Jan 11, 2017 | By Hannah Watkins
Dec 17, 2013
Are you looking for a boost of inspiration? Or maybe you seek designer tools? Whatever your design needs the folks at Pattern People have got you covered. Founded in Portland Oregon by designers Claudia Brown and Jessie Whipple Vickery, the studio specializes in creating designs using paint, ink, graphite, and pixels for a range of projects and products. The pair have a notable list of clients including Estée Lauder, Adidas and Godiva Chocolate. Pattern People also runs a blog that is the ultimate eye-candy for print and graphics fanatics, it features a wealth of valuable resources from trends in fashion and interiors to color palettes, DIY guides, book reviews and more. We interviewed the colorful duo to find out more.
Shannan Elinor Smith: How did you guys meet?
Jessie Vickery & Claudia Brown: We met through a mutual friend that had been dying to introduce us for ages. She thought our design sensibilities and personalities would totally mesh, and she was right!
Tell me about some of the services and designer tools Pattern People offers?
We create and sell patterns to a range of clients in the fashion, interiors, beauty and technology fields. We have a collection of thousands of ready-to-use designs but also create custom prints for clients. For example, a local ice cream shop commissioned us to design a three-dimensional waffle print to use as wallpaper in one of their new locations. The print wraps the walls and ceiling, and actually looks edible!
We also offer a selection of resources for designers and print lovers of all stages. Our seasonal trend guides include forecasts for print and color that can be used by a variety of industries. In addition, our pattern tutorial ebooks give emerging print designers tips of the trade. Then, there are also our designer resource tools which include a range of assets from hi-res photography to hand painted elements that can help the print making process.
Can you talk about some of your collaborations, do you have a favorite?
We recently collaborated with the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art and PINO on a limited edition bow tie who’s proceeds went towards funding the art organization. The bow tie featured one of our patterns in a bold, optical design on silk broadcloth and was launched at PICA’s TADA! Ball. It was fun designing a contemporary print for such a traditional piece of formal wear, plus it benefited a good cause.
Lindsey Reif, of REIF, approached us to collaborate with her on a turban and headband collection. For this particular season, she was inspired by the angular lines of Bauhaus and had us create a few prints in this vein. The end result was a limited edition collection of accessories featuring bold and sharp geometric designs that eliminates bad hair days.
What were your favorite collections at this past NYFW?
We loved Steven Alan’s hot white colors, Clover Canyon’s architectural prints, and Zero & Maria Cornejo’s wild, fractured, kaleidoscopic prints. Libertine had some crazy embellished beadwork and patchwork prints, and Kaelen’s black and white grids were really cool.
Favorite up-and-coming designers?
Portland-based Crazy Wind and London’s House of Hackney. House of Hackney has been around for a few years, but it’s still fun to see how the company is expanding with more products and prints each season.
What patterns and colors do you think are going to be popular this next season?
Very graphic, tribal-like geometric prints in stark colors are still going strong. But, so is lace in new and reinterpreted forms. Florals are also going moody with a dark, femme fatale feel. Color goes the extreme from pale, bleached out shades to rich, saturated, and intense hues like indigo and red.
Who are your favorite artists and photographers right now?
We were mesmerized with the video we just saw about the making of Holton Rower’s 3-dimensional pour-paintings. Suzen Drummen creates these amazing mandala-like forms with crystals. Nick Knight’s drippy floral photographs are so inspiring especially with the upcoming Dark Floral trend. David Hockney’s landscapes are also really exciting, despite him being in his seventies. It’s truly rare for an artist or musician to stay relevant for so long.
Whose style do you admire?
Claudia: Natasha Kahn of Bat for Lashes, Karen Oh of The Yeah Yeahs, and Chloë Sevigny.
Jessie: Edith Sitwell for her use of jewelry and headpieces, Katherine Hepburn for her ability to wear man-ish attire.
What are you up to when you are not doing Pattern People?
Claudia: Hanging out with my one year old boy. He’s a great little buddy! Going to music shows when not too tired, cooking for friends, enjoying walks and hikes in the beautiful Portland nature.
Jessie: I’m a plant fanatic and am I’m trying to create an overgrown jungle in our back garden. It’s slow going.
Describe your dream house, what does the interior look like?
Claudia: An old 1920’s house with all the beautiful details like glass doorknobs and great tiles. For interior design, clean lines but super comfy, with patterns and textiles creating a warm cozy look. Lots of plants, especially succulents.
Jessie: I was just at the Chinese Gardens here in Portland. It’s an enchanting, garden compound dotted with courtyards, tiny buildings and a small lake in the center. My dream house would be something similar which blurs the lines between interior and exterior living. I love plants so leafy, botanical prints are a must juxtaposed with simple, classic design pieces. And, of course, a dash of marble and metal thrown in.
What are your favorite patterns to mix?
Florals with geometrics. The hard edges of the geometrics contrast well with the soft leaves and petals of the florals.
What’s next for pattern people?
We’re launching a bunch of new products for designers over the next few months so stay tuned. We also have a few collaborations in the works but are always looking for more.
-Shannan Elinor Smith
Check out more of Jessie and Claudia’s mood boards and inspiring prints at Pattern People.
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