Designer insights with Karen Barbé

Karen Barbé is a textile designer, design blogger and photographer, working freelance in Santiago, Chile. Karen is heavily inspired by traditional crafts, folklore and textiles all of which influence her work. Her work has even been featured in Martha Stewart Living, NYLON Korea and H Magazine. Karen has also received a Design BA Honours from the Universidad Católica de Chile and a Textile Technology qualification from the CSDMM, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Karen Barbé.

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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?

Nostalgic, honest, calming, sweet, cosy, contemporarily old-fashioned.

2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?

I start by walking a lot to ideas brew in my brain. Then I go for sketching and doing samples until I get it right (the ‘get it right’ part might take tons of walks and sampling).

3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?

Part of my work includes doing embroidery workshops at my studio in Santiago. My students always inspire me in the most amazing ways with their work and experimental (and sometimes fearless) approach at learning. They don’t even know it but any small comment or questioning of theirs allows me to see stitches under a totally different perspective.

4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?

I believe in the power of reading as a catalyst for fresh ideas. I love when authors transport me into worlds and sceneries that can trigger in me new and unexpected imagery.

5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?

The old but oh-so-true cliché of trusting in yourself and believing in your work. I also believe that creating beautiful images for my products and stories posted on my blog have helped to convey a philosophy and lifestyle I believe in and that people can relate to.