Pattern Player

Cecilia Walker combines nostalgia, art and savvy business sense to create her line of vivid textiles.

“Royal Boulevard” is based on the palm trees that line the streets of Santa Monica. 

 

It might seem that Cecilia Walker took a rather circuitous path to becoming a textile designer. Walker, who as a child dreamed of becoming an artist, earned art history and economics degrees from Boston College. She embraced a career in fashion, spending 14 years on the finance, merchandising and product development arms of companies including Laura Ashley and Ann Taylor.

Since 2006, Walker has worked as an interior designer. “In many ways, fashion and design overlap,” she says.

In 2015, Walker introduced the Phillips Road Collection, a textile line inspired by recollections of her California upbringing. She relied on her business experience to counter trepidation about venturing into the saturated textile market. “If I was going to start my own line, it needed to be marketable. I wanted the fabric to mix with the other lines that are out there.”

Walker’s “Halfpipe” recalls a half-pipe that her brother used to skateboard on in the neighborhood. “Calisole,” a pattern of interconnected octagons, is a nod to the waffled soles of Vans sneakers, Walker’s teenage footwear.

Walker’s organic patterns are digitally produced at a family-owned mill here in the United States, which allows for more flexibility in color and creates much less waste.

While the first collection featured bright, preppy colors, Walker’s latest line sports original patterns in more muted tones: pale purples, tomato reds and browns. New patterns based on drawings from Walker’s college portfolio were also added to the collection. “I saw the sketches and thought, ‘Wow, these would be great patterns,’” recalls Walker—an inkling that she’s been on track all along.