Small Business Friday with Zoe Cook
In a new series of posts, Seasons in Colour will be taking a look at the work of new designers in the area of textiles and ceramics. In this interview, we talk to textiles designer Zoe Cook, whose collection of silk scarves was recently shown in the New Designers expo in London. The collection includes exclusive screen-printed pure silk scarves that focus on hand drawn designs taking inspiration from the British birds, each hand printed in Britain.
Zoe, what route through education did you take to get where you are today?
I have just completed a Textile design BA Hons course at Norwich University of the Arts.
Did you always want to be a designer?
I have always wanted to be a designer because ever since a young age I have loved art, drawing and been inspired by colours and textures.
Nature really features in your designs, what is the inspiration behind your colourful designs?
My collection British Birds: Wild in Print features british birds because birds in particular have a peaceful quality and likeable charm and I also wanted to show the beauty in our local wildlife. I am also passionate about the Made in Britain label and believe it is becoming more important to support British textiles manufacturing.
Beautiful hand-drawings by Zoe Cook that are then used for screen printing.
How was your experience exhibiting at New Designers recently?
I absolutely loved showing at New Designers in London recently. It was eye-opening to exchange ideas with other creative designers and see other graduate’s work. It is also very confidence boosting hearing positive feedback and networking with well-known high-street brands and suppliers. The photo below shows how I prepared for the show to ensure my work was showcased beautifully.
Will you be moving into clothes accessories (like scarves) or soft furnishings (fabrics) in the future?
I have often thought about creating my designs for an interiors context and believe some of my prints are perfect for large cushions or are ready to be framed and hung as wall art. However, I also have a passion for scarves and love creating a printed story in a square or length to make any outfit stand out.
Which celebrity would you like to see wearing or displaying your design around their home?
My adoration for Liberty’s means that I would be thrilled to see any of my designs featured in their store. Equally, I would be thrilled to see them worn by British fashion icons such as Kate Moss, Fearne Cotton, Emma Watson or Millie Mackintosh.
What's next for Zoe Cook?
I am next going to look into building my own studio to continue screen printing and drawing.
Zoe is off to a fantastic start and we can't wait to see her designs in the stores!
The scarves have beautiful gold foiled stamps with Zoe's brand name. The attention to detail is evident! And being "Made in Britain" make the scarves even more appealing.
What did Seasons in Colour think?
Zoe's prints are extremelly wearable. We were really impressed by the colour combinations and attention to detail (not just with the scarves but her presentation in printed literature and cards). Zoe is ready to take off! We would love to see her designs printed on medium (70x70cm) or large (90x90cm) squares. Equally, a large square would be suitable as wall art, as shown below.
The designs are also very appealing in a home interiors context; elements of her designs can be interpeted on wallpaper and cushions. Not long before she is snapped up by a major retailer!