Fabric8 Finalist Profile: Sara Berrenson

JUN 5, 2013

Meet Fabric8 finalist Sara Berrenson, a graphic designer and flea market afficianado from Santa Monica, California. Voting on all eight finalists' Geek Chic-themed collections starts tomorrow, June 6th!


My Geek Chic fabric design was inspired by all the "word nerds" who share an intense love of books. One of my favorite things to do is visit used bookstores. In college I worked at my school's library and would take three hours to shelf a cart. It only should have taken an hour, but I stopped to look at half of the books I was putting away. Hopefully none of my old supervisors are reading this! I wanted my design to have a vintage feel about it and capture the nostalgia of an old fashioned library. The color palette was inspired by a photo of old typewriter tins which I felt conveyed the mood perfectly.

Two of my favorite mediums to work in are watercolor and gouache because I enjoy the loose quality and the blending and transparency of colors. I also like to draw my elements with markers and convert them to vector. I then go in and overlay hand drawn and digital illustration. Most of my patterns are a blend of these techniques. My inspiration comes from everywhere, including nature, interior design, and fashion. I love going to the flower mart in downtown LA and the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena to gather inspiration.

Sara's design studio

I am inspired by quite a few textile designers: Kathy Davis, Stephanie Ryan, Dena Designs, Pat Bravo, Josephine Kimberling, and Jessica Swift, just to name a few! I love how Kathy, Stephanie, and Dena interpret watercolors in a fresh and modern way. Pat always puts together fabulously feminine collections that are right up my alley. Josephine creates beautiful florals with a vintage flair. Jessica's patterns are so colorful, vibrant and fun. I could seriously go on and on!

Sara's hometown, Santa Monica, California

I listen to all sorts of music when I'm designing, depending on what mood I'm in! My favorite artist of all time is Tom Petty. I could listen to his album "Wildflowers" over and over, and I have! Some other favorites are Passion Pit, Capital Cities, Midi Matilda, The Lumineers, and La Roux.

There are so many places I would like to visit someday. I love to travel! I am most drawn to scenic places where you can experience and enjoy nature. I would love to ride horses in New Zealand, camel ride in Egypt, and zip line in Costa Rica. I also love soaking up the culture of a foreign city. I would love to shop at a flea market in Paris, a bazaar in Bangkok, and go wine tasting in Tuscany.

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