Meet our Scarf Maven: Florence Bourgade

As we launched Maven Collection this season, our goal was to keep indigenous craft alive while bringing our customers unique pieces they won’t be able to find elsewhere. One of our first partnerships was with Florence Bourgade, a French graphic designer who left the world of paper behind to design gorgeous scarves that she could share with the world. Handmade in India, each of these gorgeous silk (and silk/cotton) scarves are one-of-a-kind, so you will be the only person to own that particular scarf! We are Florence’s first United States partnership, and could not be more excited to support such a fabulous designer!
We interviewed Florence to learn a little more about where she comes from as a designer, and to get a deeper look into her inspirations, passions, and design techniques.
Enjoy!
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Maven Collection: Where do you get your inspiration?
Florence Bourgade: I gain inspiration while traveling abroad, in the Guimet Museum in Paris, and surfing the internet. Most of the patterns already exist somewhere in the world, I just try to give my own interpretation of them. Sometimes I just work on a very old idea I had years ago, sometimes I meet artisans and decide to create designs specifically for them. I always consider which techniques I will use before I begin my design – my approach is different if I decide to work with block print, weaving or print screen. Everything starts for me with artisan! It’s all about the people and what we can do together!

We see that you were a graphic designer. When did you realize you wanted to make the switch into the fashion world?
Yes, I worked as a graphic designer for years in ad agencies and as a freelance designer in Madrid, but the last few years [because of the Spanish crisis], the labor conditions became precarious in that sector. I was tired of working on the same projects! In the meantime, I was spending all of my free time working on textile patterns, looking for beautiful fabrics, or making clothes. I was obsessed with fabrics and patterns, I wanted to make something useful for me and for the others, but did not know what exactly…until a friend in India asked me and my husband, David Sanz Frias, why we haven’t opened our own business. I suppose this simple question made us think about launching our own business! As for me designing scarves, patterns, or graphics, they are not so different…It’s a very similar job.

How long have you been designing scarves?
We launched our brand a little more than one year ago.

What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Be curious of arts and people, and be self confident. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and for what you need to know to launch your idea. Go for your dream without fear and do not change what is most important to you.

-Heather

Meet the Expert Hatmakers!

Goorin Bros. - Bold Hatmakers Since 1895

When moving from the Midwest to San Francisco, I instantly noticed how many people were wearing hats (and not the hats you wear just because it is cold outside).  I was fascinated by this and determined to find my own unique hat.  My husband and I found the Goorin Bros. hat store and we were instantly impressed!  They had so many hats and the store was stunning inside (vintage future and decor).  I was intimidated at first, I am not a hat person and I didn’t know where to start.  However, the people at Goorin Bros. are very helpful and I was able to find my very own unique hat.  I absolutely love this store and the story behind it…

“In 1895, master craftsman Cassel Goorin sold his first hat off a horse cart in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Cassel’s sons – the Goorin Brothers – continued the tradition of hat making when they moved the family business to San Francisco in 1949.

Today, Goorin Brothers is led by Cassel’s great grandson who remains dedicated to the art
of bold hat making by crafting hats inspired by San Francisco’s rich artistic community.

Cassel’s legacy can be found in the detail and integrity of each hat. For over a century, the authentic character of Goorin has allowed individuals to tell their story without ever having to say a word.”

The Goorin Bros. has expanded their stores across the country.  We are lucky enough to have two locations in Chicago, Lakeview and Wicker Park.  Even if you aren’t a “hat person”, I bet you come out of the store with a hat to call your own!

Mario Santorini
Mario Santoini
Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe
Norma Jeane
Norma Jeane
Moretti
Moretti
Jackson
Jackson
Kenny Red
Kenny Red
Marlon Fernandez
Marlon Fernandez
One Horse Town
One Horse Town
The Gambler
The Gambler
Paradise
Paradise
Macey Floppy
Macey Floppy
Chicago
Chicago

Marrakech!

One of our favorite things to do it travel.  Our ideal trip would include getting lost in markets trying to find that one unique or one of a kind piece. We love meeting with the makers of our finds and finding out the story behind each piece.  Here are a few pictures from a Moroccan adventure we made earlier this year.

We spent the afternoon with these shop owners. They welcomes us in with mint tea and afternoon chats. It is a father/son shoemaking coop. The image below are a pair of the BEAUTIFUL handmade flats I purchased:)  Yusaf (Son) and El Haj (Father)
We spent the afternoon with these shop owners. They welcomes us in with mint tea and afternoon chats. It is a father/son shoemaking coop. The image below are a pair of the BEAUTIFUL handmade flats I purchased:)
Yusaf (Son) and El Haj (Father)
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My new Moroccan flats! Can’t wait to wear them this spring!
Walking through the Souk
Loom
I just love the colors in this tile work
I would have come home with over 100 rugs if I was able to get them all through customs:)
I WANT THEM ALL!
Berber Wool Pillows. Some of my favorite finds:)
The center or Marrakech turned into a food market around 5pm every night.
Amazing door!
Purses purchased!
Tile worker in action!
weaver.

Maven Collection Blog is FINALLY Launching!

This blog will be a culmination of our journey launching our own handmade collection, finding pieces and work that inspires us, artists from around the globe, our travels, indigenous craft, organizations to get involved with, interesting people/stories, fashion trends, design, sustainable living, and our lives here in Chicago!

Join us on our journey to create a socially conscious lifestyle through the products we purchase, artisans we support and  collection we create!