We have another new manufacturer that we are excited to introduce to you – Modernplum. Modernplum is a lifestyle brand founded in 2014 by artist Allison Warren. Soon after moving to a glass house, she was inspired to create linen goods to complement the home’s mid-century design. We hope you enjoy reading this interview from Allison!
Let’s start out with learning a bit more about your company. What makes Modernplum unique?
Modernplum linens are a bespoke linen brand that is distinctive in a couple of ways. From a design perspective, Modernplum goods are artist-designed with a mix and match philosophy using interesting colors and textures from European linens and vintage fabrics. Our products are also known for sewing and thoughtful product details such as internal french seams, colored edgings and cording accents, hand-dyeing and extra linings. From a production standpoint, we are a locally made brand in central Chicago which is part of our general move toward simplification and sustainability in making. Our studio is also zero waste, so we don’t generate much textile waste. Everything is saved, and new one of a kind collections are made using these stockpiles. With the pieces that emerge from this reuse process, we embrace the artisan, one-of-a-kind result that jives really well with our regular more manufactured items. At the end of the day, we are exploring the position that fine linens can be beautiful and sustainable at the same time.
What is a favorite piece in your collection that designers might not know about?
Modernplum has done a lot with linen offerings using accent colors and trims in linen. My current favorite is new for Spring-Summer. It is a new Wicker stripe fabric with a visible cording detail at the seams. The look is subtle but handsome, mixing both classic and contemporary design.
Who or what inspires you most when coming up with designs?
Favorite muses are the seasons, fashion, and architecture. Modernplum was started as a suite of items to outfit a mid-century glasshouse. The simplicity, geometric designs, and natural element of our products are attributed to modernism, in which life is lived with nature, with art, and in a simple way. I attended Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit and have been so influenced by the design traditions there including Eames, Florence Knoll, and Eileen Gray.
What is the process behind coming up with new designs/products?
Our process unfolds organically, with each new collection being inspired by the surroundings such as the beach, the mountains, my childhood, a particular house, it really just depends on what sticks that season, and how it gets interpreted through color, texture, and form.
What is your favorite part about the manufacturing industry?
I love the complexity of it. There are so many choices that need to be made when manufacturing, it seems like a puzzle. And at the end, you get to see an idea come to life. I enjoy the challenge of manufacturing — especially when adding sustainability, re-use, vintage, and made in America — into the mix. Manufacturing doesn’t have to be a big impersonal and ecologically insensitive practice, like what some think it is. We are working to provide an alternative way of working.