It's the Economy!
Designer Scott Bodenner Discusses Trends and Influences for the Fabric Market
Have you been feeling blue about the economy? According to designer Scott Bodenner, owner of Brooklyn-based Scott Bodenner Studio, the economy has been making you see blue as well.
Bodenner, who worked closely with Chella Luxury Performance Textiles to redefine the outdoor fabric market, says there’s a very direct correlation between the economy and the trends we are seeing in home fashion in terms of color, scale and texture.
So, what are we seeing now that relates to our current economy? And what can we expect as the economy improves. Read on …
Am I Blue?
“One thing we’re definitely seeing is people wanting a lot of blue,” Bodenner says. “People want blues like I’ve never seen before, and that’s great. Blues are beautiful.”
This explosion of blue is related to an economy that has been a little slow to come back. Blue is like a visual security blanket that has helped consumers make it through these tough times.
“I feel that it’s a little bit conservative and part of a recessionary color trend,” Bodenner says. “I hope that as time goes on and as our economy gets better that we’ll see brighter colors, larger patterns and bolder prints.”
Bodenner designs in all scales, but he’s cognizant of giving people what they want, and right now, what they want is small to mid-scale. But what’s life without a bit of variety? And that’s where Bodenner’s talent for large scale comes into the picture—but in small doses that surprise and delight the potential audience.
“Big scale does happen,” says Bodenner, citing his award-winning pattern known as Aretha as a perfect example. “It’s a big-scale chenille floral with meandering vines. It’s a real show stopper, and it sells, but it sells mostly to hotels.”
Bodenner reports that Chella always tries to include at least one large-scale fabric in each collection to make a real impact.
“We’re about to do another one that’s big scale, a big art deco pattern,” he reports. “But in these conservative times, big scale is not what people want in their homes. I look forward to an improving economy and also bigger scale.”
A New Dimension
Achieving texture is a real challenge for the outdoor market, but one that Bodenner is pleased to take on.
“I love texture,” he says. “My wovens, when they’re not for outdoor, are all about dimensional 3D fabric. Achieving texture on outdoor fabric is a challenge because of the limited set of yarns available to work with. I’m very proud of the amount of 3D dimensional fabric that Chella has.”
And with an improving economy, it’s quite possible that consumers will be ready for something adventurous. Thus, Bodenner is preparing to put something truly unique in a Chella collection that is coming out next year: pleats. And if you think you’ve never seen pleats in an outdoor collection before, you’re absolutely right. As Bodenner explains, “It’s really like nothing else on the market.”