PRINT DESIGN FOR BRITISH FASHION LABEL QASIMI
Originally from Sweden, Petra Börner is an artist and illustrator based in London. Infused with warmth and bold character, her artful handcrafts and paper-cut creations exude a modernist charm. With clients including Louis Vuitton, the V&A Museum, Thyren, Heal’s and Bloomsbury, she has exhibited her work worldwide including at the National Portrait Gallery, the Design Museum, 3331 Arts Chiyoda and the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo, to name a few. Börner currently divides her time between commercial commissions and personal artistic pursuits.
DEVELOPING THE CONCEPT
Creating designs that could be translated into textile prints and knitwear, Börner describes working with fashion label Qasimi as a dream project: “I loved his aesthetics, the colours, the form and general tone of the brand.”
Introduced to its late founder Khalid Al Qasimi through a friend, Börner had an initial design meeting where they discussed the concept of the South Shields collection. “We looked over the mood boards and visual design research, and discussed the various themes,” she says. Designs were inspired by ropes and twists, Yemini florals and Paisleys, and Madras cloth interpretations.
BEYOND FINANCIAL REWARD
For Börner, the financial reward is secondary to the creative process. “Working with brands enables my work to take flight – a sort of caterpillarto-butterfly effect – and this is so exciting to see when it’s done right. This commission expanded my work, enabled experimentation and stretched my conceptual process for design. I feel proud to have worked on it.”
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
“Working with clients who accept or encourage your creativity is exciting and fulfilling, but I’m not satisfied without a continual, personal exploration of ideas,” says Börner. “It’s always been important to me to keep working on new ideas and to experiment.”
Having worked with brands including Thyren, Cacharel and Qasimi, she emphasises the importance of trusting your instincts. “Go with your gut feeling – this is key. A partnership means that both parties must feel satisfied, at ease, and that includes you! So if it’s not right for you, then it’s not right at all.”
Börner knows first hand that this is not always easy – the nature of freelance is a rollercoaster ride – but it’s key to get the work you want. “It’s essential not to waste anyone’s time, and for both parties to feel certain about all expectations benefits the process. I want the process to feel upbeat and positive, to feel that I can maximise my skills and that the project feels valuable.”
STRIVE TO BE INVENTIVE
Börner credits her success to maintaining a hand in her personal work, which is key to all her creative development. “It’s important to me to meet deadlines and take on client commissions, and sometimes I have to focus on this more than my personal work. There’s an ebb and flow in the balance between these practices, but in the end I aim to communicate the same intent, skill and dedication throughout all my work.”
Supported by her proactive and confident approach to making connections and engaging with potential clients, Börner implores designers to follow their passions in the same way.
“The key, I think, is to try to maintain an energetic practice, to focus on the love of your work, to be inventive and enthusiastic with all projects you’re involved with,” she adds. “Hopefully you will get the opportunity to work on meaningful projects and to show your skills.”
Floral & rope design on Knitwear from Lookbook- Qasimi - South Shields AW 16-17 collection
Rope print WIP, Qasimi South Shields AW 16-17 collection
Madras print WIP, Qasimi South Shields AW 16-17 collection