he would make a stock car and go stock car racing.  He loved animals.  We grew up as I said with pet chimpanzees and snakes and lizards and all sorts of amazing things and he always made the best out of anything he had you know.  My dad definitely inspired me because he had nothing, he grew up with nothing.  He was always making things, he never had a problem.  I always used to buy my dad his vans, he never wanted a new one, he wanted a second hand one.  He would run it to the ground for a year and then use it as a shed and keep goats and ferrets and all things.  He just had this incredible outlook and I, I love my dad and he was definitely my best friend and unfortunately my dad got killed in a house fire and he didn’t survive but his dog survived.  He didn’t but know my dad would have been so happy that his dog got out and my dad is definitely the one that has inspired me for sure.

Susan Freeman

I was just thinking, in a film, I am sure there is going to be a film of your life.  Who would play you?

Steve Edge

That’s so wonderful, gosh I’d love to think you know, like Brad Pitt or somebody like that but possibly not.  Yeah that would be lovely.

Susan Freeman

Steve thank you very much for sharing your time today.  That was pretty remarkable.  Thank you.

Steve Edge

Thank you very much it’s been lovely, thank you.

Susan Freeman

That was pretty amazing to hear the stories from our self-styled prophet, madman and wanderer.  Steve’s philosophy and view of the world really do make you think differently.  On his advice I have tried dressing for a party and putting on the sequins on a cold overcast day, it certainly cheers things up. I don’t recommend running up the escalator though.  Anyway try the sequins and see what happens.  So that’s it for now, I hope you enjoyed today’s conversation.  Please join us for the next Propertyshe podcast interview coming very shortly. 

The Propertyshe podcast is brought to you by Mishcon de Reya in association with the London Real Estate Forum and can be found at mishcon.com/Propertyshe along with all our interviews and programme notes.  The podcasts are also available to download on your Apple podcast app, the purple button on your iPhone and on Spotify and whatever podcast app you use.  And please continue to let us have your feedback, comments and most importantly, suggestions for future guests and, of course, you can also follow me on Twitter @Propertyshe for a very regular commentary on all things real estate, prop tech and the built environment.

Imagine combing an Indian river for the fish made famous by Rudyard Kipling’s poem, The Golden Mahseer. Picture yourself perched atop a thoroughbred racehorse as it gallops at top speed over six furlongs. Visualise a Native American tribal ceremony, with you as the Honorary Eagle Dancer. Steve Edge has done it all, and much, much more.

After winning a National Young Artist of the Year award aged 15, Steve’s sculptures and design work soon led him to work with acclaimed film director George Lucas, who enlisted Steve to work in the art department for such films as Star Wars and Raiders of The Lost Ark.

In 1985, Steve founded his own branding agency, Steve Edge Design, and over the past 30 years he’s worked with some of the world’s biggest names, from Christian Dior and Fortnum & Mason to Rules Restaurant, Cartier and Purdey Guns.

Steve puts part of his creative success down to his dyslexia, which allows him to see the world from new and original perspectives. He has spoken extensively on dyslexia and creativity, highlighting the importance of thinking laterally, not literally.

His belief in the inspirational over the informational has sparked his latest venture: The Outer Thinking Division, which publishes articles and hosts roundtable discussions on a whole range of topics set to touch our lives in the near and distant future.

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