One of the nicer hats I get to wear is as a freelance designer, and I work regularly with Crate and Barrel. Generally I meet with my person there twice a year, and she is incredibly creative. I show her ideas, and she takes what she thinks will work off for sampling. Her input results in really beautiful and imaginative ways to make those designs into some kind of textile. We work on primarily pillows, throws, and rugs.
The drawback (for me!) is that she does not have the final word on what goes into the line each season. A group of creatives from all of the various departments must meet up and select from among the samples. They choose things which will work well together in the stores, and later in homes. This means my person and I might absolutely adore my pillow, say, but it still won’t go in the line if it can’t be reconciled with someone else’s sofa.
A lot of expert research and thought goes into preparing for this, and a trend report is issued to vendors like myself to get us started along their path in the right direction.
I am currently preparing my portfolio for fall/winter 2019 (and here it is, the first day of spring 2018!). But the company is working against ever tighter deadlines. I have not yet received my trend report, and I will be up in their offices a week from tomorrow presenting my portfolio full of design printouts and woven samples for FW 2019. So yep, I am working int the dark!
Much as I love designing textiles, right at this moment I feel at a creative standstill. So I am telling you about it all rather than banging my head against the wall. I am waiting for their Oracle to speak any moment now. Thanks for listening!
Below, find a throw in the current line at C&B, and my samples which inspired it.