In focus: Q&A with Designers Guild founder Tricia Guild
Designers Guild is world renowned for its heritage, creativity and hugely diverse range of fabrics and wall coverings, so it was an absolute privilege to speak to founder Tricia Guild. As the company celebrates fifty years in business, she told us about her journey to this point, and the company she loves so dearly.
Designer’s Guild celebrates its 50th birthday this year, congratulations! How are you celebrating?
Thank you! It’s incredible to think that we’re celebrating half a century of work – it's a distinctly powerful, thought provoking and touching sensation. I’m not necessarily nostalgic, I much prefer to live in the present and look to the future. So, I’m truly honoured that my vision and our company is being celebrated with an exhibition and a book.
We’ve been extremely fortunate in that the Fashion and Textile Museum in London are displaying a retrospective of our work - Out of the Blue, opened in February 2020 and so for the past year or so we’ve been delving in and out of the archives, rediscovering designs, reliving pivotal moments and reminiscing about everything in between, all from the past five decades!
Your brand has such a wonderful heritage in interiors - are any of your original designs still in production?
Sadly not due to the nature of the design and production e.g block printing. But we have many others dating as far back to the 90s that continue to be part of our collections today.
Has your signature style evolved over the years, or has it stayed largely the same?
Originality, creativity, innovation, a focus on colour, pattern and artistry have all been and continue to be, constant elements in our design process. The concept behind the business has always remained the same – to offer beautiful products for the home that are of the utmost quality and this is what I passionately strive for.
You have an incredible range of fabrics and wallpapers, with over 11,000 designs – do you have a favourite design or collection?
I don't think that I could ever pinpoint a favourite, each design is such a labour of love, much thought and effort goes into everything that we produce. Some of the most memorable designs, I suppose, are Paper Roses, China Rose, Geranium and Kusumam plus Caprifoglio and Saraille and the Kids Collection. And then of course there’s our plain textures like Brera, Mezzola and Varese.
How does each new design come to exist – do designers work collaboratively or individually? Where do the ideas come from?
You have to find the seed, the starting point and that's the most difficult part. We do it with mood boards, but even that has to start with something. Inspiration is everywhere – it can be found within a photograph, a piece of art, it could be a document, an opera set I’ve just seen, some flowers from the garden. It just has to be something that feels right for that moment, in that moment.
We know that the quality of your materials is incredibly important to you how do you decide what material to use for each design?
Each and every collection that we launch is a labour of love; they are all entirely special and sentimental to me and mean everything. Much time and dedication is poured into the collection by myself and by my team, from the initial sketching’s of ideas right through to the naming of colour ways, choosing of fabrics - every aspect is carefully thought out and considered for its purpose.
What’s next for Designers Guild? Are there any upcoming collections you’re particularly excited for?
With each collection we try to add another dimension, something new for our customers to get excited about - so watch this space!
It’s impossible to speak to Tricia without getting a sense of the energy and creativity that she continues to pour into Designers Guild. We can’t wait to see what’s next!
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