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HOT 100 TRAILBLAZERS: Marcus Fairs, creative director and founder, Dezeen

Marcus Fairs, co-owner of Dezeen.

The marriage of unfettered creativity and rigid business discipline found at Dezeen is so rare, you can’t help making comparisons with the world’s greatest proponent: Apple.

Marcus Fairs, Dezeen’s creative director and founder, would doubtless be flattered, but he is too much his own man to be unduly influenced by the world’s richest company. In fact, he is positively dismissive of Apple in some of this year’s marketing.

“This year we have started using social media in a more creative way, for example with our ‘Buy a normal watch’ campaign, which poked fun at the Apple Watch and pointed out the benefits of a regular timepiece. Slogans included: ‘Never needs recharging’ and ‘Won’t be obsolete next year’. This gained us loads of new followers and likes and was covered by several blogs. We also gave away an apple with every watch bought at our latest pop-up store, in another tongue-in-cheek dig at Apple,” Marcus describes.


Dezeen is an influential design and architecture magazine that is loved within the creative industries. The watches at Dezeen Watch Store are brands that appeal to that ultra-hip crowd. The magazine and Watch Store promote each other, with the majority of the brands on sale offering clean, architectural and often quirky design to this target market.

The store’s bestseller, however, is The Bradley from Eone, a timepiece designed for blind people that is proving hugely popular with the sighted.

Eone was signed exclusively to Dezeen, and it is these exclusives that Marcus credits for doubling watch sales in 2014. “Exclusive deals and limited-edition products are increasingly part of our strategy,” he explains.

Rigid business processes are being improved even further in the coming year, with a same-day delivery service being rolled out across the UK along with a redesigned responsive website. Marcus also intends to launch his own Dezeen-branded line of products.

That expansion has forced an office move from fashionable Stoke Newington to even more buzzy Hoxton in East London. Marcus’s wife (who is also his business partner), and their children, are also making the move to a new home in Hoxton to remain close to the office. “Home life and work life are even more blurred than for most entrepreneurs,” he admits.

IMAGE: Kalory.co.uk


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