Our New Zealand design studio designs and coordinates the James Dunlop brand. New products are released into the market, after months of development, testing and production.
We talk with manager Julia Weiss, to get a glimpse inside the studio.
Julia (right) with Product Coordinator Rhea Culliford.
Describe a typical day in the design studio?
The design studio is located in our Auckland office, our days are rarely typical. We work with all areas of the business from quality control, sampling, marketing, and sales to name a few. No two days in the week are the same which brings with it a whole lot of challenges and rewards.
You release a lot of new product each year, can you talk about where an idea for a fabric begins and what the product development process involves.
There are a variety of ways in which a design or collection evolves into being. It could be from market feedback, supplier developments, trend forecasts, environmental inspiration or a combination of all of the above!
The process usually starts with the end use in mind and then moves on to a suitable quality. From there, testing of the quality, design and colour work begins. This process can take from anywhere between six to nine months depending on each stage.
What is your favourite part of this process?
This probably depends on the design, but getting the quality right is very satisfying and of course the colour work, which gives life and personality.
Julia doing colour work in the design studio.
What is the most challenging part of the design and development process?
Often it’s around getting the quality of the fabric up to the required testing standard. This can involve re-inventing the whole design and construction to meet our standards.
Which are your favourite recent releases?
Essentials - our latest collection. I love the combination of the various designs - the print has beautiful movement and the upholsteries offer a timeless organic look. The collection has something for everyone; the colour palette is soft but then gives contrast with pops of strength.
What's next from the studio?
We have a fabulous collection to be launched later on in the year. The inspiration comes from New Zealand’s stunning mountainous regions and follows on from Mackenzie, the popular wool-based fabric we released in 2016. You will see deep hues, over-laying textures, and a print reflecting the wild weather that crosses our rich country side.
What trends for 2017 have got you inspired?
The boldness and strength of colour that we are seeing is exciting. Strong blues, greens and rich reds are prominent in interiors around the world. And we continue to see dramatic oversized prints and emotive textural weaves.
Published April 19, 2017
Who or what are some of your influences? What other designers, peers and creatives in general do you admire?
At the moment I have a love affair with New Zealand ceramic artists, which finds me frequenting the local galleries most weekends; Te Uru Waitakere and The Upstairs Gallery in Titirangi. Other galleries I really enjoy are Two Rooms Gallery in Grey Lynn, Wallace Art Centre at Pah Homestead and the Auckland City Art Gallery.
We have a great team here and we love to share our latest finds and inspirations, so influence really does come from everywhere.
You can see the latest collections by James Dunlop and Pegasus on our website, visit one of our trade showrooms or contact your Account Manager.