All the best for 2022 from
the Design Library,
New York and London
The Design Library is proud to announce the acquisition of The Howard Asher Archive
Howard was a former student of the Central Saint Martins College in London in the 1960s
"All in all, it was a hugely positive period. The sixties were a time of confidence that things were changing for the better. As students, we were made to feel that we could go out into the world and be successful at whatever we chose to do. This was not out of arrogance, but from a deeply instilled self-belief. "
— Howard Asher
In the late sixties Howard began visiting textile company offices in the West End with his portfolio to sell designs on a freelance basis. After some success, he decided to visit New York. ‘Sales were very good. We had no problem getting appointments. Being English opened doors in a city enamoured by the London music scene.’
Howard’s career began to blossom, and he decided to go freelance full-time. Around 1970 Howard was asked to design some patterns for double-knit fabrics. The designs were done on millimetre graph paper, and Howard’s signature style of working on point paper developed from this: ‘I took to this design process straight away, and it launched my best-known design style.’ Orders for fashion prints continued alongside double-knit designs in the early 1970s, and he sold hundreds of designs ‘to a market that seemed insatiable.’
"By 1977, I was producing at least 400 new designs each year, an average of two per working day requiring four hours each. It never seemed like hard work to me as I loved what I was doing."
— Howard Asher
His legacy will continue to be studied by future students at the College through his donation to the Museum & Study Collection, and he will be remembered fondly by all those who knew him at Central Saint Martins. Staff member Anna Buruma says ‘it’s extraordinary how students immediately respond to Howard Asher’s drawings. There is something in there that they really, really like. I don’t know if the reason for that is because it has a digital feel to it, even though it long predates digital images. They are very seductive his drawings.’
*Sections excerpted from Howard Asher's Obituary, written by The University of the Arts London, published March 8, 2021. This obituary is based on a conversation between Dr. Philip A. Sykas, Manchester Fashion Institute, and Howard Asher in 2008-2009.
The Design Library is proud to announce the launch of KosmosNow!™
For the first time, your exclusive license downloads of Kosmos™ designs are immediate.
You may now download your hi res tiff files instantly at check out. No delay for delivery. Your design disappears from the archive for the term of your license.
Browse 20,000 curated designs from all areas of the archive. Build your Collections, and Projects, and receive your file in seconds 24/7.
Contact us for more information:
THE DESIGN LIBRARY LONDON HAS LANDED
Our doors are open again in London
In a lovely new temporary location
Just next door to our previous studio archive in Fitzrovia
18 Wells Street
London W1T 3PG
Tens of thousands of designs are again organized and
ready for viewing
We look forward to working with our creative friends again
THE DESIGN LIBRARY NEW YORK
We're also very happy to announce
The Hudson Valley, New York archive is again open
and welcoming visits from clients
As the Mid-Hudson region begins to reopen, the Design Library is now available for visits from clients.
We look forward to welcoming our creative friends again!
The following protocols have been set for the safety and comfort of our staff and guests and in keeping with CDC guidelines:
~ Surfaces, knobs, cart handles and commonly used items will be disinfected daily
~ Masks will be worn if within 10 feet of each other
~ Hand washing is encouraged and hand sanitizer will be provided at work areas throughout the archive
~ Latex gloves will be supplied to visitors if desired
~ To satisfy social distancing requirements we will limit total staff and guests to 20 people at a time, about 6% of capacity in our huge space
~ If you are arriving by train on Metro North, we'll arrange pick up at New Hamburg station as usual. The driver will be masked, windows down, you may sit in the back seat. For larger teams more cars will be provided to minimize riders per car
~ Virtual presentations of design selections to your offsite team will be accommodated
Dear Friends of the Design Library,
As the impact of COVID-19 continues to challenge the world we find ourselves deeply affected. Yet as we all do our parts we grow hopeful we can help bring this pandemic to an end.
We at the Design Library work from home. Although physically isolated we remain connected to friends and colleagues around the world.
It is our wish to help in the heroic efforts of the international health care community, so the Design Library will donate 10% of Kosmos™* sales during this time to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO.
We continue to offer special remote access to Kosmos™ and Satellite™ and virtual design presentations via Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp, Dropbox. At home we prepare thousands of new designs to join the shelves when we return.
We are all in this together. There will be an end. We believe we will emerge more wise, more ready, and eager to provide inspiration as we have for nearly 50 years.
*Kosmos™ is the Design Library's online archive of over 20,000 searchable designs. Apply on our website design-library.com/kosmos-satellite
We Are Open
You have likely received dozens of emails about coping with COVID-19. We at the Design Library continue to work in New York and London. We are taking extra precautions cleaning common areas in our offices. And no one with any connection to the Design Library is known to have been exposed.
We are offering design presentations remotely via Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Dropbox. Send us your direction and we'll prepare an array of designs specifically for you. For years we have worked virtually with clients along with our face-to-face meetings.
In light of current events and the effects on our clients' visits to the Design Library archives in New York and London, we will offer special access to Kosmos™ our online archive of over 20,000 searchable designs. Simply fill out the New Account Setup on our website https://design-library.com/kosmos-satellite. We will then contact you with details and activate your access. Alternatively call or email us for further information.
The Design Library is pleased to announce a major acquisition of 20th century studio paintings.
At the height of the industry, Lyon, France was the silk capital of all Europe. Thousands of working artists created hand-painted designs for the booming industry.
The Rue Royale was the main street at the historic center of original textile art. Designs that were to become silk fashion textiles originated there.
The Design Library's new collection is drawn from five important studios that closed in the late 20th century. There are thousands of original designs in exciting and diverse styles: Floral, Tropical, Geometric, Textural and Conversational patterns.
The Rue Royale Collection is now being unpacked and prepared to show our clients. A representative selection is also being uploaded to Kosmos™ for the inspiration of online subscribers.
"Alexa Chung's Met Gala 2019 moment began months ago during a trip to London's Design Library. A jacquard jacket dating back to 1760s France planted a seed of inspiration for a delectable print that deserved to be shown off. Chung set to work reinterpreting the floral embroidery via her sketchbook, digitised her drawings and sent them to craftsmen in India. Hundreds of sequins were embroidered onto silk to achieve the designer's "Austen goes Disco" vision, while Chung, back in her De Beauvoir studio, started pondering a dress silhouette befitting the fabric and the Met Gala 2019 theme."
For full article, click here
Alexa Chung's reinterpretation of an 18th century design is a stunning example of how the Design Library of New York and London contributes to fashion today.
Beginning during the winter holidays, we moved storage to new space across the hall and converted the large area to additional showroom space.
Walls came down, shelves went up and now the space is populated with tens of thousands of easily accessible designs.
This new area with its own twenty-four foot table is dedicated to our most contemporary and modern collections dating from the late 20th century to the present.
Video by Gavin Koepke
Click below for Satellite™ access:
The Design Library is proud to announce the arrival of an important textile design collection from West Africa.
Handwoven, tie-dyed, batik and stamp printed, the designs originate from Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Mali.
The looks are sophisticated, tribal and timely, at once classic and fresh— and soon to be seen on Western runways, streets, beaches, office and party clothes.
Take a quick glimpse of the rhythms and textures from one of the world’s great creative forces:
Video by Gavin Koepke and Peter Koepke
In March, Alexis Audette and Peter Koepke reunited to talk PATTERNS to a new group of interior designers and design enthusiasts in Boston. Guests enjoyed a virtual tour of our by-appointment only library and saw how Beacon Hill used several of our documents as inspiration for their collections. The discussion was followed by a reception, luncheon and book signing.
To mark the launch of PATTERNS, the Design Museum in London hosted a talk with Design Library owner and director Peter Koepke, entrepreneur Johnnie Boden and WGSN senior editor of print and graphics Hannah Watkins.
The entire Design Library Team was on hand to celebrate and welcome clients and guests at a cocktail reception after the talk.
Patterns: Inside the Design Library – Book of the Month
December 7, 2016
To read the full interview, click here
Inside the Design Library
by Eliza Williams
November 14, 2016
Where do you look for inspiration? If you’re in the fashion or home interiors industries, it might be at the Design Library, a vast archive of patterns and textiles dating from the 1750s to the present that is held across two venues, in New York’s Hudson Valley and central London.
Click here to read the full article
A gathering celebrating the publication of Patterns: Inside the Design Library was hosted by Phaidon Press and Design Within Reach at DWR's Soho Studio in New York City. Author Peter Koepke, owner and director of the Design Library was joined by Francisco Costa, former women’s creative director for Calvin Klein; Sonia Martin, VP of women’s design for Banana Republic; and Alexis Audette, creative director for Beacon Hill, who was moderator for the evening's panel discussion. A book signing and lively cocktail reception followed.
BA First, British Airways First Class In-Flight Magazine
Tim Hulse, Editor
Design professionals looking for inspiration head for the Design Library's collection of more than seven million prints and patterns.
Click here to read the full article
Over 100 members of the New York interior design community gathered for a panel discussion and book signing to celebrate the publication of Patterns: Inside the Design Library, by Peter Koepke. Beacon Hill's Imprint collection, an offering of embroidered and printed textiles inspired by designs featured in PATTERNS: Inside the Design Library, was also showcased. The panel, moderated by Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence, addressed the history of the Design Library, how Peter's book came to be, and how designers find inspiration at the Design Library. Alexis Audette, Creative Director of Beacon Hill, spoke about Beacon Hill's creative process, how the Design Library plays a role and explained how antique documents are re-interpreted as new textiles. Francisco Costa, Creative Director Women's Wear for Calvin Klein was also in attendance to share his impressions of the Design Library and how his creative work has utilized this resource for inspiration.
Design Books You’ll Want to Cut Up and Frame
by Lucy Feldman
The Wall Street Journal, Design & Decorating
October 18, 2016
...full of images and facsimiles you'll be tempted to cut out for your walls...
Click here to read full article
Inside the Design Library with Beacon Hill at D&D Fall Market
by Stacey Bewkes
October 14, 2016
Stacey Bewkes visited the Design Library in preparation for her role as moderator at a panel discussion at the D&D Fall Market with Design Library owner Peter Koepke and design talents Alexis Audette, Creative Director for Beacon Hill and Francisco Costa, Women's Creative Director of Calvin Klein Collection.
Click here to read full article
In June 2016, the Design Library learned that PATTERNS: Inside the Design Library was chosen as a Publisher's Weekly "Top 10" publication of Fall 2016 releases. Our book, along with several other fantastic releases was lauded for "paying tribute to the cultural institutions that house, preserve, and inspire great works of art."
To see the list, click here
Publisher's Weekly later gave a review of our "beautifully designed and organized" book Patterns: Inside the Design Library
Click here to read review
The entire Design Library Team proudly announces the release of :
PATTERNS: Inside the Design Library
In PATTERNS, owner and director Peter Koepke takes the reader on a tour of the world's largest archive of patterns and textiles; shares some of the most beautiful and useful patterns held within the Library's vast archive and demonstrates how designers from all over the globe in fashion, home furnishings, textiles, graphic arts, and paper-product industries utilize the Library for inspiration in their creative process.
Read what the Press has to say:
AIGA Eye on Design
"These patterns aren't just beautiful, they're subconsciously shaping your decisions every day..."
"Ever wonder where designers get their patterns? Welcome to the colorful stacks of the Design Library..."
"Patterns: Inside the Design Library...it's a small taste of the visual riches of the company's archive - one that everyone can now savor - a golden ticket that gets the reader inside the vaults."
To purchase a copy of PATTERNS: Inside the Design Library, please visit phaidon.com/patterns.
This one-of-a-kind book, drawn from the Design Library's archive, is an exclusive and ultimate sourcebook of pattern and ornament.
We hope that you enjoy PATTERNS as much as we do!
In addition to the book excitement, we have also recently landed magnificent new collections. Please call for an appointment.
The Design Library Team
These Patterns Aren't Just Beautiful, They're Subconsciously Shaping Your Decisions Every Day
by Jude Stewart
Eye on Design, AIGA
September 29, 2016
A new book reveals the power of repeating colorful shapes.
To read the full interview, click here
Inside The World's Largest Pattern Library
by Katharine Schwab
Fast Co Design
September 27, 2016
Where do patterns come from? While some might be computer-generated using the latest in image scanning and digital printing technologies, many more can be sourced to the Design Library - the world's largest collection of patterns.
Click here to read full article
Open a Treasure Trove of Textile Designs
by Ted Loos
1stdibs, Introspective Magazine
September 26, 2016
The Design Library - and the millions of fabric patterns it houses - are off-limits to the public. But a new book unlocks this vault of visual riches.
Click here to read full article
Style Findings: Daily Dispatches From the Wallpaper* Fashion Team
by Katrina Israel
September 28, 2016
There are plenty of enviable archives in the world, but here's one that had escaped our gaze...
Click here to read full article
New York’s True Textile Mecca Flies Totally Under the Radar
by Luke Hopping & Dwell
August 19, 2016
Click here to read the full article
Designed between 1760 and 1820 primarily for dress fabric; these exquisite block-printed patterns from the time of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin can be interpreted today as contemporary. Typically seen only in museums, this new acquisition expands upon our much-loved Oberkampf collections.
A leading innovator in London for decades, Hodge Sellers has focused on technique, fabric manipulation, pattern and color in their work with fashion houses in Milan, Paris and New York.
Recently Hodge Sellers chose to concentrate on their consulting relationships and textile development partnerships. The Design Library is very pleased to have acquired hundreds of designs from the Hodge Sellers Portfolio Archive. The archive contains a wide diversity of textile and silkscreen swatches developed over the past 15 years. The designs are fresh, innovative and beautiful.
The prestigious Girardet Freres embroidery mill was founded in 1860 in Tarare on the outskirts of Lyon, France.
Through six generations of family ownership and management, Girardet Freres evolved to become an exclusive source for innovative fabric treatments and embellishment.
The company initially specialized in embroidery on cotton chiffon for the lingerie market. In the 1920s, with the addition of automatic machinery, embroidery for curtains was added to their production.
Fashion became their focus by the 1940s and they would grow to supply the elite silk producers of Lyon as well as Parisian couturiers.
Girardet Freres couture clients included Chanel, Dior and Vuitton.
A sampling of their silk manufacturing clients includes Bianchini Ferier, Brochier, Bonnet, Beaux Valette, Jersey Racine, Bord and Goutarel.
The Design Library is proud to have acquired the entire Girardet Freres archive of over 5000 unique designs.
The Design Library proudly announces the opening of our new expanded studio archive in Central London.
We've moved right next door from our location of the past two years, in the heart of Fitzrovia, steps from Oxford Circus.
St Georges House
14-17 Wells Street
London, W1T 3PD
The unparalleled design collection and expert service continue in our much larger space. Many more designs have been added.
This year we also celebrate ten years of Kate's position at the helm of the Design Library London. Along the way business has grown beautifully, John and Ula have joined the team, and the revolving collection housed in London continues to expand.
Here's to the next ten years!
Please call or email for an appointment:
The Design Library is proud to announce our acquisition of the entire Taroni Disegni archive from Giorgio Taroni of Como Italy.
This vast collection of original paintings represents the most diverse expression of Italian "High Style" we've seen. There are exquisite botanicals, edgy geometrics, stunning conversationals and and fresh, westernized ethnic designs. Many of the designs are mounted in massive books and available to be chosen by clients during visits to the Design Library.
Heir to an ancient family associated with the prestigious silk industry of Como; Giorgio Taroni, as a young boy, already showed an incredible talent for drawing. He decided to become a textile designer after a time in Paris at the famous "Atelier Callisti" in Quai Voltaire (between 1968-69), at that time working for Bianchini Férier and Abraham.
Giorgio then returned to his hometown Como and opened his own Atelier. "Taroni Disegni" grew rapidly and very successfully and in a few short years came to employ over 40 designers. He even opened his own print plant. Taroni began selling his artwork all over Europe, America and Japan. As Giorgio needed to be in New York for work on a monthly basis, the Algonquin Hotel, on West 44th Street became his second home. The hotel is a piece of history in New York, right at the heart of the textile area of Seventies. The old building still preserves the elegance of another era, a continental touch. Buyers were always eager to come and purchase new Taroni artworks surrounded by the glamorous atmosphere.
In 1972, he opened an office in New York at 1412 Broadway:
"Giorgio Taroni Designs Inc." Giorgio designed and created scarves for the Oscar de la Renta line for over 15 years. He collaborated with the most important textile factories of Como for great Italian stylists like Gianni Versace, Moschino and Lorenzo Riva. Many remember Taroni's very successful floral series of designs with red roses and callas for Valentino.
Giorgio Taroni continued selling his artworks all around the world for over twenty years but in 1990, he left textile design to pursue another dream as an art dealer and interior decorator. His talent and interest in Art, Architecture and Decorative Arts has propelled him to the top of each field.
Silks from Gustav Zumsteg's Abraham in Zurich were loved by designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Christobal Balenciaga and Jubert de Givenchy for being bold, beautiful and glamorous.
Abraham's extensive archive of silks and garments was donated to the Swiss National Museum after the company closed. But the Design Library has acquired a large selection of paper impressions from a private collection. These designs display a diversity of style and motif - from modernistic geometrics to graphic florals.
During the second half of the 20th century the firm reached the top of the industry. One could see Catherine Deneuve wearing an Yves Saint Laurent dress of Abraham silk or Audrey Hepburn in an Abraham Givenchy.
In the 1940's, Zumsteg - who had worked his way up from the level of apprentice - became the director of the traditional silk company Abraham, transforming it into an international force. Parisian Haute Couture designers were among its best customers.
There seemed no end to his quest for a perfect pattern: an employee was once sent to Marrakesh, where Saint Laurent had a holiday home, to gain inspiration from the flowers there.
These Abraham designs are ready to be viewed in our New York or London offices.
The Design Library announces the important acquisition of major collections from the Giorgio Correggiari Archive.
Giorgio Correggiari was a spontaneous designer who loved his work. There is a constant feeling of improvisation about his designs, and he thrived on the unexpected and the irregular.
After some years of designing leather, fur, menswear, womenswear, and childrenswear lines for several firms, he formed his own company in 1976, Giorgio Correggiari, to produce his own ready-to-wear collections. His frenzied, restless approach to his work rapidly made the company a success. His designs reflected his insatiable curiosity and thorough research into detail and themes.
He had been known to pound the streets of Milan on foot trying to find someone who could replicate an original Liberty buckle; or stay up all night in his kitchen dyeing accessories to exactly the right shade to complement a collection. He also enjoyed pillaging junk shops and second-hand stores for original buttons or old velvet fabrics that could be reproduced or incorporated into his designs.
Among those who learned from the creative energy of Correggiari is Domenico Dolce who joined Correggiari in 1977. In 1980 Dolce met Stefano Gabbana at a nightclub in Milan and helped him get a job at Correggiari.
The Design Library is delighted to add this archive from Giorgio Correggiari to our collections.
We are proud to present the article about the Design Library as it appeared in last week's Wall Street Journal Magazine - Fall Fashion Issue.
Early 2013 gave us the privilege of acquiring thousands of new designs from the studios and mills of France. Among the new arrivals are paintings from the studios of Chantal Geskoff and Michelle Berthet.
These two distinct collections represent some of the best artwork for prints and jacquards of the second half of the 20th century. The collections are diverse in subject matter, scale, and mood while consistently interesting and very high in quality.
Our most recent acquisition, the Francesco Ortenzi Studio Collection, comes to us from Como, Italy.
Francesco Ortenzi's company was established in Rome in 1948 under the name of Farkas-Ortenzi. During the early years the principals of the studio were Maria and Terzo Ortenzi, together with Paolo Farkas, Maria's husband.
In 1955 the family moved to Como - famous all over the world as the home of silk - where they relocated the studio. That same year Francesco Ortenzi, the youngest of Ortenzi siblings, joined the company.
Those were the days of the textile boom and the firm posted a significant increase in Italy and worldwide. The Farkas-Ortenzi design collections were esteemed by renowned fabric manufacturers and suppliers; among them the Italian firms of Jermi, Scacchi, Ratti, Mantero, Bellotti, Etro and many others; the French houses of Leonard, Ungaro, Marnard; the American companies of Victoria's Secret and Surfline, as well as several Japanese firms.
As many as 30 designer/artists worked in the studio and new talent arrived continually which gave a contemporary, constantly evolving feature to the portfolio.
Those incredible years lasted until the 1980s when Terzo Ortenzi left the company and Paolo Farkas and Maria Ortenzi moved to New York. From then on the firm was permanently renamed as Francesco Ortenzi.
The pace of work was tremendous as the studio operated in the fashion industry directly with dressmakers (Byblos, Armani, Ferré, Missoni), or through converters. The company grew to serve more industries; adding swimwear to clothing at first, then scarves and interior design, including ceramics and tableware.
The fabric design business continued its work until 2008, when Francesco Ortenzi closed the studio and retired, to engage full time in his hobby of sculpture.
We are thrilled to have this body of work at The Design Library.
In the closing days of 2012 The Design Library made a very exciting acquisition - a significant archive from Cheney Brothers Silks.
Cheney Silks was the first highly successful silk manufacturer in the United States. Begun in 1838 and continuing through the early 1990s, the archive holds thousands of samples of Cheney's exquisite jacquard production as well as hundreds of museum quality paintings and early European textiles from the Holzach Collection of Rue Beauregard, Paris.
Above are some examples of the beautiful pieces we've discovered while unpacking. We are thrilled to welcome another exceptional acquisition into our archive. Satisfying both traditional and contemporary aesthetics, there is sure to be something in this collection for everyone to enjoy.
The Design Library is proud to announce the completion of one of the most exciting acquisitions in our company's history! Just arrived at our Hudson River Valley headquarters is the heart of the design archive from the Bianchini-Férier estate in Lyon, France.
This breathtaking collection consists of designs spanning most of the twentieth century. These designs manifest themselves in the form of exquisite jacquards, beautiful burnout velvets, printed clipped satins, spectacular beadwork, printed fabrics and a treasure trove of twentieth-century artists' proofs and paper impressions. The collection will inspire the Design Library and our clients for decades to come.
The textile design archive of Bianchini-Férier was founded in Lyon, France in 1888. A century of success for Bianchini-Férier began when the studio was awarded the Silver Medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1889. This lead to the opening of offices in Paris, London, Brussels and finally, in 1909, New York. In 1912 Bianchini signed a contract with the brilliant Raoul Dufy, then designing for couturier Paul Poiret.
From the early 1960s Bianchini-Férier created superb designs for Givenchy, Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Feraud, Laroche, Nina Ricci, Yves St Laurent and Scherer, among others.
FROM FRANCE TO THE HUDSON VALLEY
Design Library owner Peter Koepke travelled to Lyon, France, in summer to oversee the acquisition of the new collection.
This August we defied the traditional French month of holidays and finalized the most exciting acquisition in the Design Library's recent history.
Lyon was quiet, the weather was warm, and the hospitality of Cédric Brochier was even warmer. Cédric (seen above, left, with Peter) is the owner of Brochier Soieries and Brochier Technologies and, until recently, owned the heart of the mid-twentieth century archive of Bianchini-Férier.
Peter and Cédric worked for a week, punctuated by espresso and fine lunches beneath the massive Raoul Dufy painting at the École Nationale des Beaux Arts across the square from the Brochier office. In the end a mutually satisfying deal was struck and the packing began. Thirty-eight large crates were filled and shipped, and arrived at our Hudson Valley office in early September.
In late September we were pleased to receive a visit from Cédric Brochier. It seemed fitting that Cédric should be on hand to join us as we welcomed this profusion of beautiful design to its new home in the Hudson Valley. He enjoyed viewing the first unpacked paper impressions, silks and velvets as they were dispersed around their new home.
The unpacking and categorizing has begun. We will be opening new boxes of designs for months to come, but early client viewings are already happening. The variety and excellence of these thousands of designs continually surprise us. We stand in awe of these great French artists and are proud to be the new stewards of their work.