1. So tell us Cécile, was designing prints for silk scarfs something you always wanted to do?
Designing silk foulards was not my primary desire. I was interested in fabric design, more generally clothes design. I am fascinated by decorative fabrics, printed or woven. My education at the College of Design & Art in Lucern was quite broad. Afterwards I travelled to various textile converters in Zurich. As a freelancer, the focus on textile accessories has been a central theme.
2. You were able to complete a collection of 100 print designs a year, where did you find your inspiration for each season?
When I was working as the Head of the Accessories department at the firm Christian Fischbacher, I was able to meet with a team and a few additional freelancers from Como, Lyon, Paris, and London. Together we managed to design over 100 prints every season. At the same time I had to go to Paris to look after various foulard licenses from couture homes which were sold through the company Christian Fischbacher. I worked with Louis Féraud, Guy Laroche, Lanvin, and Fabergé.
The inspirations are found in many different areas. Whether it is from nature, the film world, books, exhibitions, etc… these all depend on what you want to express with a collection, natualristic, abstract, purely geometrical or a mix of all interpretations. Apart from creating something, the creation must also include the necessary amount of technical knowledge.
3. The textile industry has undergone many challenges, how has that affected the printing hand craft?
The competition from low- wage countries has unfortunately had a very negative impact on our textile industry. Consider the 19th century, in the canton Glarus there were 20 textile printing factories and now there is only one.
4. Has so many years of experience in the design, art & craft world, made a positive impact to become a computer designer pro and a photographer?
Definitely! A craft that is practised for years, gives you a wonderful addition that I never want to miss! Computer design is slightly different to normal designing, it is a little more playful. I really enjoy working with computer design, I believe many people would too if they tried it.
Assuming you love computer technology and you have the patience to do it! Computer design and traditional design are completely different, that’s what makes it interesting. Behind the camera I am very spontaneous. During my ‘textile time’ I often had to decide quickly and respond accurately to the wishes of the customer.
5. What are your favourite swiss silk companies?
Seiden Abraham AG ( Converter) it was clearly my Zurich’s favourite ( from 1912-2002). Gessner AG, Jacquard weaving, Wâdenswil. Weisbrod- Zûrrer ( producer and converter) Hausen -/Albis and Silk printing Mitlödi AG.
6. And internationally, which silk house do you admire the most?
Mantero Seta SpA, Como. Ratti SpA, Como. Rubelli SpA for wonderful decorative fabrics, Venice.
7. What does Cécile do in her spare time?
I am usually found travelling with my small camera, or cooking for friends. I like to spend my evening in an atmospheric ambience, visiting exhibitions. Finally, I really enjoy going to concerts. But I do like to take breaks every now and then.
8. Where would we find you in Switzerland?
9. And which are your preferred restaurants?
All the restaurants that are run with the heart. The ‘local’ ones run by Nico Maeder and his colleagues like ‘Bärengasse’ ‘Blaue Ente’ ‘Wynegg’ ‘Drei Stuben’ and ‘Le Chef’ with passionate chef Meta Hiltebrand.
10. Which countries you love visiting the most?
Italy and France.
11. What magazines/ websites inspire you?
L’ Officiel Art, Vogue Italia, DU. And websites: Trend Council, Trendland and Arte.tv
12. What can’t you live without?
13. What food would we always find in your fridge?
14. And finally Cécile, what items identify you?
My glasses and my photo camera.