Collaborations between the worlds of fashion and interior design are nothing new; already this year we’ve had the Dolce & Gabbana feat Smeg partnership. And don’t forget, it was just over a year ago that we covered the launch of Dior’s beautiful HOME collection right here on NONAGON.style. What is perhaps more unique (dare we say unprecedented even), is a fashion and interior design collaboration that has the potential to save the earth. Enter Paris-based fashion designer Calla Haynes and her Boucharouite Project.
After placing her eponymous fashion line on hiatus in 2015, Calla was left with an extensive archive of unused fabric. Not wanting to simply add to the ever increasing piles of textile waste produced by the fashion industry, Calla turned to a more resourceful route – Moroccan Berber carpets. So far, 13 carpets have been made using cottons, wools, silks, and jerseys from Calla’s previous collections. Here, we catch up with the woman herself to learn a little more about this fantastic venture.
How did you come to the Boucharouite Project?
The project came about as a way to re-purpose the vast archive of fabric from my ready-to-wear collection, CALLA. I had 50 or so fabrics totaling over 300 meters. I’ve always thought Berber Carpets were beautiful so I thought that would be a good solution!
Can you tell us a little bit about the process behind the project?
To begin with I spent time looking through my archive and coming up with ‘color stories’ by grouping around 15-25 fabrics together in sets. For the carpet design itself, I researched vintage Berber carpet designs, in addition to drawing inspiration from contemporary paintings and graphic design. Once my design was finalized, I sent drawings and photographs, along with the fabric, to Marrakesh. From there, the production manager of the project took everything to a village that was two hours away from the city. Here, he gave instructions to the local female artisans who then handcrafted the carpets by loom. It took about two weeks to make one carpet.
Were there any challenges along the way?
It was actually quite a challenge to find the right partners in Morocco. Many Moroccans were surprised by the fact that I wanted to supply my own fabrics. Usually these types of carpets are made with rags and old clothes, so it was quite strange for them to see these luxurious fabrics from Europe!
How would you like to see this idea of re purposing fashion for interiors evolve in the future?
The fashion industry creates a lot of waste and there are a lot of leftover materials at the end of the production line. Creative thinking is needed to offset this waste, and I think at the same time there are ways we can do this whilst also supporting artisans around the world. Cultures all over the world have beautiful textile crafts – weaving, quilting, embroidery, dying – and I’d like to be able to expand the project and collaborate with more communities of female artisans.
Are you optimistic that the Boucharouite Project will inspire other fashion designers to follow suit?
I hope to be able to inspire them to work with me! At some point my archive will be depleted and I’d like to continue by using the archives of other designers.
More generally, are there any aspects of interior design that you would like to take forward and adopt in fashion design?
I think fashion works at a much quicker pace than the world of interior design. This isn’t exactly a good thing, so I appreciate the time that interior design allows to really develop ideas and products – as well as the client who is looking for things that they will cherish for a long time (not just consume for one season).
If you’re interested in getting your hands on your very own fashion-turned-Moroccan-Berber rug head to the CALLA Facebook page. Alternatively, if you’re in the Paris area the rugs will be on sale at Joyce Galerie until the end of August.
For more rug-related fun head to our round up of the best layered rugs and colorful rugs for fun carpet inspiration. In addition, don’t miss our exclusive interview with Hong Kong design duo, Lim + Lu, where they dish on how to stylishly incorporate rugs into your home.
Project: Boucharouite Project
Design: Calla Haynes
Photos: Flavien Perrottey and Galerie Joyce