H&G design correspondent Barbara Chandler met up with the creative director of Style Library. Here’s what she found out
An innovative portfolio of six British decor brands, brought together under one name last summer under the helm of creative director Claire Vallis, Style Library has a new showroom in Design Centre Chelsea Harbour and an inspirational website, stylelibrary.com.
Perhaps the best known brands in Style Library’s portfolio are Sanderson and Morris & Co. the other labels are Harlequin, Zoffany, Scion and anthology. It’s an impressive list, but there is just one creative director: Claire Vallis.
Claire’s workload is daunting and includes responsibility for products from fabrics and wallpapers to paint, rugs, furniture and lighting. each brand has a dedicated design studio, with Claire in charge overall.
Don’t ask Claire for a favourite brand, she’s passionate about all of them and has a remarkable capacity to zoom in on any one of them at any time. Claire cut her teeth on Harlequin, the brand she pioneered 15 years ago, looking to the catwalk for inspiration. then came Scion – witty, zesty, Scandi and full of fun. ‘it’s where I get my energy,’ says Claire. Sanderson – ‘think elegant living and country lifestyle’ – has 150 years of heritage.
Zoffany is the luxury label oozing ‘artistry and integrity.’ Claire is proud of its alchemy of Colour paints. ‘We experimented with natural pigments and plant dyes and took unique jewel shades from our archive. anthology is the newest label, arriving just three years ago, an edit of luxurious surfaces with global appeal. that leaves Morris & Co. Scouring the archives, Claire and her team devise fresh ways to present patterns by the Victorian designer, sourced from drawings and original blocks.
Claire is honoured to be a custodian of iconic British brands. She’s inspired by her cocreatives and experts in production. Collections start with mood boards and can take two years to develop. ‘I love the challenge of bringing products to market,’ she says.