In Good Company: Bernie de le Cuona
To mark 25 years in the business, international artisan fabrics and lifestyle brand de le Cuona has opened a flagship store on Pimlico Road. Founder and CEO Bernie de le Cuona talks mixing tradition and innovation and reveals how a trip to St Petersburg inspired her work.
When was the company founded?
I was inspired to start de Le Cuona after a visit to Brussels in 1992 where I came across beautiful linen cloths. Today, more than 25 years later, we are an international luxury brand for interior textiles.
How many staff?
46 in total in the UK, the US and France.
Where is it based?
Our head office is in Royal Windsor, in a charming old building called Mistress Page’s House.
What is your latest significant achievement or project of note?
Our new fabric house and lifestyle store that we have recently opened on 44 Pimlico Road in one of London’s most exciting and established design districts.
The process of selecting luxury fabric in a finely-tailored environment has been elevated into something new. It showcases de le Cuona’s fabrics and home collections all under one roof and lets me break with some of the norms within the industry to create a really beautiful and engaging space in which to experience textiles and celebrate craftsmanship and natural sustainability.
What is your best-selling product?
It has to be one of our signature linens – perhaps a robust stonewashed linen called Buffalo, which is one of my favourites.
Also, our classic paisleys, such as Heritage Pearl in natural tones of greys and creams.
I‘ve just discovered…
That mediocrity makes me very unhappy…
Who inspires me…
The future inspires me. New technologies mixed with traditions.
I am also working with a person who creates the most extraordinary fabrics in silk and wool. Using age-old techniques, she weaves them together by hand to make incredible moonscape like textures. We have used these fabrics on new cushions and throws in our new Pimlico Road showroom.
I’ve always been a fan of…
Simple, refined, minimalism.
My highlight of the last 12 months…
A visit to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg where I was so privileged to have access to the textile archives that have provided inspiration for my future collections.
My next design trip is to…
I plan to go to Burma and Japan as soon as possible. One book I always refer to when designing is called ’The Genius of Japanese Design’ by Sherman E Lee.