Designers can almost always tell when a product is thoughtfully designed and meticulously executed. Take Fabric & Steel’s textiles, for example. Designed in Brooklyn, woven in Belgium and hand screen-printed in New England, they are truly one of a kind – not products to be consumed and tossed, but something to be cherished and kept.
Founded by Michele Dopp, Fabric & Steel textiles reflect the relationship between the ephemeral interior, fleeting experiences and the permanent exterior of buildings. Dopp has worked in the interior design industry for nearly 20 years, holding a degree in art history from New York University. Her experience and passion for architecture and design are emulated in her latest collection, Indigo, which is coming this fall. It’s perfect timing as Fabric & Steel recently created its own shoppable website. Learn more about Dopp and Fabric & Steel in our most recent Maker Monday Q&A below.
interiors+sources: How did you get your start?
Michele Dopp: I wanted to create a fabric line for almost 20 years, and when I started Fabric & Steel, the timing in life was just right. At that point, I had extensive experience in the design industry and was ready to share my aesthetic and voice.
i+s: What inspires you?
MD: Architecture, landscape, urbanscape – and all of the textures, shapes and moments that these things create.
i+s: What is your most memorable product or collection you’ve worked on and why?
MD: My last print collection, Forms. This collection is a culmination of previous design concepts and new ideas – it was exciting to create and there was a lot of problem-solving during the design process (something I really enjoy).
i+s: Describe what a typical workday for you looks like.
MD: I walk to my studio every morning (it’s only a few blocks from home). After that, my days are usually divided between creating new design concepts and the administrative aspects of my company. I love the challenge of going back and forth between the very different mindsets of running a business and designing collections.
i+s: Name some must-haves you need or like to have on-hand when starting a new project.
MD: Photography (from my wanderings), small sculptural pieces – and coffee.
i+s: What challenges you most during your creative process?
MD: Finding a way to combine emotion and movement with visual pattern and texture.
i+s: What is your favorite thing in your working environment?
MD: I love being in an old industrial building – it has these large open spaces and hallways that I find peaceful. In my studio, I love being surrounded by fabric – pure joy!
i+s: What’s your favorite color?
MD: Black. It’s always been black – even as a kid. I suppose I was always meant to be a New Yorker.
i+s: What is your favorite design era?
i+s: Who has helped you realize your dreams?
MD: My husband, Blaise. He has been completely supportive, thoughtful and enthusiastic throughout this journey – a true partner in life.
i+s: What do you think is next for the interior design industry?
MD: More focus on quality and good design. I think people want soulful places to live and work in and having fewer, more meaningful, “better” things are part of that experience.
i+s: What advice would you give to students studying the design field?
MD: Above all else, focus on studying the history of art and design.
i+s: What’s next for you?
MD: I am creating a line inspired by my recent travels through Andalucia, Spain and Morocco. Everything about this area of the world is beautiful – it takes your breath away.
i+s: Where can people find your goods?
MD: Either through my online shop or one of my showroom partners.