‘I’d be HAPPY ANYWHERE
as long as I have A WILD GARDEN, a big old hat AND A STUDIO filled with light.’
ALEXIS BARRELL THE TEXTILE DESIGNER
One day last year, fashion designer Alexis Barrell and her childhood friend Fiona Mackay, a brand marketer, were discussing the meaning of the word ‘home’ and how – despite almost a lifetime of moving around the world and being based between Cape Town, New York and India – South Africa would always be it. ‘I adore the ease and simplicity that comes from living in the Karoo,’ says Alexis, and it was this effortlessness that inspired her lifestyle brand Karu. ‘I try to incorporate that sense of slowness and consideration into my world, and I wanted to bring that into other busy people’s lives through the products we make,’ she says.
With fabrics versatile enough for both home accessories and clothing, Karu was launched locally earlier this year, and Alexis is currently working on expanding into the US and UK, as well as on a project in India to create residencies, exhibition spaces and a social programme.
I’d love to work with Malian artist and textile designer Aboubakar Fofana. karu.world Read an extended Q&A with Alexis and check out our gallery of her work at houseandleisure.co.za.