Marisa Gutmacher, Executive Design Director at Samuel & Sons, joins us this week to discuss the recently debuted Cortina collection. The sumptuous collection of faux fur embroidered appliqué borders and brush fringe are inspired by some of the most sought-after resorts in the northern Italian town of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Cortina features three border patterns and a coordinating dense pile brush fringe.
Raymond Paul Schneider: What was the overall timeline from conception to achieving the final design?
Marisa Gutmacher: The research and development phase of the Cortina Collection began in late 2020. The full cycle product development process for the collection from conception to launch took approximately 12 months.
RPS: Please describe your overall creative and design process.
MG: Design is a process that gives form to ideas and makes connections between things that aren’t apparent. There are various aspects I consider during my process ranging from weavers capabilities, trends driven by the current Socio, economic and political climate, sales analysis, and what’s going on in home furnishings. The synthesis of this information mixed with my understanding of the language of passementerie informs what I create.
RPS: Did you have a specific audience or theme that you had in mind?
MG: Yes, this collection was intended for both luxurious residential and commercial interior schemes.
RPS: Please describe the methods, tools, and materials you used to develop and prototype this design?
MG: In terms of construction techniques, the Cortina Collection primarily employs the use of laser cutting, appliqué and embroidery to illustrate patterns. The collection’s materials combine faux fur, embroidery floss and embossed vinyl with a matte surface.
RPS: Did you utilize a new technique or technology to conceptualize this product?
MG: Yes, I opted to use appliqué on top of the faux fur to illustrate patterning in some of the borders and in others, embroidery to render the pattern which sits below the fur.
RPS: Please describe any challenges that affected the design and perhaps steered you to an entirely new final design?
MG: The Cortina Collections’ greatest challenge was sourcing, identifying and prototyping the right qualities and combinations of materials to achieve the optimal results we were seeking.
RPS: Describe your overall brand DNA and Ethos
MG: Today, Samuel & Sons is renowned for its visionary, fresh approach to interior décor. Its refined, fully-articulated color palettes and cutting-edge constructions, such as laser-cut foils, appliqué, velvet epingle and unique printing techniques, represent a sophisticated aesthetic and a novel approach, resulting in collection after collection of stunning trimmings recognized with industry honors and are chosen by luminary designers to feature in their hallmark work. Developed within their own Design Studio, Samuel & Sons’ artisanal collections are each diligently created from hand-rendered drawings or paintings, or by reinterpreting classic textile documents, incorporating novel fibers or materials, global trends, and a keen eye for the nexus of interior design and furnishings. The transformative vision is realized by intricate changes in coloration, methods of construction, scale and fibers that culminate in groundbreaking trimmings that suit contemporary applications. Forging the path on a global scale: This visionary approach has allowed Samuel & Sons to redefine trim in a way that has resonated across the globe. The company has become an authority in the world of passementerie, providing leadership for the future direction of the industry with each landmark collection.
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