While studying fashion design, Katy Rosenthal came to discover her passion for surface design. Since attending the FIT textile design program she has focused on interior fabrics, including her collection of prints available for sale on WeaveUp. We especially love how her Santorini Collection exudes a breezy, summer-perfect vibe. Read on to learn more about Katy and what inspires her work!
Where do you live?
I currently live in Connecticut and work in New York City.
When did you begin designing textiles? What inspired you to get started?
I originally went to school for fashion design in a program that incorporated a textile design element, which was the first time I realized that it was its own field. Fashion design, namely its three-dimensional quality, turned out to be a bad fit for me, and I missed the two-dimensional artistic skills–drawing, painting, composition–I had been using before college.
For my final year of school I had the opportunity to go to FIT in New York, where I switched into the textile and surface design program. I absolutely loved it, and finally felt that my skills and interests were suited to my courses and projects. I graduated last May and have since then continued doing textile design work at internships, freelancing, and my current job at a rug company!
Where do you seek inspiration for new designs?
Being very new to the field of textile design, especially for interiors, I draw a lot of my inspiration from my ongoing self-education in the tradition of home textiles. I have always loved to play with color, so I frequently imagine ways in which I can update traditional designs with contemporary colorations and other whimsical twists.
Where do you like to imagine your fabrics being used?
My dream client is someone who is unafraid of mixing layer upon layer of color and pattern, whose sensibilities aren’t strongly trend-driven, and who connects to the pieces they put in their spaces. I like the look of a lived-in home whose decor is accumulated over time, revealing snippets of the homeowner’s life. I don’t envision my textiles on matching living room sets!
Tell us about your creative process.
All of the designs that I have on WeaveUp began by hand, either with a sketch, an inked drawing, or a painting. I almost always sketch from a source image, whether that’s just a quick google search of a particular flower or more of an inspiration image that evokes a mood and style.
After I produce the rendering, I scan it into my computer and edit it on Photoshop to create or perfect the repeat. The part I enjoy the most about the computer element of the work is the ability to instantly tweak color, allowing me to see colorway upon colorway in mere seconds.
Do you have a favorite textile treasure?
One of my textile pieces that I particularly love was a gift from my cousin for Chanukah. It’s a swath of a Liberty print of William Morris’s “Strawberry Thief.” Being a lover of florals, Liberty is one of my favorite textile companies, and William Morris also happens to be one of my favorite artists/designers, so the combination made for a perfect gift!
What other artists and designers have inspired you and your work?
As I mentioned above, William Morris’s style is always a personal favorite. I also love the quirkiness of Josef Frank, the witty French aesthetic of Brunschwig & Fils, and the vast variety and luxuriousness of the fabrics of Pierre Frey.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Katy! Shop Katy’s work here.