Kevin Fusting saw Marika Meyer’s potential. The second-generation owner of Galleria Carpets & Rugs at the Washington Design Center, a longtime collaborator with the Bethesda designer, was enamored of her antiquities-inspired textile collection—so much so that he took some initiative.
“I started making some strike-offs” of rug samples in some of Marika’s patterns, Kevin told me at Friday’s launch of the Marika Meyer Rug Collection for Galleria Carpets & Rugs. “Then I walked into her studio with some samples—it was a total surprise. I thought this could be a fun collaboration, and I think our minds were in the same place.”
“Seeing the way the patterns translated into rugs was a game changer,” Marika says, “and there’s nobody we’d rather partner with. They recognize the needs designers have, and the challenges.”
During the sunny rooftop gathering, three full-sized rugs were laid out on the terrace—plush wool that was oh-so-yummy to walk across.
More samples displayed the three weaves that are available in the collection: A formal, tight knotted weave; a looser Turkish weave that works in slightly more casual settings; and an informal flat weave — all of them in 100-percent wool and made in Nepal.
“We’re so mad about the flat-weave,” Marika says of the pink and green samples on the far right, below. “Most of them are cotton, and they can walk on you and slip across the floor. Because this is wool, it stays put, and you don’t run into the durability issues.”
And here’s the thing: If anyone has ever ordered a rug to be made in countries like Nepal or Turkey, the hand-crafted work can take up to six months or more before it’s delivered to your doorstep. Marika’s rugs typically run on a 14-16 week lead time.
“The whole premise of our textile line is to be a tool for designers to create something unique for their clients,” Marika explains. And more than that, Kevin adds, her patterns represent a fresh new arrival to the rug market. Abstract patterns and splatter-like designs have been all the rage for some time, he says, so “to create something with more structure is really missing in the marketplace. The fact that they started off as textiles—you get all this texture. It’s a different art form, and with that, it has its own story to tell.”
The samples arrived in his showroom a couple months ago, and designers have already been placing orders, Kevin says. “It’s very gratifying to build a collection around one person’s aesthetic. We’ve never done that before. The idea was local supporting local.”
And that’s what I love to see—local designers with their own talents coming together to create something entirely new. And we were all out on Friday to support their efforts!
All around, a great morning, plus a wonderful new addition to these designers’ toolboxes, with cookies to spare!