Interview: Zingy Zandra Rhodes on her colourful homewares

Meet the iconic fashion designer, who's just brought out a wonderful range of bedlinen. She talks about her flamboyant prints, her fascination with the colour pink and Princess Diana...

Did you always dream of becoming an international designer when you studied at Medway College of Art and how did it feel when your designs were first featured in American Vogue?

When I was at art college I knew I’d be a textile designer who would go down in history, but had not thought of fame in my lifetime! I thought I’d be a teacher but hadn’t realised that I’d hate teaching.

Who inspires you?

People who do things that make a mark on our lives and, in design, I’m inspired by things around me – especially when I travel and get away from the day to day stuff and draw what I see in my sketchbook, which all leads to my designs. Sketches I did in Mexico led to my Mexican Sombrero print.

Zandra’s new range of bedlinen features the vibrant Sombrero print.

We love your Cretian Lily bed linen design. Can you tell us why you chose bold designs such as these for your new range?

I chose designs that are typical of me and bring drama to the bed - I love the way by dressing up the bed you are dressing up your entire bedroom. I want people to see the same excitement that I bring to my clothes in my textiles and bed linen designs.

Zandra’s new range of bed linen includes the stylishly understated Cretian Lily design and Paisley Daisy.You’ve designed for icons such as Elizabeth Taylor, Kylie Minogue and the Princess of Wales. What would you say was the most exciting project you worked on and why?

All projects are exciting and need to be evaluated separately. It was exciting going to Kensington Palace to fit Princess Diana and then seeing the pictures of her on the Japanese trip in the pale pink off shoulder dress that I did for her.

How would you describe your home's style?

Colourful and dramatic. My rainbow tile Amtico floor is to die for.

In terms of trends – what do you think will be big this summer?

Colour and drama of course…

What three products could you not live without?

*My make-up range I did for MAC Cosmetics

*My latest collection of mixed print Kaftans from the Spring/Summer 2010 collection

*The pink Sombrero pillow and duvet set, which is perfect for my pink bedroom.

What’s you top tip for wannabe designers and what's the secret to successful designing?

There’s no easy answer! Try and be honest with yourself and produce designs even if you don’t yet have a market. Never give up. Do what ever you need to do, such as teaching, to keep designing and gain inspiration. Fit in designing between your day job e.g: doing some designing at 5am before going to teach!

What’s your next exciting project?

Working on the sets and costumes for the new opera Aida, opening in San Francisco this September!

For beautiful furniture, accessories and daily design ideas for your home and lifestyle,
shop at ACHICA.

Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor