Wednesday 8th March is International Women’s Day 2023, a day which celebrates women’s achievements and calls for a more gender-balanced world. In our industry we are lucky to have relationships with some of the top female designers in the world, so to mark this important day we thought we’d celebrate the leading ladies behind the brands you love. Answering all our burning questions from what advice they’d give their younger selves, to the biggest business mistakes they’ve made and how they fixed them, meet the women behind some of your favourite interior brands…
Sam Hood is co-founder and Creative Director at AMARA and the driving force behind our own brand, Designed by AMARA. Launched in 2016, Designed by AMARA is made up of four private labels, each with their own individual style and including all the everyday necessities discerning homes need along with the latest styles and looks.
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Rebecca Lawrence & Carole Spink
A risk taker, style maven and internationally renowned designer of the 1960s and 70s, Florence Broadhurst was known for her fearless eye for design and pattern. Following in her footsteps, founders Rebecca Lawrence and Carole Spink are giving Florence's designs the spotlight they deserve. Through a contemporary reimagination of her designs, they’re bringing new life to the diverse and eclectic archive.
What was your biggest inspiration?
Our biggest inspiration is undoubtedly Florence Broadhurst herself and her legacy, the archive, which we are honoured to be bringing back to life. Fearless and charismatic, she lived an extraordinary life travelling the globe, reinventing herself as a variety of different characters, before settling back in her native Australia. There, through the 1960s and 70s, she created the designs for which she is famous, leaving a diverse and rich archive that is clearly influenced by her travels – chinoiserie, geometrics and bold florals sit alongside rich tapestries, brocades and softer scenic designs.
Granddaughter of Estee Lauder, Aerin Lauder founded AERIN as an extension of her own signature style. Believing beautiful living should be effortless, her homeware is timeless with a modern twist, to make life more beautiful with ease.
Who or what has inspired you the most in your life?
My grandmother Estee has been my biggest inspiration in so many ways personally and professionally. Her quote “Love what you do and do it with passion” is on my mind every day when I go to work. She taught me the importance of balance between family and business.
Elizabeth Petrides, driven by her love of soft textiles, founded Elizabeth Scarlett in 2013. Inspired by calming colours and her childhood summers spent escaping the city to the South of France, her uniquely embroidered designs are fabulously fun.
What was the hardest lesson you learned from creating your own brand?
Learning how to switch off and relax. It’s very easy to become addicted to working when every day is exciting and you’re making visible progress. I feel like my head’s in the clouds a lot of the time, but excitement can be just as exhausting as stress. It’s hard to stay calm and I’m always trying to find ways to wind down.
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One of the most iconic design houses in the world, Missoni is loved in both the fashion and interior industries thanks to their eye-catching prints. Created by Rosita and Ottavio Missoni over 60 years ago, Rosita is still at the helm of Missoni Home Collection which is where her great passion lies.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
When in 1965 we were looking for a place to build our factory my husband Tai said: “We should find a place to work where we would like to spend our weekends” and I totally agreed. Our choice was so right that once the factory was built we started to plan to build also our own house. The best decision in our life!
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Irish retro print designer Orla Kiely’s patterns are instantly recognizable the world over. Working with many household brands over the years to give everyday items the Orla Kiely treatment, her own homeware brand continues to be one of the most popular with a host of ‘60s and ‘70s inspired designs to bring a pattern pop to any room.
What’s the best advice any one has ever given you?
Be yourself! And I think that is really important, because as soon as you try to do something that’s not really you it falls flat on its face. And that’s why all designers have their strengths and styles, and I wouldn’t want to try and do or be someone I am not. In the end I know what I can do and what I am good at, and that is important.
Ever inspired by her great grandmother’s stash of vintage ornaments at her parents English countryside home, Joanna Buchanan’s jewel encrusted collection is that added dash of glamour every home needs.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain…this is on a card that my husband Brad gave to me early on, I keep it on my desk to remind myself that this is what I chose, and to enjoy the ride!
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Lauren Nouchi is one half of the French duo behind modern vegan fashion brand Apparis. Based in New York, the brand is committed to creating high quality cruelty-free designs that will stay in your home - and out of landfill - for years to come.
Where do you find inspiration?
I found inspiration from my two favorites cities, Paris and NYC. Paris is all about the effortless chic and NYC the bold and vibrant energy - this is what makes Apparis.