Maker Monday: Bernie de Le Cuona

Bernie de Le Cuona can be described no other way than as a fabric maven. She’s a South African born textiles mogul who has expanded the design world’s use and application of textiles since her bestselling first design. Obsessed with linen of all sorts; embossed, stone-washed, and more, de Le Cuona now offers accessories, custom upholstery, and designs from solid to intricately woven paisley. In 2010, de Le Cuona became Veranda Magazine’s Art of Design Winner, confirming her as an influential face in interiors. Now operating out of a historical property in Windsor, England, de Le Cuona’s expansion is just the next step for the in-demand company who carefully selects fabrics from the best weavers in the world. From across the pond, I chatted with Bernie about what’s coming next in design and why she doesn’t follow trends. In De Le Cuona showrooms around the world, buyers and designers have many options, but can be assured that every one is impeccably manufactured. Offering world-class fabrics is not the only aspect of De Le Cuona that sets them apart. The design house also offers bespoke accessories, curtains, and upholstery using De Le Cuona materials.

Andrew Joseph – What modern design trend makes you cringe?
Bernie de Le Cuona – I despise trends as I think they kill originality. I believe that people should tap into their own creativity and sense of style rather than follow a trend. Nothing I do follows trends.

Andrew – What might the design world look like in 10 years?
Bernie – I think in the next 10 years it will be comfortably minimal with lots of ‘smudgy’ colours inspired by the natural world. Also, I believe there will be a wider appreciation of craftsmen and artisans.

Andrew – Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Bernie – Be bolder, have fun, don’t leave Africa! I ask myself every day, ‘what would you do if you couldn’t fail?’ and then just do it!

Andrew – A book that everyone should read?
Bernie – Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts – it’s not a book for everyone but I’ve only just finished it and took me back 25 years to the sights, sounds and smells of Bombay (Mumbai); a city which shaped my life and started me on the path to where I am now.

Andrew – You are stuck on an island, you can pick one food to eat forever without getting tired of it, what would you eat?
Bernie – Only one? Cheese…and bread…and red wine!

Andrew – If you made a documentary, what would it be about?
Bernie – It would have to be on a subject very close to my heart which is orphaned wild animals. I’ll be traveling to Zambia at the end of the year and will be visiting an elephant nursery. I love the idea of starting an animal orphanage at some point in the very far future.

Andrew – Who is your ideal client?
Bernie – Someone who really wants to have fun and be adventurous with their interior space and not afraid to be bold or different in order to reflect their own personality. This bedroom designed almost entirely with De Le Cuona fabrics is a soothing, serene place to rest.

About Bernie De Le Cuona | She crafted her very first design into a cushion which buyers ordered immediately. Now after some twenty years in the business Bernie has a reputation that is second to none for developing exquisite fabric collections harnessing the colour and beauty produced by the best International master weavers. Her immense skill and natural flair for fabrics also demands a refined finish, look and drape which make them truly unique.

Artisan techniques underpin each new fabric introduced into the collection – Bernie has led the way with stone-washed linens, embossed linens and the use of tonal wool yarns to add a special dimension to unique embroideries on superb quality linen base cloths and, of course, her signature wool and cotton paisleys which are recognized worldwide. Her cushion collection enjoys the same reputation.

About Andrew Joseph | Andrew Joseph’s passion for design and rich journalistic history led to the launch of his boutique PR firm in 2012. Prior to enjoying the successes of Andrew Joseph PR, Andrew honed his editorial skills at Vanity Fair and Allure. This experience, as well as the strong network of contacts developed over the years in public relations, brings a valuable edge to his new role as contributing editor. Let the musing begin.

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