Meet the Maker: Lydia Francesca, Fabric Designer
Lydia Francesca, our in-house fabric designer, is one of the many talented members of the Arlo & Jacob family. After graduating from Northumbria University with a BA Hons in Textile Design, she went on to design textiles for the fashion industry before finding her place at A&J. Here Lydia talks to us about her designs, including the new, limited-edition 'Bloom Velvet'.
What is your professional background and how did you get into your position at Arlo & Jacob?
After studying Fashion and Textile Design at university and after a year working within the fashion industry – I decided that fashion wasn’t the path for me. I have always been incredibly passionate about textiles, combined with the fact that I found myself drawn towards the wonderful world of interiors – both personally and professionally.
When the opportunity came up to work for a new, unique, quirky and forward-thinking brand, like Arlo & Jacob, I jumped at the chance! I felt butterflies in my stomach – a bit like first love I guess. I knew immediately that I had found somewhere that I belonged – a home away from home.
I spent the first year at Arlo & Jacob learning the brand and its customer until an opportunity arose for me to use my skills in textile design to design for Arlo & Jacob in-house. I became excited beyond words!
Tell us a little more about your role and how long you have worked at Arlo & Jacob.
I currently work in sales and consulting for Arlo & Jacob. I have been here just over one year, and within that time I have gained a broad understanding of the brand and our customer. Being able to assist our clients and customers throughout the buying process and seeing lots of happy and satisfied customers is a pleasure.
Is this your first time designing a fabric for Arlo & Jacob?
Bloom Velvet is my first print for Arlo & Jacob and my first print designed for furniture. While I do develop my own work for furniture upholstery, I had previously only designed and sold textiles to high street fashion brands - which mainly focused on geometric and abstract designs. When I was given a brief for an autumn floral velvet, I was immediately motivated by the challenge.
What influences your drawings, and how did you come up with the design for Bloom Velvet?
Autumn is such a wonderful time of the year, a time for positive change, rich colour and new beginnings – along with a lot of cosy nights in! The concept was to combine the beauty of the season’s sculptural branches and nostalgic palettes with the fresh bloom and life of spring to lift spirits and banish the cold!
Why did you choose velvet?
Given that the print was for Autumn/Winter, we decided that this time of year can leave people feeling a little chilly – inside and out! When the frost settles, and the cold hits, there is no better fabric than velvet to ease you through the cooler seasons, while you're snuggled up by the fire.
Which is your favourite Arlo & Jacob piece, and which one do you think would best suit your new Bloom Velvet?
I think given the detail of the print and the palette of colours used, I would say one of our classic pieces. The Cartwright and Hartfield would work well for me and would be the perfect pieces to compliment our new Bloom Velvet print.