a day of 3 firsts

1. Profile of Zak Profera's new company, 
ZAK+FOX, and the launch of his first textile collection (amazing).

2. The first cloth & kind Proust interview, featuring Zak Profera. Proust is a brand spanking new column in which I interview the most sought after textile and interior designers using a popular 19th century parlor game (such fun). 

3. The first ever cloth & kind giveaway (from the debut ZAK+FOX collection)!
*For full info on the origins of cloth & kind's new Proust column, see the p.s. at the bottom of this post.
What is your idea of perfect {design} happiness?
Being surrounded by the things I love.

What is your greatest fear {in design}?
Nothing – everything can always be changed or fixed.

Which historical {design} figure do you most identify with?
Maybe a caveman – I kind of love the wheel.
Caveman's wheel

Which living {designer} do you most admire?
I’m too much of a Libra to commit to just one.  Every great designer brings something unique to the world. 

What is your greatest {design} extravagance?
My design based on the exquisite 17th century Matahari cloth owned by Karun Thakar.  It’s quite minimal and super courageous while still being totally usable.
17th century Matahari cloth

When and where were you happiest {with your design}?
When I saw a strike-off of my Takigawa design for the first time, I knew I was on the right track.


What do you consider your greatest achievement {in design}?
Launching my own business — it’s far more work than I’d ever imagined (and totally worth it).

If you died and came back as another {designer} or design object what do you think it would be?
A Noguchi light sculpture.

Noguchi light sculpture

What specific {design related} talent are you lacking that you would you most like to have?
I wish I were brave enough to handle electrical wiring.

What is your most treasured {design-related} possession?
I have a gold-painted concrete statue head that I found, face-down on the street in front of an old seminary during one of the worst storms that had ever hit Manhattan.  It’s not that large, but it has to weigh over 100 lbs…so naturally, I had to have it.  It lives peacefully on my terrace now.
Zak's concrete statue head

What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery {in design}?
Fashion in lieu of comfort…except sometimes.  There are always exceptions. 

What is your motto {in design}?
Everything in your home should have a story behind it – or you should just find it to be extremely beautiful (see previous answer re: exceptions).

What is your favorite {design-related} word?

What is your least favorite {design-related} word?

What turns you on {in design}?
When things are designed with and collected with the heart, not with the intention to impress.

What turns you off {in design}?

What is your favorite curse word?
I’ve been known to freely fling F-bombs.

What profession other than {design} would you like to attempt?
Secret agent.  Travel, adventure, and a bit of mystery.  What’s not to like?

The absolutely gorgeous textiles from Zak's collection are simultaneously old world and totally modern.
above: postage in ink, volubilis in umber, takigawa in ink
above: matsu in rust, karun in rust, plus in rust/umber

One of the many things I adore about this collection is that Zak takes the time to explain the story behind each design motif. “An object becomes so much more interesting when a little bit of history is revealed”, says Zak. I whole-heartedly agree, and urge you to spend some time on ZAK+FOX's site learning more about the inspiration for each textile. I felt as if I was wandering through a museum, reading about the provenance of each lovely piece and taking in the history of it all. This collection evokes the best kinds of emotions.
And now, the part you've all been waiting for... the giveaway! It's Zak's first and my first, and I can think of no better person to share this first with. We are thrilled to be giving away this beautiful 22" Katagami pillow in Snow. It's down-filled and backed with solid, unprinted linen. 
Here's how it works. Leave a comment on cloth & kind telling us which fabric from Zak's new line is your favorite, then visit zakandfox.com to join Zak's mailing list (he promises not to barrage you with emails) by entering your email address in the field in the upper right corner of the home page. That's it! Entries will be taken from Monday, 2/27 - Friday, 3/2 at 5 pm EST. 1 entry per person, please. We'll announce the winner next Monday!
          *p.s. Here is the back story on my new Proust (pronounced Proost) column... 
Marcel Proust
Before cloth & kind, my all-time favorite job was working at Vanity Fair magazine. Each month, they profile celebrities on the back page in their infamous Proust questionnaire. The probing set of questions originated as a 19th-century parlor game that was made popular by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, and his peers. He thought that an individual’s answers were the way to reveal their true nature. The questionnaire concept as a means to interview people was first used by French television personality Bernard Pivot and many other journalists have used the questions in interviews as well. I’m putting a new spin on the questionnaire and will be asking the most talented textile & interior designers to answer the questions with design in mind. If you are inclined to take your own Proust questionnaire, you can do so hereVanity Fair will even will tell you which celebrities you are most similar to based on your answers. 
p.p.s. I think that Zak's Shiba Inu, Shinji, and my two Shiba girls (below) just might be new best buds if they ever met.


letterpress love

My new business cards are here and I couldn't be more thrilled with how they turned out!  There's just a wee touch of gold foil and the rest of the text is cool grey.  
What do you think?
I worked with Spark Letterpress on the cards and can't recommend them highly enough!

In these shots, the cards are sitting upon swatches of pretty fabric (but, of course). Tabitha and Chevron, both in the colorway Neutral, are from Madeline Weinrib.

Next up... the debut of my new blog design. It should be live within the next couple of weeks. Please note that when that transition happens, my new blog address will be www.clothandkind.com

However, I will be posting a few special things before then. Check back on this coming Monday for my first ever giveaway - it's a good one!
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