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(1961-01-19) January 19, 1961 (age 52), Morecambe, England
Red or Dead
Wayne Andrew Hemingway, MBE (born Morecambe, Lancashire, January 19, 1961) is an English fashion designer and co-founder of Red or Dead. He is also chairman of the South Coast Design Forum, and chair of Building For Life (the national standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods forum).
Hemingway is the son of Canadian Mohawk chief and former wrestler Billy Two Rivers. His father left the family and returned to Canada when Wayne was 3, but the two resumed contact later on.
Hemingway's earliest memories are of his mother and grandmother dressing him up as Elvis, a Beatle or Tarzan and being paraded up and down Morecambe pier.
In 1979, he went on to gain a Degree in Geography and Town Planning at University College London.
One day he decided to empty his wardrobe and that of his childhood sweetheart (now his wife) Gerardine and took the contents to sell on Camden Market. "It was £6 rent for the stall and we took £80 the first day. It just took off from there." They did so well that by the end of the year they had 16 stalls at the market, with shipments of second-hand clothing and footwear brought in from all over the world. The realization that money could be made from fashion suddenly dawned on him.
By 1983, they had opened a shop in fashionable Kensington, London. Selling Gerardine's self-made clothes, designed by him. That same year, the first Red or Dead collection was also created, inspired from Russian peasant clothing. It was well received and they obtained a huge order from US department store Macy's.
With Gerardine, Hemingway built Red or Dead into a fashion label that received global acclaim resulting in winning the prestigious British Fashion Council's Streetstyle Designer of the Year Award for an unprecedented 3 consecutive years in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Red or Dead stores began to sell Dr. Martens work-wear shoes as a fashion item, thus began a range of fashion shoes within the stores.
After 21 consecutive seasons on the catwalk at London Fashion Week, the couple sold Red or Dead in a multi million cash sale.
In 1999, having sold Red or Dead they set up HemingwayDesign, which specializes in affordable and social design. The highest profile project was, The Staiths South Bank, a 800 property mass market housing project on Tyneside for Taylor Wimpey Homes where HemingwayDesign are involved from the master planning, the architecture through to the landscaping and marketing of this groundbreaking project.
Over 400 homes are now lived in and The Staiths has won a series of high profile awards including Housing Design Awards (best large project) and Building Magazine's "Best Housing-Led Regeneration Project" as well as a Building For Life and the highest rating of any large-scale scheme in a recent CABE audit. Other major projects include 'The Bridge Dartford', a development of 1000 designer homes in Kent.
Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway were both appointed MBE in 2006, for services to the design industry, in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Wayne, his wife Gerardine, and the 'HemingwayDesign' team have been appointed as designers of the historic and disused Dreamland site in Margate. This includes transformation and branding for the £10m heritage theme park.
Hemingway has made various appearances on the Sky Sports 2 TV show Soccer AM and is a supporter of Blackburn Rovers and became an Honorary Patron of leading Blackburn Rovers supporters group, The BRFC Action Group in May 2012.