Partnerships often materialize from unexpected moments, and the collaboration between Breegan Jane and Clarke & Clarke wallpaper is no exception. Breegan Jane, renowned for her modern, approachable, and luxurious design sensibilities, sheds light on the genesis of this historic collaboration in an exclusive interview with DNN.
DNN: How did the partnership between Breegan Jane and Clark & Clarke wallpaper come about? What attracted you to collaborate with them for your first-ever textile and wallpaper collection?
Breegan Jane: Interestingly enough, the partnership began with a simple goal of saying “yes” more. I received an email from a Sanderson representative informing me that they were in town (in L.A.) from England, and would love to meet. I had every reason to say no, seeing as how I was fresh off a red-eye flight from a family vacation at 6 AM. I had my doubts about my ability to make a 10 AM brunch meeting, but instead of saying no, I decided I would go straight from the airport to the restaurant where we would be meeting.
When you’re a busy mom balancing a ton of roles at once, multitasking isn’t an option, it’s a requirement! This was a “mommy and me” day, and while I didn’t want to miss this opportunity, I simply did not have time to drop my kids off and get to the restaurant. So, I arrived, set my sons and the nanny up at a table, and headed to another table across the restaurant to take the meeting. My colleagues never knew my kids were present! It was certainly a lesson in saying yes and persevering through until you get to the goal!
Clarke & Clarke is a Sanderson brand, a company that brings expertise, creativity and ingenuity to the table since 1860. They are the premier wallpaper and textiles brand, and their reputation and work speaks for itself. I am an intuitive creative who leads with my heart and gut when I’m designing. I knew the team of professionals would be amazing to work with and help me bring my visions for the collection to life. It was a collaborative effort that was quite rewarding.
DNN: This collaboration marks both your first textile and wallpaper collection and Clark & Clarke’s first-ever collaboration with a U.S. designer. Can you share the significance of this milestone and how it influenced the creative process?
Breegan Jane: It was obviously a great honor that Clarke & Clarke would enter the U.S. market heavily and allow me to be a part of it. I take it very seriously. Joining a journey at its inception is a really special thing, because it allowed me to define my brand without the burden of fitting into something already established. I was able to bring the whole of myself in an artfully expressive way that felt organice. I think you truly see that in products like our mural offerings. Clarke & Clarke highlighted so much of the organic nature of Breegan Jane. I’m so grateful for that.
DNN: What inspired the designs behind this collection? Are there specific themes, influences, or personal experiences that shaped the aesthetic and concept of the wallpaper and textile designs?
Breegan Jane: I allowed myself to be consumed by the memories and feelings that become almost palpable when I visit my most beloved locations on the planet. Those spaces each evoke such enchanting sensations, and I knew I wanted to capture each of them as artistically as possible. I also wanted to put patterns on center stage and allow them to infuse whimsy and elegance into spaces, especially when paired with complementing prints.
When I visit Kenya, I am always enamored by the beauty of the landscape. The mix of African countryside with tropical details made for stunning prints. I leaned into the rich shades of an Ibizan sunset with prints that feature vivid blues, teals and oranges. I even brought palm tree prints into the collection as a connection to my own Southern California roots.
DNN: Could you provide an overview of what the collection consists of? Are there specific patterns, colors, or elements that stand out and define the essence of the collaboration and that feel particularly on-trend?
Breegan Jane: The collection is an ode to my global sensibilities, varied background and love for travel. I have visited so many parts of the world, and every single one of them has an unmatched beauty to offer. I wanted to encapsulate the most spectacular among them with creative and playful prints and patterns that would instantly give a space an organic and effortless elegance and appeal.
Every single piece is on trend. We’re seeing people dive deeply into rich tones and colors in ways that bring them joy and speak to their personalities. Mombasa envisions the merriment of white sandy beaches in a modern and striking way. Malindi manages to mesh the glamour of an L.A. rooftop and the natural elements of lush greenery. Then there’s Duma with its embroidered cheetahs and playful take on African wildlife. Each pattern feels particularly personal and yet somehow universal all at once.
DNN: Where is the collection available, and how can customers purchase these designs?
Breegan Jane: The collection launched in November in Europe. It launched here February 1. It is available now at all 40+ Kravet locations. The collection is only for designer purchase currently, but we are exploring retail licensing options that would potentially open it up for everyone.
DNN: Your signature style is described as modern, approachable, and luxurious. How did you infuse these characteristics into the wallpaper and textile collection, and what design elements contribute to achieving this aesthetic?
Breegan Jane: I think it really does come down to tapping into the whole of who I am and what I want to bring to spaces. The collection is a sincere expression of all things Breegan. The luxurious touches are an ode to those once-in-a-lifetime experiences like the iconic safari scene, cheetahs and palm trees—which are depicted in the patterns and prints in the collection. Then there are the prints that connect you back to nature with beautiful greenery and tropical vegetation. That will always feel both modern and organic.
DNN: Talk to me a bit about the differences in how you approach designing for a private client versus designing a line for a mass consumer base? And the similarities?
Breegan Jane: When I’m designing for a private client, a great deal of communication regarding their specific needs and wishes is at the forefront. I, of course, want them to be happy with the work I’m providing. There’s an exploration into who they are and how they will exist within the space I’m creating for them. That means using my expertise and knowledge to customize the design based on a particular set of specifications and preferences. Designing for a mass consumer base was much more personal for me, in that I wanted to bring the essence of Breegan Jane to the collection and to the world. I didn’t have to mold it to someone else’s branding and needs. I was able to delve into and express my creativity and run with it freely.
DNN: How do you approach designing spaces that cater to different cultural contexts while maintaining your distinctive style?
Breegan Jane: Designing within various cultural contexts is something that comes effortlessly to me because it’s who I am! I’m an American with European and African ancestry. I’m a biracial beach girl who was adopted by white parents. I couldn’t try to be a monolith even if I wanted to. So my entire life and makeup uniquely positions me to design spaces and products for anyone and everyone.
DNN: How do you see your role in shaping the next generation of interior designers and influencing the direction of the design industry?
Breegan Jane: I am keenly aware that as a single black mother my ability to create my success serves as a reminder of what we are all capable of. Despite the judgments and preconceived notions that often get attached to many of us, if we are able to be resilient and push through the challenges, we can be the blueprint for others who are coming behind us. I make it a point to show up as myself and work in excellence. I hope that means others won’t have to endure some of the difficulties I did.
DNN: Lastly, Is there something you haven’t done but really want to do? Do you have a dream project?
Breegan Jane: I want to get into hotel design! I love the idea of designing spaces that so many travelers from all over the world will visit. It’s definitely something I believe I’d excel at. I’m also interested in getting more into product licensing and furniture design.