Inside the studio with Sekers.

Do you love design, fabrics and photography? Maya Vivian, Product Developer + Designer for Sekers Fabrics does and she lets us have a sneak peek into her creative process.

Words by
Sekers

Inside the studio.

Meet Maya Vivian, Product Developer + Designer for Sekers Fabrics at Basford Brands and discover how their beautiful fabrics come to life.

As one of Australasia’s leading wholesalers of window furnishing fabric with a rich history in design and development, Basford Brands invests in state-of-the-art technology for the design, manufacture, warehousing and distribution of fabrics through their Sekers brand, delivering on-trend furnishing fabrics to the Australian market.

Describe a typical day at work in the studio.

A typical day for me is developing strong and co-ordinating colour-lines for new release collections of fabrics, overseeing fabric designs that have been crafted by our in-house hand-painted sketch designers, researching trends, and informing myself on interior design forecasts. I work closely with Michelle (Associate Director of Maurice Kain Fabrics), and our Decorative Division Manager who oversees the entire Sekers team and together we bounce off each other to achieve well rounded fabric collections that are fit for market.

Can you share what is special in your role as a Product Developer + Designer?

I would have to say the best part about my role is getting to work with some of the best manufacturers in the textile industry that have hundreds of years of history behind them in crafting luxurious fabrics and materials. I would also say that getting to see some of the most beautiful architectural and interior design projects in the industry is also a privileged experience for me. I thoroughly enjoy styling and organising our photo shoots, presenting these luxurious fabrics in a manner that boasts their perfection, and as a result, I get to work with some of the best photographers in Australia.

How do you find inspiration for your collections?

I love utilising online resources just as much as good old fashioned design books and magazines. Vogue Living, Mind Food Décor and Elle Decoration are some of my favourites! Aside from these, I frequently attend online trend forecasting seminars by leading national and international trend forecasters to grasp a thorough understanding of where to draw my inspiration from.

When considering a new range/theme, what is the research process?

I begin by flipping through some of my favourite magazines and books and find the pages that speak to me the most in terms of likeability by the general market and what fits our target market the best. I will also jump online and read trend articles and look at design sectors that are outside the scope of our industry such as fashion, art or product design because more often than not this is where it all starts and slowly trickles down into soft furnishings. Architecture is also a huge source of inspiration – looking at how homes are being built will help inform how they are decorated.

“Architecture is also a huge source of inspiration – looking at how homes are being built will help inform how they are decorated.”

— Maya Vivian

Just like fashion brands, interior brands also launch collections throughout the year. How often do you launch a new collection and what drives the design theme?

This is highly dependent on the demand for new collections and designs. With Sekers, I am designing for a niche market, so less is always more. We believe luxury takes time and thus the collections come and go as the market moves. We are very particular about what designs actually make it to market. In fact, in some instances we have had designs that have spent months in the development phase to then be archived because the finished result doesn’t quite suit the Sekers brand. This is important to note as Sekers only releases the best of the best and the best takes time!

How many months or years do you work in advance for each fabric collection?

We pride ourselves on the quality of the fabrics that are made available in the Sekers library of luxurious fabrics and it takes a lot of work to get it to this point. Therefore, Sekers fabrics spend more time in the development stage than any other brand we offer at Basford Brands. We design fabrics with purpose and soul.

The production of each new fabric is highly involved and intricate. What is your production process and, on average, how long does each new fabric design take?

The first thing I do when I design a new fabric is to evaluate whether the design speaks to the Sekers customer. At Sekers, we have clear core values that we align with all our collections and if the design doesn’t meet this standard, it does not make it to market. Therefore, the design process can be very detailed and constantly refined because we set such high standards.

You work with a wide range of designers and craftspeople from around the world. Could you share what it’s like working collaboratively with these artisans and how many you work with?

We work with some of the best manufacturers in the textile industry that have hundreds of years of history behind them in crafting luxurious fabrics and materials. These mills are chosen by Sekers for a reason. Quality and design are always our top priority. Without our world-class mills, the level of luxury we achieve would not be possible.

“Quality and design are always our top priority. Without our world-class mills, the level of luxury we achieve would not be possible.”

— Maya Vivian

What do you find challenging when designing a new fabric?

I would say the biggest challenge is seeing so many beautiful designs and fabrics and trying to design something that connects with our core customer values which are pure, nostalgic and luxurious.

What do you love about working with fabrics? Do you have a favourite?

I am a total textile nerd with a degree in hand weaving so my favourite part would be crafting the fabrics to suit the various trends that travel through time. For example, the revival of the Artisan trend has been a revolutionary moment in the industry which has welcomed back natural fabrics such as Linen. This is perfect for me because I live and breath Linen fabric and I am so glad it is getting its modern moment in the sun. My favourite Linen collections would have to be our Kingslea and Dunraven sheer and solid collection that is crafted from 100% European Italian yarn. They are the romantic duo our Sekers customers have been waiting for and I am so glad I could create it for them.

Some people who are new to window furnishings can get overwhelmed by the large choice of designer fabrics in a dollar curtains + blinds store and find it difficult to decide on a fabric for their windows. Any tips?

I think if you are in the market to make a substantial investment on fabric for your Curtains, which most Sekers customers are, the only advice I can give is take your time. Read blogs, read articles, and read “how-to’s” about Curtains as much as you can before deciding.

How do beautiful fabrics change a room or home?

Luxurious fabrics, like many from the Sekers range, have the ability to completely transform your home which is why it is so important to pick the right one. Fabrics turn a house into a home, they make us feel safe and warm, they increase the value of our home, and they allow us to embrace a pure and inviting environment.

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