Claude d’Avoine on getting to grips with a brand’s DNA

Frieze’s head of design talks to CR about how working in-house helps him get to the heart of a brand and align its creative output

Claude d’Avoine has worked across fashion and art for brands and institutions including the V&A, Burberry, Mulberry, Dazed & Confused and many more. With experience in both worlds, d’Avoine felt that recruiters often had a hard time placing him. “A lot of times people just either want you to only work in fashion or only in the arts to pigeonhole you into one area,” he tells CR. “I always thought it was a good thing that I had this variety. But I did find that it was difficult to settle or get put forward for certain roles.”

Just before Covid, d’Avoine became slightly disillusioned with the fashion world and decided to go freelance. The first gig he got was for the V&A and its Kimono exhibition where he created the campaign and exhibition graphics. It reignited his love for the arts sector, and then in 2021, he saw the head of design position at Frieze being advertised. “It was basically the perfect amalgamation of every single thing that I know how to do. The job sounded interesting, because there was a variety to it. It was leading the creative direction for the whole company,” says d’Avoine. 

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Top and above: Frieze Fairs 2022 campaign graphics, in collaboration with Rose Pilkington