Into the Archive
A look behind the scenes of our 30 Years of Print collection
When you ask our customers what Cath Kidston means to them, there will – undoubtedly – be a story. Their favourite product isn’t just an object, it’s a memory. An emotion. A depth of feeling.
To celebrate our 30th anniversary, then, isn’t just about choosing our favourite prints, it’s about celebrating the fact that our prints and products are woven into the tapestry of our community’s lives. They are the tablecloths at the family dinners of our childhoods. They are the favourite mugs whose warmth we clutched tight to our chests when we felt sad or unwell. They’re the first school bags that stood out from the crowd as our little ones ventured off on their big-kid adventures for the very first time. They’re the decade-old dresses that never fail to make us smile.
For our design team, to create and curate The Joy Makers was to honour this bond between our brand and our community, to perfect the delicate balance between heritage and print modernity and to know the very real and very true place of purpose the perfect piece can have in our lives. And offer more of that.
And so, for our 30th Year, we lovingly offer a thoughtful collection that champions our extensive archive of print as well as our proud British heritage and commitment to artistry and craft. Creating products with real and genuine meaning and emotive nostalgia, all to take their place in the lives and homes of our customers once more. For another cherished lifetime of happy memories.
Take a walk through our archive with Holly, our Creative Director, as shares the journey behind the designs to bring such an important and marked collection to life.
“To start our process,” Holly shares “We looked through the archive to see which prints we really wanted to reimagine again for 30 Years and one of our most favourite and the most classic is our Archive Rose”.
One of our very first and most recognisable rose prints, ‘Archive Rose’ has been lovingly repainted for its contemporary rerelease. “To revive and reinvent it, we repainted it with much bigger and bolder brush strokes, almost like it was a jacquard weave”.
Coloured in an exciting explosion of acid hues, find it married with complimentary contrasting partner prints on garments and bags, coupled with black trims and intricate design details, for a striking new chapter of Cath Kidston floral heartland.
“We wanted to reimagine our cowboy print again for 30 Years because when people talk about Cath this is often one of the prints they think about.” First released in 2001, our Cowboy print quickly became one of our most beloved characters and revered prints. “From bags to tablecloths, it’s just so vital in our history. We redrew our Cowboy as a Cowgirl, and put her on these lovely beautiful pink islands drawn by George in the design team.”
For the Joy Makers collection, the Cowgirl becomes the central cornerstone for the artful curation of colour and fabrics and blend of heritage and modernity. Redrawn to represent the female trailblazer of Cath Kidston’s today. Find it in its classic colouration as well as a new pink palette, perfect for layering with heritage florals and across sustainable fabrications in bags, setting the intent of our heritage brand’s future focus.
“We’ve also drawn a series of silk scarves, printed here in the UK, for our 30 Years commemorative collection. The Cowgirl is galloping around the edges and is accented by small rose ditsies and beautiful cowboy boots and cactuses, with our classic rose blooming from the spines, of course.”
30 YEAR DITSY
“Ditsy prints are really important at Cath and they almost read as a tonal or complementary print. And this season we’ve done a beautiful 30 Years Ditsy. It’s really lovely as it’s inspired by our design team.” Rich in hidden detail, the 30 Years Ditsy laces layers of brand narrative, such as archive roses, strawberry plants and paint palettes, nestling amongst trailing florals and fallen leaves in a strong, vibrant colourway to bring fresh modernity. “If you look closely, within the print you can see the tiny paint palettes and the little wiggle of the paint brush. Alongside key iconography like the strawberries, the roses, and then we have this lovely falling floral throughout it.”
Full of life, it’s a print that you see more within the more you look at it, a true ode to the dedication of artistry and the love shown over the years to the Cath Kidston ditsy print.
“We have also reimagined our classic London print this season, it’s called London Toile.” Our much-loved London Toile print has been repainted and revived to include refreshed vignettes of our journey through print. From the streets of our original hometown, Notting Hill, to newer London landmarks like the Shard, plus instantly recognisable, intricately detailed icons of Cath Kidston heritage.
“We also we added some of the elements we painted for our Toile De Joy print, and you can see the red bus is complemented by all of our mini little characters. The bunny rabbit is painting Billie, Billie is on the statue and Stanley is running around in there somewhere, too”.
And last, but certainly not least, our Provence Rose print has been loved by our customers for decades. “Last year we asked our community, our Cath Collective, what their favourite Cath Kidston print was that we could refresh and reimagine. The answer was overwhelmingly Provence Rose, one of our most key and classic prints.”
Originally launched in 2009, the Provence Rose print was inspired by traditional provincial textiles and the rosebuds found on vintage linens. A graphic rose centred in a doily-esque flower, Provence Rose has been a forever favourite ever since.
“So we took Provence Rose from the archive and redrew it with a slightly looser hand with pen and ink for that real hand drawn effect. We’ve painted it in a new black colourway but also complemented with the classic colour in pink. We’ve put it on pyjamas, fashion and homeware and we can’t wait to launch it.”