Design Collaborative: Celebrating the Past

March 1, 2008

Collection "X" by Hunter Douglas Hospitality celebrates the urban luxury and modernist spirit of the past while boasting the creativity of designer Stacy Garcia.

By Janet Wiens

Designers wanting upholstery fabrics that reflect design influences from the 1950s, '60s and '70s are certain to give Collection "X" lots of attention. This new line of textiles features bold, mid-century modern images as created by designer Stacy Garcia for Hunter Douglas Hospitality (HDH). The result is an inspiring collection that gives designers of hospitality projects a host of new fabric options.

Laura Roman, vice president at HDH, says that Collection "X" is part of the company's on-going commitment to meeting price ranges in the market. "Our goal is to continually evaluate our lines to meet the needs of the hospitality market," she says. "We felt there was a need to provide a designer line that would be appropriate for luxury properties and upper-end installations, and we believe that we have fulfilled that goal with this product."

Collection "X" boasts playful patterns that come in four to 12 colorways to give designers a wide range of options for their installations. Reds, orange, gray, green, brown and a host of other colors are all available in the collection.

Collection "X" is the company's first luxury offering and was initially previewed at HD 2007. Prior to that, HDH personnel spent extensive time talking to customers throughout the country regarding their needs and expectations. "Communication is critical when designing a new line," adds Roman. "Members of our team and those on the Garcia team spent a great deal of time analyzing proposed patterns and evaluating manufacturing options."

HDH previously collaborated with Garcia on the Evolution Collection, which was introduced at HD 2006. Roman says that the company has a long-term relationship with Garcia and that more offerings reflecting the company's collaboration with her will be introduced in the future. "Stacy understands our business goals, the marketplace and, like us, is committed to giving designers the products they need to meet the expectations of their clients. We think in the same way and that makes bringing new products to the market an easier and enjoyable proposition."

For her part, Garcia, president and chief executive officer of Stacy Garcia Inc., found her inspiration for Collection "X" by looking at images from 30 to 50 years ago. "I wanted something that was contemporary, edgy and colorful," she says. "I kept picturing images of hip, cool lounges and swanky bars when I began working on the line."

Garcia says that "X" is the most mysterious letter in the alphabet, but there is no mystery when it comes to the quality and craftsmanship of the collection. The fabrics meet all requirements as specified by the Association of Contract Textiles (ACT) and are constructed from blends of cotton, acrylic, polyester, rayon and/or olefin. Both Roman and Garcia state that the line meets requirements for durability, luxury and aesthetics-a combination that is sometimes difficult to achieve.

The names of the patterns in Collection "X" reflect the bar/lounge images that inspired Garcia. Pictured are Spritzer in Merlot (back pillow) and Tiki in Shirley Temple.

The collection boasts 13 patterns, each of which comes in four to 12 colorways-giving designers multiple options to use on their projects. Each pattern has a very distinct look and is augmented further by the weaves used on various patterns. Both the time period and the lounge/bar imagery that inspired Garcia comes out in the names of individual patterns as well as in the graphic representation. A sample of the collection's patterns confirms this point, including:

  • FIX - a large-scale circular pattern inspired by Jackie O's large sunglasses
  • TIKI - a bow-tie pattern inspired by mod lamps found in homes during the middle of the last century
  • CHEERS - manufactured with a fine thread wrap construction, the pattern zigs and zags to a retro beat
  • MIXER - a layering pattern on pattern effect anchored by brown and enhanced with tertiary accents
  • CHASER - a roll chenille stripe with a luxurious surface
  • ON THE ROCKS - a fabric inspired by Droplets that ties back to the Droplet Wall covering but with a contemporary motif

"The collection offers designers a myriad of opportunities because of the patterns, textures and colors that are available," says Garcia. "The understated color palettes let the designs speak in a bold way that will add depth to any installation."

Reaction from the marketplace has been overwhelming and the collection has already been used in projects outside of the hospitality market. For example, Garcia reports that one of the patterns was specified in an oceanfront timeshare because it reminded the designer of pebbles on the beach. The available colorway reflects the rich and varied blues and greens found in the ocean, which further made the pattern an appropriate choice and exemplifies the collection's versatility.

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