It’s no secret that velvet is in style. From clothing to jewelry to home décor, it has been popping up everywhere. The plush progression isn’t going anywhere any time soon and that’s alright with us. Discover this man’s love of handcraft design creations below and order our Winter 2018 issue for more interior trends and pages on pages of decorating inspiration!
By Katie Wood
Pennsylvania-based textile designer Kevin O’Brien started his career as an architect but soon found other avenues in which to explore his creativity. After getting a job as a design critic for a college graduate program, he found himself falling for textile design. “I knew I was a good design critic and teacher, but I didn’t know anything about textiles,” Kevin admits. “I learned a lot while I was teaching—and they had all this equipment to practice printing.” Teaching proved to be an invaluable learning experience as he became fascinated with textiles and the technology and techniques involved.
It wasn’t long before he decided to start his own business printing scarves. “Since I didn’t know anything about textiles, printing, or fashion, I thought, ‘A scarf can’t be that hard; I could probably do that,’” Kevin recalls with a laugh. “Honestly, I just thought that would be fun.” More than 20 years later, Kevin is still designing and hand-painting velvet textiles and, of course, having fun.
After spending 10 years in the luxury fashion world selling hand-painted scarves and fabric by the yard for different high-end designers, including Donna Karan, Zac Posen, and Isaac Mizrahi, and securing an account with Barneys New York, Kevin transitioned into the world of home décor. “The whole pashmina craze hit,” he says, “and all of a sudden, no one wanted velvet.” He notes that, at that point, fashion wasn’t his truest passion and he “quickly realized what we were doing was very applicable to home décor.”