Finding inspiration around us
August 04, 2020
What inspires you? It’s probably what’s around you and how you interpret those elements.
That’s what inspires us, too, from the landscapes on our farm in Upstate New York to the places that we travel to in our daydreams.
For Rebecca Proctor, our creative director and chief brand officer, inspiration can come from just about anywhere. The key to recognizing what is inspiring, she says, is to pay attention to what is happening around you.
“The obvious places to draw from are design books, museums, shelter publications, and art films … things that visually make your heart sing. But taking walks in nature, conversations with friends, preparing a meal, gardening, music, that certain shade of lipstick, admiring the way someone ties their scarf or folds their napkin or signs their letters … everything can be inspiring in its own way. I think inspiration is always moving and it never sits still.”
That philosophy is apparent in our fall 2020 collections, which have a common theme we call Forces of Nature. A force of nature, we believe, is something that occurs wholly on its own, with no help or external support to propel it along. It’s a power, an elemental energy that exists through its own volition, drawing strength from its own sense of necessity.
For Fall 2020, these qualities inspire the designs of our two main collections, Golden Hour and Paradise. Golden Hour represents that very special hour of day right before sunset when the light is shimmering. Paradise captures the energy and essence of the untamed outdoors and its colorful flora and fauna.
Our Holiday and Halloween collections also draw on Forces of Nature. Holiday includes influences from Golden Hour and Paradise, as well as traditional elements with a group we call Happy Holidays. For Halloween, we focus on a spellbinding witch who casts a spell with black and white decor, as well as playful tartan pumpkins and combinations of natural elements. And there’s also Halloween from Patience Brewster by MacKenzie-Childs.
Turning these concepts into products is a process that takes time, creativity, and thoughtful partnerships. Says Rebecca, “We approach each season the way a set designer would plan a stage or a theater piece, by creating the foundation first and then layering everything else on top … Choosing fabrics is our very first step each season, and our selections set the tone for the whole collection. Then, a creative brief is written that explains the vibe for each collection, and this is shared with everyone who plays a part in bringing our ideas to life. Upholstered furniture pieces are designed first, followed by all the various layers such as decorative pillows, rugs, throws, small accent pieces, lighting and decor. Tabletop designs are treated in a similar way—we think of all the different layers you need to set a beautiful table and to create a special ambience in that space. Our designers and I have an incredibly close relationship with our incredible product development team so there is strong partnering throughout the entire process, from designing each piece to ultimately making each prototype.”
If there’s one thing that unites these collections, it’s the power of positivity, which seems to be something we can certainly use more of these days.
Says Rebecca, “Positivity is a very powerful thing. The world needs a lot of love right now, and we are all working hard to do our part. MacKenzie-Childs truly embraces optimism, positivity, diversity, and inclusivity.”