CCT ARTISAN: CAROLINE CECIL
As the CEO & Founder of Caroline Cecil Textiles, a big part of my job is connecting with other artists, designers, and tastemakers. I hope you enjoy this first post in a new original series we're calling "CCT Artisans", a casual Q&A where handpicked creatives shed light on their design methodology, keystone inspirations, and secret "it" items. We've queued up a list of upcoming design a-listers... can't wait to unveil their interviews in the coming weeks. To begin we're kicking off the series with an interview with yours truly.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Aspiring early bird.
Choice breakfast food?
Black drip coffee & a kale smoothie.
What's one thing you do every day?
Something creative. More often than not running CCT pulls me in different directions most of which move away from the creative end of things. So I make an effort to schedule some creative time everyday. Sometimes it’s creating an inspiration board for our next collection, journaling, or cooking. Just some way to express myself and keep the creativity flowing even on days when I’m deep in spreadsheets and numbers.
Favorite color & why?
This may sound surprising, but it’s black! I love black because it changes so much depending on the light you see it in. Blacks can have a strong green cast, or blue cast, or look washed out and hint at being grey, or be rich/buttery/saturated like the darkest pool of the india ink (which we use a lot in the studio). When I was designing textiles for Target we reviewed all of our black fabric swatches in light boxes that replicated different light settings to make sure we had full control over how the color would appear in-store. It always amazed me to see how different blacks looks under “target in-store lighting” versus “natural daylight”. At CCT when we design our printed textiles, more often than not we develop all designs in black. This allows us to perfect the composition and positive/negative space relationships before adding color in.
Tell us about a past project or collaboration….
A few years ago I helped create a hand painted collection of fabric for Carolina Herrera Wedding Couture. We used a french couture textile technique to paint a white design onto the most gorgeous tulle fabric. The studio I was working for was located just outside of NYC, and we were working in a really small damp basement making all of these precious, beautiful textiles. I loved the contrast between the creation (hand painting in a damp basement in Queens) and the end result (pristine runway show with all the important editors). I’m fascinated with how things are made. In my experience - from visiting textile and footwear factories in China to laser engravers and printers in the US - more often than not products come from a pretty industrial / rough place no matter how beautiful the end product!
Secret travel destination?
Virgin Gorda, an island in the BVI right next door to Richard Branson’s private island. At night you go to bed listening to the waves crashing. The water is pale aqua, and the air smells so fresh. To me it’s as close as you can get to heaven on earth.
Keystone fashion accessory in your life?
A vintage Chanel gold cuff bracelet I bought in NYC in the 90s when I was really into collecting vintage pieces. I’ve worn it ever since. It’s aged in a very unusual way and now has a somewhat rusty / copper patina showing through the plated gold. More often than not we see luxury goods as being so precious in their pristine condition, and I enjoy that this piece, while still Chanel, has imperfections and gritty character.
Underrated or up-and-coming musician you love?
Underrated: Jose Gonzales / up-and-coming: London Grammar.
If you are ever stuck in a rut, how do you get the creative juices flowing again?
Travel. And if that’s not in the cards I find time to visit a book in my art/textile/fashion archive here in the studio.
Before you leave us, what's one piece of advice you'd like to share with aspiring designers?
Learn how to listen to and trust your design instincts.