I remember the early plane ride to New York, heading straight to corporate headquarters of the venerable Schumacher company—a family business in textiles which has grown, over the past 130 years, into a global design powerhouse. Finding my way into the office of the Creative Director and joined by the CEO, I put forth handmade artisan goods from our partners which Schumacher might offer the design community, and found a keen reception to all. This was handmade innovation which intrigued them. Yes, Yes to exploring. Each was a Yes.
And then, perhaps to the surprise of those in the room, I brought forth a second proposal. What if you let our artisan partners work their magic on your iconic fabrics? Take the Schumacher classics the world knows and loves right off the sofa cushions and let us make of it a jacket you can wear out. The response was not only Yes, but a generous offer to make this work possible.
Exciting! We started with Schumacher's fearless Chiang Mai Dragon, with its perfect palette on linen, and had it sent to our artisan partners in Sefrou, Morocco.
Okay, so the dragons didn't make it, exactly, somehow turned away at Moroccan border control and possibly still circling around Casablanca or maybe New York, lost in DHL purgatory.
But we tried again, now down to mere days before our Runway Show on March 8. The women of Sefrou drove the four hours to Casablanca to receive this enormous bundle of dragons, so as not to let customs turn away the creatures again, and then rushed back, all hands on needles to finish in time. When their cooperative leader, Wafae, reached Charleston to be honored at our affair, she had the dragons in hand, peacefully tucked in her bag giving themselves over—enchantingly I might add—to their new embroidered finery.
We think it's a brilliant pairing. Iconic design meets ancient craft equals riotous, elegant color and shape. We've chosen four Schumacher classics for this summer—each a visual exclamation mark. Each a reminder of how to get on in this world. Like dragon… fearless. And like Schumacher linking arms with the women of Sefrou… together.
Fearless, together. That's another Yes.
Go ahead. Wear your chair.
All the best,
P.S. The first of our artisanal products for Schumacher debuted this month—curtain panels from our artisan partners in Kyrgyzstan. Here they are featured in the current issue of Frederic Magazine. You've loved this fabric in our dresses and jackets. Now, we are crazy about their ethereal drape at the window—filtering a spattered light!