Spotlight On: Kim Parker
New York, New YorkWhen internationally acclaimed artist, textile designer and author Kim Parker decided to turn her exuberant paintings into magic carpets, all signs pointed to GoodWeave®.
“We noticed the GoodWeave logo on the websites of many companies that we really respect. We wanted to have that affiliation so that our clients could be comforted about the origins of our rugs as well,” said Kim, founder and creative director of Kim Parker®. “Integrity is extremely important to our brand. And that’s what GoodWeave stands for.”
Kim took a meandering path into design, having pursued an early career as a professional classical flautist before returning to her childhood passion of painting – in the new context of fashion design. “I had to put myself at the bottom rung of an industry I had absolutely no experience in,” said Kim, who learned the business while “pushing a paintbrush” in fashion studios creating designs for everything from haute couture to kidswear.
Kim went on to launch her own textile design studio, Kim Parker Designs, producing a prolific 7,000 hand painted silk and paper designs in seven years. Kim’s designs were sold to such top shops as Diane Von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, Anna Sui, Anthropologie, J. Crew, Jill Stuart, Crate and Barrel and Baby Gap. "These companies would buy my prints and put them on the runways and in their catalogs. I saw how well my prints performed in other people’s collections,” said Parker.
The next step was to license her own line of home furnishing designs, Kim Parker, which she started in 2001. From high-end bedding and bath collections for Bloomingdale’s to tableware and giftware for Spode, which launched at Macy’s, Kim Parker spent eight years partnering with some of the world’s top companies. In particular, Kim’s collaboration with GoodWeave member The Rug Company rekindled her passion for the art of the floor.
“Rugs are a natural canvas for my work as a painter. From a young age I could see textile on paper as a rug– and even bookmarks as rug runners,” said Parker.
Kim Parker’s bestselling Mums and Asters rug won three prestigious British design awards, including the ELLE Decoration Award; The D&D Award (Design & Decoration); and The Observer Magazine Award for "Best in Flooring Design." In 2007, the French edition of Architectural Digest selected Mums and Asters as "One of the 50 Most Desirable Objects of British Design." The rug is featured in her critically acclaimed memoir and design book Kim Parker Home: A Life in Design. “I didn’t know Mums and Asters was going to become such an iconic design when I painted it ten years ago. I love its energy, joy and positivity,” Kim says.
In 2010, Kim Parker Inc. finally launched its own collection of rugs directly imported from India -- a fountain of inspiration for Kim’s work, from the succulent colors found in Indian textiles to India’s rich artisanal traditions. “My painter’s eye and the artisan’s hand are a perfect marriage, where color, quality and integrity are concerned,” says Kim. “So many mass produced and computer generated products and patterns lack heart. We like things made by hand because the human element is translated and embraced.”
Having just launched a new online store, Kim and Felipe Porto, her husband and business partner, are developing all kinds of new products that feature Kim’s hand painted, classic floral, striped and geometric patterns, as well as launching a line of tween bedding, publishing a series of children’s books and much more. But while Kim’s creativity will always spill into many forms, the magic process of designing a handmade carpet and “bringing it to life” will never cease to captivate her.
“When a handmade rug is unrolled at your feet, it’s an intimate, exciting moment. To see the love put into every hand knotted leaf and carefully matched color is a gift, a total gift.”
For more information, visit www.kimparker.tv.
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