Global Traveller - Sense of Wander

Global Traveller - Sense of Wander

Travel inspires us all. For Bernie de Le Cuona travel is the bedrock of originality. Her global design adventures give her textiles their evocative flavour. Whether in search of rare techniques, natural materials or drawing on local traditions of craftsmanship, travel is fundamental to her being and business.
“All I wanted to do was travel. It feeds my imagination. Places and people stay in my mind and inform my work.”

It is the breadth of her travels that give de Le Cuona’s fabrics such character, their rugged elegance. From the flax fields of Flanders and rural France to small mills in Como, Italy. From perfecting handwoven paisley with time-honoured techniques in Kashmir to finding natural inspiration from her motherland in South African. Bernie was born in Pretoria and grew up close to Johannesburg which engendered a lifelong love of the bush. Zambia is her heartland where she camps on the banks of the Zambezi.

Experiences of untamed travel are embedded in her creations. This is true of the new collection soon to be launch in September 2022, where the fabrics are inspired by the earth of Africa and Overland, a collection launched in September 2021. Here she embarks on a fabric journey that tracks the connections made with nature, people, and places. This epic collection harnesses these experiences, bringing them to life in the striking textures and colours stories of the textiles.

Overland lets creativity flow and imagination travel beyond horizons. Fabrics off the beaten track are imbued with soul and a personal touch. Each of these fabrics and every colour was inspired by Bernie’s own memories that she hopes will resonate with others.

“It is one of my favourite collections in terms of the new neutral palette and the craft that has gone into creating the structures of the cloths.”
Who else can weave a fabric that resembles the moving sands of the Ad-Dahna? The colours are shades of the sand dunes under the shifting sun and moon. The arid surface with its colour gradients is created with a unique technique using the hand and eye of experts.

Tuli is a characterful linen inspired by the Tuli Block in Botswana, a popular region for overland explorers. It’s reminiscent of stripes used by tribal people.

Warrior Cloth the original gutsy linen in the overland palette of ‘new’ neutrals with found in Africa’s diverse terrain

Assegai is inspired by the tribal engravings on traditional spear native to Africa. Each colourway bears an accent hue created by the craft of spear making.

Shuka is reminiscent of the colourful garments of the Masaii tribe, which are called Shuka’s this marriage of wool and linen is enriched by the story behind

To be brave in travel often leads to being bold and braver in design. de Le Cuona’s collections are never run of the mill but always have a sense of wander and the unexpected.