High-tech space travel and down-home hospitality have seemingly little in common, but for Bradley Dean, owner and creative director of Bradley Dean Creative Services, they both serve as sources of inspiration.
Dean grew up in Huntsville, home to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. He developed an interest in art and design at an early age and was encouraged to follow that path by his parents. He even designed T-shirts and a logo for a band his brother played in. After high school, his interest in art would take Dean 70 miles west to Florence, where he would attend the University of North Alabama. It was there his current career began to take shape.
“I got my start working for Billy Reid early,” he said. “I was in college and got hooked up with this guy named Robert Rausch, who was an incredible mentor. That allowed me to start working with Billy through him, doing their website and working on the photo shoots.”
From there, Dean left Rausch to work with Reid full time.
Rausch, a Clio Award-winning designer and photographer (New York Times, Food & Wine, Southern Living) working out of a refurbished building in Tuscumbia, and Reid, the CFDA Award-winning clothing designer, are two thirds of the Shoals area creative glitterati trifecta, completed by fashion and lifestyle designer Natalie Chanin.
When asked about Alabama’s design legacy, Dean is quick to namecheck the trio.
“I think of Billy Reid, and I think of Butch Anthony, and Natalie, Robert Rausch,” he said. “Some of the people I’ve been fortunate to know and work with.” He also talks about noted Civil Rights photographer Charles Moore, with whom he got to work via Rausch.
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