INDIGO2ASH DESIGNER INTERVIEW: CULTURED SOUL
How did you come up with the brand-name, Cultured Soul?
We were seeking a name that would express the idea of spirit while using a different word. “Soul” conveys both individual identity and universality, and connotes a certain robustness and resilience, as in soul music.
“Cultured” refers to our ever-widening familiarity, through the internet, with cultures different from and even remote from our own. “Global” sounds too sterile and corporate; the word “culture” contains meanings of both elevation and funkiness--of high and low--and it also brings to mind the world’s wonderful variety of people. We want our brand to symbolize the beauty of human and artistic diversity.
How do the decorative patterns in the Cultured Soul collection express that diversity?
We designed the line so that patterns would range from the rigidly geometric--as in Chevron, for example--to the more free-form and organic, as in our fabric, Rain. Honeycomb is a direct reference to a pattern in nature. And Pharaoh echoes certain strong linear patterns seen in ancient Egyptian art.
Whom do you envision as the perfect buyer of Cultured Soul fabrics?
A young but already experienced world-traveler who is now eager to put down roots, to make a nest for her- or himself. It might be their first real apartment, and they want to have some fun with it, visually speaking, This is a dweller who is at home in the whole world, and wants their personal space to reflect their boundless curiosity and travels. He or she will probably use a lot of color rather than a neutral palette. Furniture will be fun and modern, mixed in with ancient and ethnic pieces.
It sounds like the Cultured Soul customer is a bit of an extrovert!
Yes, you could say that! Cultured Soul is for an explorer who thrives on all the mysteries and stimulation the world has to offer, and wants to bring this same excitement into their interior.
Do you have a favorite Cultured Soul fabric?
Coco is very interesting, because it has a pronounced texture rather than a pattern. The texture is asymmetric, reminding me of fabrics from the 1950s, or even some of the ‘futuristic’ Jetsons-style fabrics from the early 1960s. Coco is a versatile fabric, suitable for either drapes or upholstery, simultaneously lively yet understated.
Which cities, anywhere in the world, are the greatest inspiration to Cultured Soul?
Tangier, Mumbai, Cairo. But these are just the tip of the iceberg. Anywhere ancient and colorful, with intense street markets and sublime temples.
If your team could collaborate with another designer, who would it be?
We’d have to bring back Yves Saint-Laurent from the dead! Seriously, no other designer managed to fuse, so seamlessly, the elegance of Paris couture with the vibrant strangeness of other traditions--especially Islamic-- as in the house he built in Marrakech. There is an endless amount to learn from the clothes he designed and from the houses he inhabited.
On the more practical side, walk me through a typical day at your studio.
Our design practice includes, first, gathering inspiration from other makers around New York City, of which there are many. We like to examine trends and then buck them! We try to stay ahead of the often fickle dictates of fashion.
On the other hand, we also study old books on textile and pattern, drawing from them visual ideas which have endured, sometimes through the centuries.
Our actual design work is done on a computer, using the latest software.
Any favorite quote?
Yes, from the 13th century Sufi poet Rumi:
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Artfully mixed and matched, Indigo2ash’s wide selection of rugs, drapes and pillows are available in thirty subtle shades and myriad textures and patterns. At Indigo2ash, home is not only a place, but an experience, the setting most central to our families, friendships and visual adventures. Sign up to receive our newsletter with special offers!